Work conformity as a double-edged sword: Disentangling intra-firm social dynamics and employees' innovative performance in technology-intensive firms

Yu Yu Chang, Wisuwat Wannamakok, Yi Hsi Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Employees' innovative performance determines an organization's long-term sustainability and competitive advantages, particularly in the technology sector. Drawing on social exchange and work conformity theory, we investigate how employees' informational and normative conformity relates to their innovative performance through the lens of instrumental and expressive ties. R&D managers and professional-level employees from Taiwan's 2000 largest high-tech firms participate in the survey. Hypotheses were tested using structural equation modeling with a valid sample of 399 responses from the participants. The findings reveal that, through the mediating roles of instrumental and expressive ties, employees' informational conforming behaviors promote their innovative performance. In contrast, normative conformity may reduce employees' innovative performance by weakening their social ties. Conformist behaviors have long been deemed as the inhibitor of creativity and innovation. Nevertheless, this study adopts a social exchange perspective and clarifies how conformity can both promote and hinder professional employees' innovative performance by affecting their social networking. The paper concludes with managerial implications, discussion, and recommendations for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-448
Number of pages10
JournalAsia Pacific Management Review
Volume28
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management

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