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African Journal of Business Management Vol. 6(24), pp. 7329-7343, 20 June, 2012 Available online at http://www.academicjournals.org/AJBM DOI: 10.5897/AJBM11.

3032 ISSN 1993-8233 2012 Academic Journals

Full Length Research Paper

The impact of antecedents supporting organizational innovation on employees psychological empowerment: An empirical study of Saudi and Jordanian industrial corporations
Abdullah A. Al Zahrani1, Ahmad M. Zamil1*, Ahmad Y. M. Oraiqat2 and Nidal Alsalhi2

Faculty of Administrative Science, Riyadh Community College, King Saud University, P. O. Box 28095, Riyadh 11437, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 2 Business Administration Department, Faculty of Financial and Administrative Science, Al-Ahliyya Amman University, Amman, Jordan.
Accepted 2 March, 2012

Various antecedents support the adoption of organizational innovation. Despite the extensive research on innovations, research focusing on how these antecedents affect psychological empowerment has remained thin. The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of six antecedents supporting organizational innovation (employee participation, training and development, organizational culture, incentives, leadership pattern, and teamwork) on the four constructs of psychological empowerment (meaningfulness, competence, self-determination, and impact). Based on prior research, the study develops a number of testable hypotheses. It examines how employee participation, training and development, organizational culture, incentives, leadership pattern, and teamwork influence employees' psychological empowerment. The paper uses multiple regressions analyses and empirically tests these hypotheses using a sample of 249 employees working at Jordanian and Saudi industrial corporations. The result shows that all six antecedents of organizational innovation are positively related to psychological empowerment. In addition, 67.2% of the variation in employees psychological empowerment is explained by the six antecedents of organizational innovation. This empirical study reflects the need to strengthen different organizational innovation's antecedents capabilities to achieve an adequate level of employees' psychological empowerment and thus improve performance and foster innovation. Key words: Organizational innovation, physiological empowerment, industrial corporations, Jordan, Saudi Arabia. INTRODUCTION The rapid and complex changes in the environment of organizations cut across economic, political, technological, social, and cultural aspects. However, Some of these changes are caused by fierce competition, revolution in information technology, globalization, free market economies, erosion of resources, and emergence of competitive advantages. Since Jordan and Saudi Arabia are part of the global environment, their organizations are influenced and affected by these changes. These two Arab countries are experiencing different environmental changes, affecting their public and private organizations alike, and this requires of the organizations working at these two countries to adapt and cope with these accelerated changes, in order to continue growing and survive. Adopting contemporary practices such as empowerment

*Corresponding author. E-mail: drahmad764@yahoo.com.


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and innovation, where organization recognized that empowered employees are the difference between success and failure in the long term (Brown and Harvey, 2006), become a vital responsibility of modern organization to grow and survive. In light of recent developments and approaches in human resource management, human resource becomes an organizational strategic asset and a source of sustainable competitive advantage. This new perspective shifts management attentions toward creating an appropriate working climate and conditions that tend to exploit the maximum of such considerable resource. Many contemporary organizations in industrial and developed countries turn their management practices toward empowerment and innovation as means for such exploitation. Empowerment is a philosophy of giving more responsibilities and decision-making power even greater for individuals at the lower levels, whereas innovation is the industry of the future; it comes a new idea that creates new area of research, it comes the new product that creates a new demand for it, and it comes a new market which drives the industry and the economy towards a higher level of development. In general, there are two main trends for empowering employees in the working environment: communicational and motivational stimulus (Caudron, 1995). Communicational trend refers to the process that takes place from top to bottom. In this trend empowerment requires sharing of authority and power between the top levels in the organizational structure and the lower levels. Thus, empowerment practices will include job enrichment, self-management team and independence work teams. On the other hand, the trend of motivational stimulus focuses on the employees' attitudes and perceptions toward the empowerment processes, which appear in the efficiency, confidence in the ability to perform tasks, a sense of the ability to influence at work, freedom of choice in how to perform tasks, and feeling the sense of action. Innovation in general and the organizational innovation particularly play an important role in the life of societies in public and private business environments and at various levels, whether individual, massive or institutional. Emphasizing that some believe that innovation is no longer an optional status at this time to lead business organizations but has become an imperative condition for them to adapt with this reality and achieve success (Jawad, 2000). LITERATURE REVIEW The world undergoes tremendous developments in various aspects of life in unpredictable way, which

