Climate: A catalyst for innovation (IO Psychology)

Topic(s): creativity

Publication: The Journal of Creative Behavior (2011)
Article: Creative Climate: A Leadership Lever for Innovation
Authors: Scott G. Isaksen & Hans J. Akkermans
Reviewed By: Scott Charles Sitrin

151163Earlier this year, Marissa Mayer, the former Google employee and current Yahoo CEO, ordered employees who were working from home to now work in the office in an attempt to foster more innovation within the company.  This raises the question: what fosters innovation?  According to Mayer and likely based on her previous experience at Google, in-office attendance is key, and according to research by Isaksen and Akkermans, another relevant variable could be climate, which refers to the overall workplace environment.

Isaksen and Akkermans administered surveys to 140 respondents from 103 organizations and 31 industries, and these surveys had participants assess their work climate and the level of innovation of their companies.  Innovation was measured by participants’ responses to three questions graded on a four-point-Likert scale, and sample questions included “We are successful in implementing new ideas to obtain results in my work unit” and “In general, my organization has been successful at innovation.” The Situational Outlook Questionnaire (SOQ) assessed climate, and it looks at the levels of involvement, autonomy, trust, idea-time, playfulness, conflict, idea-support, debate, and risk taking within a work environment.  Results indicated that workplaces with good climates had higher levels of innovation.

Isaksen, S. G. & Akkermans, H. J. (2011). Creative Climate: A Leadership Lever for Innovation. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 45 (3), 161-187.

human resource management, organizational industrial psychology, organizational management





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