What Makes Non-Family Employees Innovate? Linking Personality and Job Satisfaction to Non-Family Employees’ Innovative Work Behaviour

Guest Speaker:
Mr Michael Mustafa (Nottingham University Business School, University of Nottingham Malaysia)
Dr Nafis Alam (Henley Business School Malaysia, University of Reading Malaysia)
Subject Area:
Date & Time:
Wed, 25. October 2017, 12:00 h - 13:00 h
N3.24, University of Reading Malaysia - EduCity@Iskandar​


Innovation is critical for the sustained competitiveness and continuity of family firms. While prior research has acknowledged the significance of family firm characteristics as important determinants of innovation, the role of individual employees has thus far been underexplored. In this particular study we postulate that non-family employees serve as a potentially important source of creativity and innovation in family firms. In order to shed new light on what drives non-family employees to engage in IWB, we examine their personality and job satisfaction. Our empirical findings are based on a sample of 125 non-family employees from 15 SMEs in the Swiss high-tech manufacturing sector. Results showed that non-family employees who had high levels of openness to experience tended to behave more innovatively compared to others. Moreover, we found a significant moderating effect of job satisfaction on the relationship between openness and IWB. Specifically, the effects of openness to experience on IWB are heightened at low and average levels of job satisfaction but the effects somewhat plateaus when job satisfaction is high. Our findings seek to contribute to the research on the drivers of innovation in family firms. We highlight the specific boundary conditions which may exist with respect to employee innovativeness.


Michael Mustafa

MICHAEL MUSTAFA graduated from the Royal Military College –Duntroon in Australia. He currently holds a MSc in Management Psychology (Nott) and is a senior University Teaching Fellow at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus. Prior to working at University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, Michael held lecturer positions at ANU and SMU. His current research interests include Corporate Entrepreneurship in emerging economies; family firms and in particular issues related to the employment of non-family employees.

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