imposes on organizations to foster innovation, as a way and method of practice. Some of these developments are: changes in the competitive environment, increasing environmental developments and severe challenges and pressures, openness of the world together as a result of globalization and the information revolution, and new global transformations (Harem, 2004). Modern organizations recognize that the individual is the only regulatory element that absorbs new concepts and ideas that help to exploit the opportunities and challenges posed by new environmental conditions to achieve competitive advantage. The continuity of competitive advantage depends on organization's ability to lead the human element with modern and advanced techniques that contains, mainly trying to change the mindset of the organization towards the employees first and second influence the mental situation of employees to reach with them to the level of achieving their empowerment. Antecedents of organizational innovation In the book, Lesan Al-Arab, written by Ibn-Manthoor, the definition of innovation was given in terms of Al-Ebdae which is anything that is created for the first time. AlEbdae is one of the names given to God because he is the first one that created and brought about the innovation of anything (Ibn-Manthoor, 2008). All the Arabic dictionaries have agreed that innovation means the creation of something and building it in a different way from its original state. Harrison and Samson (2002) defined innovation as to generate and apply new and innovative ideas that applied by and put into practice; their classification based on its association with the product; any new or improved products and new processes. Innovation idea means the idea that attracts attention, and satisfies others needs in different manners. It is also the idea that is applicable in a way that allows the selection and availability of items and allows measuring its effectiveness; it means the idea was not consistent with the values and rules, and can be applicable with available method (Al-Maani et al., 2011). Damanpour (1991) defines innovation as, the adoption of an internally generated or purchased device, system, policy, program, process, product, or service that is new to the adopting organization. Rogers (1995) defines innovation as "an idea, practice, or object that is perceived as new by an individual or other unit of adoption, the perceived newness of the idea for the individual determines his or her reaction to it. If the idea is new to the individual, it is an innovation". Thus, innovation is the process of developing and implementing a new idea. Organizational innovations depends on internal factors such as the organizations innovative capability, size and

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structure, learning orientation and strategic orientation and external factors such as network of partners, external communication and the industrial environment in which the company is located (Oskarsson, 2003). According to Romijn and Albaladejos (2002), innovation depends first of all on the knowledge and skills brought into the organization by the entrepreneur(s) and workforce, which they obtained through earlier experience. A set of attributes should be available in the innovator; the most important are: 1. Inventors tend to be need orientation and "lacking resources" find it pays to develop with customer demand, approach potential customers early and adapt designs rapidly (Quinn, 1985). 2. Higher general intelligence, information storage, and recall and analysis (Adair, 1990). 3. A high degree of independence and self-sufficiency (Adair, 1990) 4. Autonomy of judgment and resilience to peer pressure on conformity in thinking (Adair, 1990). 5. Capable of holding many ideas together in creative tension without making a premature resolution of ambiguity and sometimes providing synthesis from disparate notions (Adair, 1990). At organizational level, Amabile (1990) describes three major categories as obstacles and stimulants to creativity and innovation at work: (1) factors of organizational climate or corporate culture, such as attitudes towards innovation and risk taking, organizational structures, evaluation systems, communication channels, and reward procedures; (2) factors of management style, both at the level of the organization or division and at the level of the individual project; and (3) resources, including resources of materials, money, people and time. From the foregoing discussion, it seems that innovation needs a set of requirements to take place, especially in behalf of individuals. In addition, innovation is knowledge oriented, and efficient processes to quickly introduce new products and adapt new processes are necessary for a firm to sustain its competitive advantage (Barney, 1991). It can therefore be argued that efficient procedure, systems and structure for knowledge integration are important antecedents to innovativeness (Oskarsson, 2003). There are many prerequisites for enhancing and supporting innovation in organizations. Some of these prerequisites or antecedents are: Employee's participation Employee participation and involvement in the organizational innovation drive can create new opportunities for employees' ideas to be implemented, thereby increasing the overall employee satisfaction index within the

organization. So it becomes imperative to plan out strategies that can foster this kind of employee involvement and participation in the organizational decision making process (Haapaniemi and Seppnen, 2008). According to Lawler (1990), improved, more innovative and efficient work methods and procedures (less resistance to new methods may result, and the problemsolving process may produce innovations) are the most important benefits of participative management. Kanter (1982) indicates that a participatory work environment is theoretically more effective at fostering innovations than traditional bureaucratic structures. Denison (1990) provides empirical evidence that higher levels of employee participation are correlated with better organizational performance in term of innovation. Training and development Innovation requires knowledge skills that are difficult to acquire purely from external recruitment. This is due to the rapidity of change associated with innovation requires upgrading of the existing workforce. Training and development processes can be used to enhance motivation and confidence to innovate, as well as to develop creative thinking skills (Birdi, 2003). The process of stimulating innovation is fundamentally based on building the intellectual capital within the organization that will yield the competencies and capabilities for improved performance (Roffe, 1999). In this respect, the process of employees' training and development has a central role. However, in assessing the full implications of training and development on innovation, it seems that they are interlinked to each other. According to Bauernschuster's et al. (2008) empirical study, successful innovation depends on both incumbent workers knowledge, based on experience, and knowledge about the latest technologies, along with the skills needed to implement them. Both of these knowledge-based elements of innovation can be attained through continuous training. Organizational culture By establishing a learning culture, organizations are exposing their workforce to a greater variety of stimuli, developing the motivation of individuals to learn new things and developing their knowledge and skills to work with new innovations (Axtell et al., 2000). Amabile (1998) mentioned that innovation demand that the organizational culture encourages the freest expression and the open exhibition of ideas. Although, the literature on organizational culture and innovation is not extensive, there have been some high-quality and influential pieces of research by a number of scholars (McLean, 2005;


