Year of Publication

2013

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Business and Economics

Department

Management

First Advisor

Dr. Giuseppe Labianca

Abstract

I examine individual innovation in organizations from a social network perspective. I employ two theoretical lenses to examine innovation outcomes in three separate empirical studies. First, I use a sociopolitical framework to examine how political skill and social network structure interact to predict successful innovation initiation and, ultimately, career success. I find that innovation initiation mediates the relationship between political skill and career success. Moreover, structural holes in employees’ social networks moderate the mediated relationship between political skill and career success such that the relationship is stronger for employees with many structural holes in their social network. Second, I use social resources theory to examine how the characteristics of employees’ social network contacts affect individual innovation behavior. Results suggest that there is a positive relationship between the average amount of professional experience of one’s social network contacts and individual innovation behavior. Similarly, there is a positive relationship between the average creativity level of one’s social network contacts and individual innovation behavior. Each of these relationships is moderated by social structure such that the relationships are stronger for those with fewer structural holes in their social networks. Third, I develop and validate a scale to assess employee behavioral orientations toward brokering disconnected social network contacts. The scale is found to demonstrate convergent, discriminant, and criterion-related validity based on data from two field sites and one student sample. Results indicate that the scale is positively related to innovation support behavior.