Going rogue for the love of the firm : the paradox of organizational identification in hidden innovation projects

Stephan, Anika (University of Strasbourg, France) ; Bubenzer, Philipp (ETH Zurich, Department of Management, Technology and Economics, Zürich, Switzerland ; School of Management Fribourg, HES-SO // University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland)

Prior management research has provided extensive evidence that members of an organization who identify with their organization tend to support its norms and objectives by displaying in- role or extra-role behavior. We argue that this account of observable employee behavior may be somewhat incomplete because hidden, secretive types of behavior have been largely overlooked in research on organizational identification. We thus study a series of secret and hidden innovation projects (so-called “bootlegging” projects) that are being developed in a technology-driven, multinational firm. Complementing prior research, our findings suggest that, in certain contexts, organizational identification may induce employees to violate organizational norms deliberately in a struggle for further improvement of their “good” organization. More specifically, we find an interesting paradox in the fact that organizational identification turns out to motivate simultaneously both in-role and hidden-role behavior forms which, at first sight, appear to be oppositional as both forms draw on the members´ resources. However, our results reveal that both, in fact, complement each other and thus create an interesting, hitherto unexplored organizational paradox. We then move on to study how organizational identification may change due to employees going underground to develop secret innovation projects and we uncover the critical role of managerial responses that aim to successfully sustain and strengthen organizational identification of members who are “going rogue” for the love of their organization. Implications for theory and managerial practice are derived.

Type de conférence:
full paper
Economie et Services
Adresse bibliogr.:
Copenhagen, Denmark, 6-8 July 2017
Copenhagen, Denmark
6-8 July 2017
35 p.
Publié dans
Proceedings of the 33rd EGOS Colloquium 2017
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 Notice créée le 2017-10-09, modifiée le 2018-12-20

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