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Oldham and Cummings, 1996). These research indicate that organizational culture play an important role in fostering the organizational innovation (Amabile et al., 1996; Kanter, 1988; Tesluk et al., 1997; Martin, 2002). Tushmann and OReilly (1997) point out those successful organizations have the capacity to absorb innovation into the organizational culture and management processes and that organizational culture lies at the heart of organizational innovation. Incentives Providing employees with rewards for their innovation activities is an important issue. At some level employees need to be acknowledged for their efforts and rewards can take many forms apart from the financial aspects. For example, recognition from immediate managers, public recognition in company newsletters or certificates of achievement can also be valued by employees. This type of intrinsic motivation can be developed by encouraging employees to explore ideas they find personally exciting, reinforcing feelings of personal competence and creating an environment where people can freely exchange ideas and explore areas of mutual interest (Alkrioti, 2003). Organizations are expected to become innovative not only by employing individuals who have the capacity to contribute key innovations but also by rewarding those individualsthat is, by adopting performance-based incentive systems that encourage the development of new products and services (Holmstrom, 1989). Thus, employees may be more willing to contribute new ideas if they expect to reap some of the gains that these ideas generate for their organizations. According to Andersson et al. (2009), highly skilled individuals will tend to be attracted to firms that provide appropriate rewards for their efforts to innovate; otherwise, they will become entrepreneurs and commercially exploit their own projects (Zenger, 1994). Cano and Cano (2006) address this concern by studying the impact of both pay and promotion on the innovation performance of Spanish firms. They find that performance-based pay and promotion for R&D employees is positively related to innovation. Leadership pattern Leaders should understand and develop the behavior patterns that drive innovation forward for all of the people that work for, with, and near him/her. Researchers indicate that most of the statistical variance in the climate for innovation in an organization is directly related to the behaviors of the leader of that organization (Kanter, 1983; Peters and Waterman, 1982). Leaders affect innovation through their use of innovation enablers such as leadership systems, organization design, competencies

and networks. As motivators or architects, they use these innovation enablers to create an appropriate organizational environment or context (Munshi et al., 2010). In a study of 136 primary care teams, Somech (2006) find that participative leadership style is positively associated with team innovation. Teamwork The team work for innovation is posited to have a direct, positive relationship with individual innovative behavior (Hurley, 1995). More specifically, it was found that work team foster innovation. The best atmosphere for creative and innovative work seems to be that in which people has the opportunity to get to know each other and work as a team. Montes et al. (2005) find that teamwork cohesion promotes organizational innovation. Therefore, organizational contexts, processes, and systems can play a significant role in fostering or hindering innovation (Zahra et al., 2000) especially when the organization represents formal knowledge integration and the intellectual capital as bases in its social relations (Nahapiet and Ghoshal, 1998). This study uses the aforementioned antecedents of organizational innovation as independent variables. Employee empowerment The terminology empowerment had its root in the Islamic religious. It is mentioned in the Holy Quran in 16 Ayahs of 12 Sura by eight different sayings which are: those empowered, empowered you, empowered, empowered on them, whom who empowers, empowered me, empowering and empowerment (Al-Tabari, 2001). In modern civilization, this terminology was rooted recently, as a response to radical political and social changes. Empowerment, as an organizational development strategy, has its roots in earlier ideas like Douglas McGregors Theory Y and participative management. It has been kicked around a lot lately in business circles; it came up in 1990s as one of the new management concepts (Hanold, 1997). Empowerment can be defined as "giving more authority to weak employees in an organization to manage their work" (Pearson and Chatterjee, 1996). According to Foster et al. (1995), empowerment is the process of bringing an individual or a group to a position that he/she can affect events and the results (Hanold, 1997). Besterfield et al. (2003) sees that empowerment is an investment stock of potential and existing employees and different experiences. Through empowerment, organization can use of the potentials of employees that may appear in the form of new innovations and creativity; and rehabilitate the second row of employees to replace

