When can felt accountability promote innovative work behavior? The role of transformational leadership

Che Chun Kuo, Ying Lien Ni, Chia Huei Wu, Rong Ruey Duh, Mei Yen Chen*, Chiachi Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Studies have reported negative effects of felt accountability on employees' extra-role behavior. Deviating from that focus, this study proposes that leadership plays a role in shaping the implications of felt accountability for employees' extra-role behavior. We propose that under high transformational leadership, felt accountability can motivate employees to engage in task-relevant information elaboration and facilitate innovative work behavior, a form of extra-role behavior that seeks to improve the work environment. Design/methodology/approach: We conducted a pilot study to validate measurements of felt accountability and task-relevant information elaboration in a sample of 202 employees. We then conducted the main study using a time-lagged, multisource survey design with a sample of 120 supervisor–employee pairs. Findings: The results from the main study reveal that the association between felt accountability and task-related information elaboration is positive and stronger when transformational leadership is higher. Furthermore, task-relevant information elaboration positively predicts innovative work behavior. Finally, when transformational leadership is higher, the mediation effect of task-relevant information elaboration on the association between felt accountability and innovative work behavior is stronger. Originality/value: Our study indicates that felt accountability can have positive implications for employees' extra-role behavior contingent on leadership styles. In contrast to previous studies that emphasize the negative implications of felt accountability on employees' behavior, our study depicts when and why felt accountability can have positive implications on employees' behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1807-1822
Number of pages16
JournalPersonnel Review
Volume51
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Aug 29

Keywords

  • Felt accountability
  • Information elaboration
  • Innovation
  • Transformational leadership

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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