VALUE IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER: THE MODERATING EFFECTS OF MANAGERS’ SOCIAL NETWORKS ON THEIR IDEA VALUATION AND IMPLEMENTATION DECISION-MAKING
Bartol, Kathryn M
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Many of employees’ novel ideas often cannot get appreciated or valued by their managers, thus precluding the opportunity for innovation. Drawing on the social-information-processing theory and the situated evaluation perspective, this paper investigates the moderating roles of managers’ social networks in the innovation process of idea evaluation and implementation decision-making. Through a field study with 85 managers in a ceramic company, I found that when managers evaluated product ideas proposed by employees, they manifested a disfavor to novelty. That is, idea novelty had a negative relationship with managers’ perceived value of the focal idea regarding the idea’s potential operational efficiency, likelihood of social support, and strategic fit. However, I also found that both managers’ advice network diversity and friendship network centrality mitigated the negative effect of idea novelty on their perceived value of the proposed product ideas. In addition, I found managers’ perceived value of the idea mediated the relationship between idea novelty and their decisions to implement the idea. Theoretical contributions and empirical strategies are discussed.