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the first row (Mustafa, 2004). Therefore, employee's empowerment is the concept of enabling subordinates to have the authority and capacity to make decisions and to act for the organization in order to improve both individual motivation and organizational productivity (Elmuti, 1997). The accumulation of knowledge resulting from the study of the multiple-dimension nature of empowerment led to the emergence of several trends in investigating this phenomenon. Contemporary management scholars and practitioners have used two different perspectives to study and understand empowerment, these perspectives are: structural and psychological perspectives. Structural perspective is a macro approach focuses on practices that delegate authority and facilitate the movement of force or power from higher levels of the managerial pyramid to the lowest levels. According to Conger and Kanungo (1988), the focus of this perspective is on sharing power throughout a system, where power is conceptualized as having formal authority or control over organizational resources. On the other hand, psychological empowerment perspective is a micro approach that focuses on the psychological well-being of the individual, which enabling or enhancing personal efficacy (Conger and Kanungo, 1988). Both perspectives played an important role in the evolution theory of empowerment (Spreitzer, 1995, 1996, 1997). In sum, structural empowerment refers to power based on the employee's position in the organization, while psychological empowerment consists of the fundamental personal convictions that employees have about their role in the organization (Knol and van Linge, 2009). Psychological empowerment, which is the main focus of this study, concerns about the psychological situation of the individual rather than social construction or management practices, to sense the individual feeling of control over his work. In contrast to the social-structural perspective which equated empowerment with the force distribution on all levels, psychological empowerment perspective focuses on employees' reorganization of their work, and their beliefs about their roles and their relationship with their organizations (Spreitzer, 2007). According to Spreitzer (1995), the psychological perspective for empowerment is comprised of four constructs as follows: Meaningfulness: This construct of empowerment expresses the value of the task goal or purpose, judged in relation to the individuals own ideas or standards; the individuals intrinsic caring about a given task (Thomas and Velthouse, 1990). In this context, it can be said that meaningfulness means that people energetically feel their work is important to them, and they care about what they are doing.

Competence This second construct of empowerment refers to the degree to which a person can perform task activities skillfully when he or she tries (Thomas and Velthouse, 1990). This dimension of empowerment is analogous to Banduras (1997) notion of self-efficacy or personal mastery. In this context, competence means that people are confident about their ability to do their work well, and they know they can perform. Self-determination This third construct of empowerment refers to the individuals sense of having a choice of initiating and regulating actions and ones own work (Deci et al., 1989). In addition, Liden and Tewksbury (1995) describe degree of choice in the work setting as the crux of empowerment. Simply, this construct is similar to employees' internal locus of control. People with a strong internal locus of control believe that events in their lives are determined more by their own actions than by chance or fate (Rotter, 1966). Impact This construct shows the degree to which an individual can influence strategic, administrative, or operating outcomes at work (Ashforth, 1989), or the degree to which behavior is seen as making a difference in terms of accomplishing the purpose of the task, that is, producing intended effects in ones task environment (Thomas and Velthouse, 1990). Generally speaking, this means that people believe they can have influence in their work unit; others listen to their ideas. Spreitzer (1997) argues that these dimensions are not predictors or outcomes of empowerment but rather comprise its very essence. Whereas individual as well as group and organizational characteristics influenced feelings of empowerment, group and organizational variables accounted for more variance in empowerment than did the individual variables (Koberg et al., 1999, Liden and Arad, 1996). Using structural equation modeling, Chiang and Jang's (2008) study supports the conclusion that leadership has a positive, direct effect on trust and organizational culture, which are important antecedents related positively to psychological empowerment constructs. The study also suggests that self-determination in psychological empowerment has a significant effect on job satisfaction and is related to organizational commitment. The findings of Beomcheol and Thomas's (2005) study reveal that leader-management exchange has a statistically significant positive relationship with psychological


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empowerment as well as its dimensions (attitude and influence). Yukl and Becker (2006) summarize the facilitating conditions for effective empowerment based on the findings in the research applied on representative organizations in many industries that embrace principles of employee empowerment. Table 1 summarizes these conditions. It is also found by Bowen and Lawler (1995) that employee empowerment is a function of organization practices that distribute power, information, knowledge, and rewards down throughout the organization. The authors indicate that, the empowerment equation is: Empowerment = Power Information Knowledge Rewards. A multiplication sign, rather than a plus, indicates that if any of the four elements is zero, nothing happens to redistribute that ingredient, and empowerment will be zero. They also indicate that empowered organization needs intensive employees' training efforts to establish the practice of empowerment. In addition, the teamwork is an essential element to enhance employee's' empowerment and to obtain the desired results (Gandz, 1990). In Jordanian context, the results of Melhem's (2005) study are in congruence with many other previous studies (Spreitzer, 1995; Bowen and Lawler, 1992, 1995) advocating the empowerment scheme and the underlying advantages of the empowerment concept. The findings of Melhem's (2005) study suggests that empowerment can be enhanced and developed after making sure that employees acquire the necessary skill and knowledge, the current and the updated information and the updated communication between management and their employees are appropriately set, and good reward and incentive systems which compensate employees for their proactively and responsibly are appropriately developed. In Saudi context, Abu-Hetlah (2009) finds that organizational policies have a significant impact on employees' empowerment. These policies are mainly related to organizational objectives and support, labor relations, incentives, promotion, and performance appraisal. He also recommend that Saudi organizations need to encourage the participation of subordinates in the performance evaluation by superiors, because of its positive impact in improving employees' performance and focus on empowering employees by involving them in decision-making and promote the principle of teamwork. Empowerment has become an increasingly important factor in predicting innovative behavior. Most of the previous research indicates that there is a positive relationship between psychological empowerment and innovative behavior. In their study, Knol and Linge (2009) find that structural and psychological empowerment are statistically significant predictors of innovative behavior. Informal power and impact are the most relevant

