Enterprise social media (ESM) applications offer new opportunities for organizations to mobilize employees for open innovation, by promoting innovation beyond traditional R&D functions. Despite the popularity and success of these applications, current research has yet to fully explore the potential of ESM applications as a driver of employee-driven innovation, specifically through advancements in innovation culture. To fill this gap, this study proposes a theoretical framework that explains the role of ESM applications in facilitating employee innovation.
The authors administered a cross-sectional survey to collect data from professionals who use ESM applications regularly at work. Following a pilot study and instrument refinement, the authors conducted a field study to test measurement and the structural model by using the partial least square-structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) method.
The findings of this study support the validity of the proposed theoretical model. First, the results confirmed the three antecedents of ESM use for innovation: perceived innovation possibilities enabled by ESM technology, the expected value of ESM use for innovation and organizational support for using ESM applications for innovation. Next, the results confirmed the importance of ESM use in encouraging individual innovation productivity in terms of product/service innovation, process innovation and social innovation. Finally, the results corroborated the mediating role of risk-taking and knowledge-sharing culture in the use of ESM to increase innovation productivity.
The findings presented here have implications for theory and practices that would concern fostering a supportive environment and building an organizational culture that promotes employees' innovation behavior (internal open innovation) by using social technologies.
An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Social Media and e-Business Transformation Minitrack in 2021. The authors thank Nathan Ascue, Cooper Boer and Christopher Sahoo for their valuable contributions to the development of this study and appreciate the insightful comments offered by the anonymous reviewers during the development of this work.
Abhari, K., Zarei, M., Parsons, M. and Estell, P. (2022), "Open innovation starts from home: the potentials of enterprise social media (ESM) in nurturing employee innovation", Internet Research, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/INTR-08-2021-0556
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