Abstract

Innovation events, such as the introduction of a digital innovation platform, offer employees the opportunity to take part in the innovation development processes within organizations. Although employees’ integration in these processes often fails due to discrepancies between the organizational and the employees’ values, which cause great concern to organizations, the effects of innovation events on employees’ innovation awareness (IA) are largely left unobserved. Drawing from construal-level-theory and IA literature we develop a model proposing that IA can increase because of a lower temporal, social, spatial, or hypothetical distance towards innovation events. Besides extending the understanding of how employees perceive innovation (events), which triggers IA depending on the perceived proximity or distance, we provide recommendations for organizations’ innovation communication by advising to manipulate distance dimensions to increase IA. Further, we also offer new explanations for employees’ adoption of technologies that only support extra-role tasks.

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It is Hard Being Innovative from a Safe Distance – Theoretical Conceptualization about Innovation Awareness and Psychological Distance

Innovation events, such as the introduction of a digital innovation platform, offer employees the opportunity to take part in the innovation development processes within organizations. Although employees’ integration in these processes often fails due to discrepancies between the organizational and the employees’ values, which cause great concern to organizations, the effects of innovation events on employees’ innovation awareness (IA) are largely left unobserved. Drawing from construal-level-theory and IA literature we develop a model proposing that IA can increase because of a lower temporal, social, spatial, or hypothetical distance towards innovation events. Besides extending the understanding of how employees perceive innovation (events), which triggers IA depending on the perceived proximity or distance, we provide recommendations for organizations’ innovation communication by advising to manipulate distance dimensions to increase IA. Further, we also offer new explanations for employees’ adoption of technologies that only support extra-role tasks.