determinants of innovative behavior, the latter the strongest. In addition, Bashabshah (2008) find that empowerment has a significant impact in promoting organizational innovation in Jordanian business context. In summary, according to the researchers' best knowledge, the literature reviewed to date reflects no direct research investigate the impact of the antecedents supporting organizational innovation on employees' psychological empowerment. Thus, the main purpose of this research will be to remedy the literatures shortcomings especially in the Arab context. STUDY PROBLEM AND PURPOSES The subject of innovation and empowerment are considered as new management practices that do not receive the required attention from Arab scholars and researchers, despite the fact that these two subjects are suitable for all organizations in various circumstances. Consequently, the present study attempts to verify the impact of antecedents that support organizational innovation to achieve state of mind for employees in addition to reach to the state of adoption, and prepare employees to take responsibility and decision-making. The purpose of the study can be achieved by answering the following questions: 1. What are the main antecedents supporting organizational innovation at Saudi and Jordanian industrial corporations? 2. What is the level of psychological empowerment of employees at Saudi and Jordanian industrial corporations? 3. Is there any impact of antecedents supporting organizational innovation on employees' psychological empowerment at Saudi and Jordanian industrial corporations? 4. Is there any statistically significant difference between Saudi and Jordanian industrial corporations in the extent of providing supporting antecedents of innovativeness? 5. Is there any statistically significant difference between Saudi and Jordanian industrial corporations in the level of psychological empowerment of their employees? STUDY IMPORTANCE As organizations face an era of turbulent change, the introduction of innovation as a form of organizational change has become important. This form of change cannot be occurred in hazard manner. Managers need to evaluate their organizational policies and processes to determine if they are working effectively to enhance and foster organizational innovation, and to determine, if any, improvement need to be made.

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The importance of this study emerges from the lack of previous research in the Arab business context regarding the impact of some of organizational innovation's antecedents on employees' psychological empowerment, which is in return increase awareness of management at Saudi and Jordanian industrial corporations to insure the required antecedents that enhance organizational innovation and employees' psychological empowerment. STUDY HYPOTHESES The study sought to test the following major hypothesis: "There is a statistically significant impact of antecedents supporting organizational innovation on employees' psychological empowerment." This hypothesis is subdivided by the following hypotheses: 1. There is a statistically significant impact of employees' participation on employees' psychological empowerment. 2. There is a statistically significant impact of training and development on employees' psychological empowerment. 3. There is a statistically significant impact of organizational culture on employees' psychological empowerment. 4. There is a statistically significant impact of incentives on employees' psychological empowerment. 5. There is a statistically significant impact of leadership pattern on psychological empowerment. 6. There is a statistically significant impact of team work on psychological empowerment. Figure 1 shows the study model in term of independent and dependent variables. PRACTICAL VARIABLES DEFINITIONS OF THE STUDY

As employees feel themselves as part of the organization, this gives them a sense of responsibility toward objectives achievement (Alkotamin, 2002). Training and development They are planned and organized efforts to provide the organization's human resources with specific knowledge, and improve and develop their skills and capacities, and change their behavior and trends into positive structuring. Organizational culture It is a system of values and beliefs shared and interacted by members of the organization, such as management philosophy, values and visions, regulations, laws, and technology within the organization (Brown and Harvey, 2006). Incentives One of the promotional activities or policies where management use to push employees toward achieving something particular, such as innovation, winning or best performance (Alkrioti, 2003). Leadership pattern A method or self-orientation style adopted by the manager to lead his/her subordinates, and gets them to perform the task. This antecedent varies according to the manager himself and the degree of his/her interest in the human element, performance and production (Cherrington et al., 2001). Teamwork It means formulated or temporarily organized group of individuals selected by their subordinates, so that they have the necessary skills and capacity of addressing the problem or to complete a job or specific task, in order to improve the quality of services and goods produced (Bacon and Blyt, 2003). Employee's psychological empowerment

Supporting antecedents of organizational innovation These are the practices used or adopted by management to support and stimulate employees' innovative activities (the ability to find new things that may be unusual in behavior or ideas or solutions, products or services or efficient ways and methods of work developed by managements adoption, or their support through innovative activities). Their measurement will be through the following antecedents: Participation It means the process of involving employees in the various activities and events undertaken by the organization.

It is an essential internal motivation that is measured by number of perceptions that reflect the attitudes of individuals towards their tasks in their jobs. These perceptions are (Spreitzer et al., 1997):


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Figure 1. Study model.

