Emotional intelligence as an antecedent to innovation championing behavior and the moderating effects of cultural tightness--looseness
University of Wisconsin - Whitewater
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Champions make critical contributions to innovation by neutralizing resistance and orchestrating the effort and resources necessary to advance promising concepts to fully realized products (Howell & Higgins, 1990a). Research has found that successful innovation outcomes are closely correlated to the incidence of specific championing behaviors (e.g., Howell, 2005; A. Taylor, Cocklin, Brown, & Wilson-Evered, 2011; Yams, 2016). The likelihood of achieving successful outcomes is proportional to the degree and frequency with which these behaviors manifest (e.g., van Laere & Aggestam, 2016; A. Walter, Parboteeah, Riesenhuber, & Hoegl, 2011). This information is valuable in determining which individuals to empower or promote when prior information about an individual’s capacity and propensity for these behaviors exists. However, no research has addressed the challenges of managers who wish to hire individuals with championing potential from a pool of unknown applicants when there is no history with which to predict potential for championing behaviors nor sufficient information to gauge the degree to which this potential exists. Organizations with more effective champions are better suited to exploit opportunities in the marketplace and capitalize upon them, making champion selection arguably one of the most important organizational undertakings (Barczak, 1995). Yet a priori selection of champions in practice remains an ambiguous task because indicators of the behaviors that characterize higher performing champions remain unidentified and largely unexplored through empirical examination (Shea & Belden, 2016). This research addresses this gap in two parts. The first part examined emotional intelligence (EI) as an antecedent to innovation championing behavior (ICB). Drawing upon Penrose’s (1959) resource-based view, I developed propositions about the characteristics of effective champions and the influence of EI on ICB. The second part explored how dimensions of national culture influence the relationship between EI and ICB through the lens of Gelfand, Nishii, and Raver’s (2006) multi-level theory of cultural tightness–looseness. Given the proposed contingency between EI and ICB and an understanding that individual expressions of behavior can vary greatly within and across cultures (Steers & Sánchez-Runde, 2017; Triandis, 1994), the moderating effect of TL on the EI–ICB relationship was examined producing empirically validated insights useful in practice.
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