Why frontline employees engage as idea collectors:An assessment of underlying motives and critical success factors


The importance of frontline employees for the success of organizations is recognized by researchers and practitioners alike. However, their importance for the innovativeness of companies resulting from their boundary spanning role is often underestimated and has received little attention in prior research. The present paper contributes to the literature by empirically investigating idea fishing behaviors, and, in particular, the relationship between idea gathering and idea dissemination behaviors, of frontline employees from different industrial and business services firms. Furthermore, the impact of motivators such as job satisfaction and desire for upward mobility and the effects of other important conditions such as role stress and internal network on idea gathering and dissemination are assessed. Results of our study show that the proposed chain of idea gathering leading to idea dissemination and resulting in innovation holds. Furthermore, the various effects of role stress underline the importance of differentiating between different forms of role conflict and ambiguity. Based on these findings, implications for management and research are derived.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.indmarman.2015.05.015
Divisions: Aston Business School
Aston Business School > Marketing & Strategy
Additional Information: © 2017, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Uncontrolled Keywords: Frontline employees,Idea dissemination,Idea gathering,Innovation generation,Marketing
Full Text Link: https://www.sci ... 019850115001844
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2016-01-01
Published Online Date: 2015-05-20
Accepted Date: 2015-04-08
Authors: Woisetschläger, David M.
Hanning, Debra
Backhaus, Christof ( 0000-0003-1520-7939)

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