Meaningfulness It is a fit between the needs of one's work role and one's beliefs, values and behaviors (Hackman and Oldham, 1980). Competence It means the individual awareness of being able to carry out his/her work successfully with high skills based on experience, skills and knowledge. Self-determination It means the understanding of the individual that he or she has the freedom to choose ways of carrying out his/her work.

selection of sample members based on easy availability and accessibility (Passmore and Baker, 2005). After exploring 60 Jordanian and Saudi industrial corporations based on personal contacts, the final target corporations were selected. The number of industrial corporations that participated in this study was twenty from Jordan and ten from Saudi Arabia. Subjects for this study were Jordanian and Saudi employees who: (1) were not an executive, (2) had worked at the corporation for more than one year, and (3) agreed to complete the survey. Three hundred survey questionnaires were distributed; two hundreds for Jordanian employees and one hundred for Saudi one, and 253 were collected. The final response rate was 83% (249), after 10 unusable responses (3.3%) were identified. Measurement The instruments in this study included the antecedents supporting organizational innovation (Employee participation, training and development, organizational culture, incentives, leadership pattern, and teamwork) and the dimensions of psychological empowerment (meaningfulness, competence, self-determination, and impact). In this study, the researchers developed a questionnaire to measure the antecedents supporting organizational innovation. This questionnaire consists of four subscales, including employee participation (4 items), training and development (4 items), organizational culture (4 items), incentives (4 items), and teamwork (4 items). To measure psychological empowerment, this study used the instrument developed and validated by Spreitzer (1995). The twelve items of Spreitzer's (1995) instrument consist of four subscales: meaningfulness (3 items), competence (3 items), self-determination (3 items), and impact (3 items). Lickert Points Fifth Rating Scale was used in order to instruct the respondents to tick either strongly disagree which is rated as 1 point, disagree rated as 2 points, neutral' rated as 3 points, agree rated as 4 points, strongly agree' rated as 5 points. Table 2 presents the information of the reliability of the two instruments in this study. All coefficients exceed the minimum requirement of 0.70.

Impact It means recognition of the individual that he or she has an effect on the decisions taken and policies established by the organization of its work.
STUDY METHODOLOGY Study population and sample The population of this study composes of Saudi and Jordanian industrial corporations registered in their stocks' exchange markets. The total number of Jordanian industrial corporations is 69, while the total number of Saudi industrial corporations is 39. Multiple corporations contacted by the researchers were selected through convenience sampling. Convenience sampling, as the most common sampling method in quantitative studies, involves the

Respondent's profile (demographic information) The instrument for this study included additional items to measure

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Table 1. Facilitating conditions for empowerment.

Condition Organizational structure

Unfavorable Highly centralized and formal structure; low cost, standard product or service. Reliable, efficient operations that do not allow mistakes; internal politics, criticism of new ideas; destructive internal competition; avoidance of risk; or an overemphasis on the status quo. Simple, repetitive tasks with technology dictating workflow; brief customer transactions that take place in a short time interval. Resources are scarce or non-existent

Favorable Decentralized and low formalization; customized product or service. Flexibility, learning, and participation; fair, constructive judgment of ideas; reward and recognition; mechanisms for developing new ideas; an active flow of ideas; and shared vision. Complex, non-routine and challenging tasks; flexible technology; repeated customer interactions in a continuing relationship. Access to appropriate resources, funds, materials, facilities, and information. Employees are shareholders or co-owners or otherwise invested in the organizations success. Employees with high need for achievement; high self confidence and self efficacy; and an internal locus of control orientation. Employees have freedom in deciding what work to do and how to do it; employees have a sense of control over work. High Elected by team members. Leaders serve as role models, set appropriate goals, support the work group, value individual contributions, and show confidence in employees.

Organizational culture

Job design

Access to resources Employee rewards and ownership Employee traits and skills

None or very little Low achievement motivation; low self confidence; and an external locus of control orientation. Employees lack freedom in deciding how work is done and lack control over their work Low Appointed by management. Leaders do not model empowering behaviors.

Autonomy Mutual trust Leader selection Leaders as role models

Source: Yukl and Becker (2006).

four demographic variables to describe the sample, including age, education, hierarchical position, and tenure, solely for the purpose of describing the respondents. As shown in Table 3, most respondents were less than 40 years old (66.6%) and in a non-managerial position (49%). In terms of educational level, 44.6% of the respondents had a bachelor degree. Responses from the (5 to 15 years) experience category formed almost 49%.

RESULTS Descriptive statistics Antecedents of organizational innovation Results of surveying the independent variables of

the research by statistical universe average test are shown in Table 4. As can be seen from Table 4, industrial corporations surveyed in the two countries are in a befitting state regarding the antecedents supporting their innovativeness. On the other hand, organizational culture and teamwork as


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Table 2. Reliability of Measurement Instruments.

Constructs Antecedents supporting organizational innovation Employee participation Training and development Organizational culture Incentives Leadership pattern Teamwork Psychological empowerment Meaningfulness Competence Self-determination Impact

Items 24 4 4 4 4 4 4 12 3 3 3 3

Cronbach's alpha coefficients () 0.94 0.91 0.94 0.93 0.91 0.90 0.88 0.89 0.91 0.87 0.93 0.88

Table 3. Demographic Information. Variables Categories Less than 29 years 30-39 years 40-49 years More than 50 years High school or less Two years college Bachelor Higher studies (Deputy) Senior Manager Manager/Assistant Manager Non-management employee Less than 5 years 5-15 years More than 15 years Total Frequency Percent (%) 92 74 55 28 43 80 111 15 19 40 68 122 68 121 60 36.9 29.7 22.1 11.3 17.3 32.1 44.6 6 7.6 16.1 27.3 49 27.3 48.6 24.1 Jordanian (N = 163) Frequency Percent (%) 63 53 32 15 16 60 77 10 12 27 52 72 43 82 38 25.3 21.3 12.9 6.1 6.4 24.1 30.9 4 4.8 10.9 20.9 28.9 17.3 32.9 15.3 Saudi (N = 86) Frequency Percent (%) 29 21 23 13 27 20 34 5 7 13 16 50 25 39 22 11.6 8.4 9.2 5.2 10.9 8 13.7 2 2.8 5.2 6.4 20.1 10 15.7 8.8





Table 4. Descriptive statistics for research independent variables.

