Is coworker feedback more important than supervisor feedback for increasing innovative behavior?

Nathan Eva, Hannah Meacham, Alexander Newman, Gary Schwarz, Tse Leng Tham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A growing body of research explores human resource management practices that encourage employees to innovate. In this study, we examine the links between different sources of feedback (supervisor and coworker) and employees’ innovative behavior. Drawing on social exchange theory and the job demands-resources theory, we first propose that work engagement and psychological contract breach mediate the relationship between supervisor feedback and employees’ innovative behavior. Second, we propose a moderated mediation model in which coworker feedback attenuates the relationships between supervisor feedback and employees’ innovative behavior through the mediating mechanisms of both work engagement and psychological contract breach. Using three waves of multisource data from 300 Chinese employees and their 64 supervisors, we found a dual-mediation pathway by which employees’ work engagement and perceptions of psychological contract breach mediate the influence of supervisor feedback on innovative behavior. Our results also show that coworker feedback can be used to supplement the lack of supervisor feedback when required. Organizations are advised to ensure that employees obtain regular feedback from multiple sources because such feedback can promote employees’ work engagement and perceptions that the organization is upholding its side of the psychological contract, which fosters employees’ innovative behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-396
Number of pages14
JournalHuman Resource Management
Volume58
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019

Keywords

  • coworker feedback
  • innovative behavior
  • psychological contract breach
  • supervisor feedback
  • work engagement

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