Innovative work behaviors and networking across government

Mehmet Akif Demircioglu, Taha Hameduddin, Colin Knox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Public organizations have long faced pressures to become more innovative and entrepreneurial. This has been accompanied by a shift from traditional bureaucratic structures toward public management networks, both in scholarship and practice. We use the example of the Australian public service and its emphasis on increased networking to examine whether increased networking behavior is associated with greater innovative work behaviors. In developing our theoretical model, we hypothesize that networking activities are positively related to innovative work behaviors but that too few or too many networked actors are negatively associated with innovative work behaviors. Our analysis finds that networking practices are, indeed, associated with greater levels of innovative work behaviors but that they differ between the type of stakeholders public managers engage with. In addition, we find only limited evidence of a curvilinear relationship between these two constructs. The article ends with implications for research and practice. Points for practitioners: Public organizations around the world are under pressure to become more innovative and collaborative. This is especially the case in the Australian public service. One way to achieve innovation is to encourage innovative work behaviors. We find that increased networking by public managers is associated with higher levels of innovative work behaviors. Contrary to our hypotheses, we find limited evidence of a curvilinear relationship between networking and innovative work behaviors, that is, too little or too much networking was not associated with reduced innovative work behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-164
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Review of Administrative Sciences
Volume89
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.

Keywords

  • collaboration
  • innovative work behavior
  • networking
  • public organization
  • public sector innovation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration

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