Variable Antecedents supporting organizational innovation 1- Employee participation 2-Training and development 3- Organizational culture 4- Incentives 5- Leadership pattern 6- Teamwork
*H0: = 3.

Means 3.50 3.42 3.83 3.07 3.63 4.01 3.01

Standard deviation 0.503 0.541 0.835 0.669 0.741 0.708 0.818

Significant level <0.001 0.032 <0.001 <0.001 <0.001 0.006 0.009

Variable status* Good Good Good Medium Good Good Medium

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Table 5. Descriptive statistics for research dependent variables.

Variable Psychological empowerment Meaningfulness Competence Self-determination Impact

*H0: = 3.

Means 3.94 3.87 4.12 4 3.76

Standard deviation 0.613 0.606 0.551 0.673 0.549

Significant level <0.001 <0.001 <0.001 <0.001 <0.001

Variable status* Good Good Good Good Good

Table 6. Simple regression analysis (psychological empowerment).

Model Constant Standardized coefficient () R R2 F-Value Sig (2-tailed) Durbin Watson

Value 0.879 0.759 0.759 0.576 334.98 0.000** 1.42

t 1.083 18.302

Sig (2-tailed) 0.072 0.002**

supporting variables are in a medial state. According to this result, leadership pattern and training and development, and incentives are the main antecedents that supporting organizational innovation in then surveyed corporations. Psychological empowerment constructs Results of surveying the dependent variables of the research by descriptive statistical universe average test are shown in Table 5. As can be seen from Table 5, psychological empowerment and all of it constructs are in a befitting state. This result indicates that survey corporations management is aware about the importance of these constructs and their role in enhancing employees' performance. Descriptive statistics Testing of hypotheses To test the research main hypothesis, simple regression analysis was carried out. Table 6 displays the results of this analysis. The Table shows that there is a positive and strong relationship between the research independent and dependent variables (R=0.759). Thus, if the level of antecedents supporting organizational

innovation increase, then psychological empowerment will increase. In addition, the research model is significant (F = 334.98; p < 0.01). The F-Value of 334.98 which is high indicates the explanatory power of the model. The R2 value of 0.576 indicates that 57.6% of the variation in employees perceptions of psychological empowerment is explained by the level of antecedents supporting organizational innovation. Their lack of auto-correlation problem in their research model can be seen from the value of Durbin-Watson (DW=1.42) which is within the acceptable range [1.5 to 2.5]. From the model, it was found that the impact of antecedents supporting organizational innovation on employees' psychological empowerment is significant (=0.759, t=18.302; p<0.01). Thus, the main hypothesis of this research which states that "there is a statistically significant impact of antecedents supporting organizational innovation on employees' psychological empowerment" is supported. In order to test each of the research's sub-hypotheses, the multiple regression analysis was carried out on each of the independent variables (employee participation, training and development, organizational culture, incentives, leadership pattern, and teamwork) with psychological empowerment as the dependent variable. Table 7 shows the main findings of such analysis. Table 7 shows that the model is significant, with F2 Value of 82.781. The R value of 0.672 indicates that 67.2% of the variation in employees psychological empowerment is explained by the six antecedents of


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Table 7. Multiple regression analysis.

Model Constant (0.387) Employee participation Training and development Organizational culture Incentives Leadership pattern Teamwork 2 R F-Value Durbin Watson

Standardized coefficient () 0.240 0.564 0.181 0.143 0.137 0.102 0.672 82.781** 1.79

t 1.943 3.813 11.038 2.904 1.963 3.592 2.674

Sig. (2-tailed) 0.047* 0.000** 0.000** 0.003** 0.040* 0.000** 0.008**

Dependent variable: Psychological empowerment. ** p < 0.01. *p < 0.05.

organizational innovation. The Durbin-Watson index (DW = 1.79) for this model indicates that there is no autocorrelation problem. From the previous model, we found that all of six antecedents of organizational innovation are significant: employee participation (=0.240, t=3.813; p<0.01); training and development (=0.564, t=11.038; p<0.01); organizational culture (=0.181, t=2.904; p<0.01); incentives (=0.143, t=1.963; p<0.05); leadership pattern (=0.137, t=3.592; p<0.01); and teamwork (=0.102, t=2.674; p<0.01). Thus all research's sub hypotheses are supported. This showed that all of these antecedents were important predicators for employees' psychological empowerment. In addition, training and development followed by employee participation are the most important antecedents to enhance the level of employees' psychological empowerment. In addition to previous results, the study aims to investigate the difference (if found) between Jordanian and Saudi industrial corporations by answering the following two questions: 1. Is there any statistically significant difference between Saudi and Jordanian industrial corporations in the extent of providing supporting antecedents of innovativeness? 2. Is there any statistically significant difference between Saudi and Jordanian industrial corporations in the level of psychological empowerment of their employees? In order to test these difference (if found), independentsamples T test was conducted. The results of this test are shown in Table 8. As can be seen, Table 8 shows that there is no significant differences in the scores of both Jordanian and Saudi corporations when compared regarding the two research independent and dependent variables, with antecedents supporting organizational innovation of Jordanian corporations (M=3.44, SD=0.462) and Saudi corporations with M=4.06, SD=0.528; with t=0.487 (equal

variances assumed), p=0.607 (two-tailed). The employee psychological empowerment of Jordanian corporations is with M=3.61, SD=0.647 and Saudi corporations with M=3.71, SD=0.536; with t = 1.522 (equal variances not assumed), p=0.132 (two-tailed). This result indicates that management of industrial corporations in both countries is concerned about creating organizational circumstances that fostering innovation and enhancing psychological empowerment. DISCUSSION, CONCLUSIONS, AND IMPLICATIONS This study has both theoretical and empirical contributions to the literature. This study is the first to investigate the impact of antecedents supporting organizational innovation on psychological empowerment into Jordan and Saudi Arabia as a collective research. The findings suggest that all the six investigated antecedents that supporting organizational innovation has important effects on employees perceptions of psychological empowerment. At the organizational level, employee participation, training and development, organizational culture, incentives, leadership pattern, and teamwork positively relate to employees' psychological empowerment. This finding is valuable for two reasons. First, the findings of this research are consistent with previous research conducted in developed countries (Koberg et al., 1999; Chiang and Jang, 2008; Beomcheol and Thomas, 2005; Yukl and Becker, 2006; Bowen and Lawler, 1995). However, this research, conducted in realwork settings at two Arab countries, finds a positive relationship between antecedents supporting organizational innovation and psychological empowerment. Second, these finding is an important contribution to the literature in that it shows employee participation, training and development, organizational culture, incentives, leadership pattern, and teamwork as crucial psychological mechanisms through which management/leadership

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Table 8. Independent-samples T test results.

Variable Antecedents supporting organizational innovation Psychological empowerment

Mean Jordan corporations Saudi corporations 3.44 4.06 3.61 3.71

Standard deviation Jordan corporations Saudi corporations 0.462 0.528 0.647 0.536

t 0.487* 1.511**

Sig (2-tailed) 0.607 0.132

*t value is calculated on the basis of equal variance assumed, because the test (Leven's test) showed that the value of (F) is not statistically significant (degrees of freedom = 247). ** t value is calculated on the basis of equal variance not assumed, because the test (Leven's test) showed that the value of (F) is statistically significant (degrees of freedom = 203).

influences employees' innovation. At the country level of analysis, this study reports that there is no significant difference between the research two-countries of investigation. This may indicates to the high level of awareness toward the importance of antecedents supporting organizational innovation in the surveyed corporations into Jordan and Saudi Arabia. This may lead us to conclude that the universality of management can take place into such these subjects, especially if we add the consistent findings of this research with the research conducted in the developed countries. The findings of this research indicate that training and development followed by employee participation are the most important antecedents to enhance the level of employees' psychological empowerment. These findings may due to the nature of psychological empowerment that has a different attributes than structural empowerment. The main attributes are "state of mind" and "motivational appeal". In addition, psychological empowerment is considered a multi-faceted construct reflecting the different dimensions of being employee psychologically enabled. In conclusion, it is hoped that the study findings can be used as a basis for managers in industrial corporations to increase their knowledge and understanding on how to invest in their human resources by increasing their awareness toward

psychological empowerment through creating the appropriate innovation environment. Specifically, it is hoped that managers will be able to understand the effect of the some antecedents in their organizational environment on their employees' state of mind. From the findings in this study, it can be concluded that the significant effect of training and development, and employee participation on psychological empowerment were mostly established. Managers certainly need to ensure that employees are well trained and have the full opportunity to participate in decisions at individual and organizational levels. More focus should be on organizational culture and teamwork as antecedents supporting organizational innovation (found to be medial state), and rooms for employees to exercise empowerment in order to enhance their performance thus providing innovative ideas to their corporations. Future research might examine the impact of antecedents supporting organizational innovation on psychological empowerment in different sectors and different Arab contexts and countries. In addition, future studies can investigate another antecedent that has impact on psychological empowerment such as employees' learning and growth, performance goal orientation, managerial effectiveness, employees' profile, organizational

power, and technology utilization rate. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This paper was supported by King Saud University, Deanship of Scientific Research. The authors would like to thank Deanship of Scientific Research, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for funding and supporting this research.
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