Creating a productive work environment is challenging for most organisations. Various cognitive (mental) and emotional factors can either increase or reduce employee performance in different ways.
The following emotional and contextual factors tend to impact each other and things like intrapreneurial behaviour:
- Incivility – inconsiderate behaviour and words that break the psychological contract of respectful workplace conduct.
- Job satisfaction – the degree to which employees are content with their work roles, responsibilities, and treatment.
- Job insecurity – a feeling of powerlessness that tends to occur when employees are incapable of maintaining stability in their role, due to an uncertain work environment.
- Union membership – employees who tend to be more negatively impacted by perceived job insecurity are likely to join a union for job protection.
Intrapreneurship refers to entrepreneurial behaviour that occurs within an organisation – looking for new business opportunities or risk-taking to find better solutions, for example. At the individual level, the drivers of intrapreneurial behaviour include individual self-motivation, the need for intellectual stimulation and a willingness to meet challenges. At the organisational level, drivers of intrapreneurial behaviour include a supportive innovative work climate and idea diversity.
Intrapreneurship is an important resource, because it supports organisational growth and improves individual job performance, which in turn increases overall organisational performance. Understanding contextual and emotional factors in the workplace that help is crucial to fostering an optimal work climate.
Previous research looking at the importance of intrapreneurship and the effects of other factors in the immediate work environment has found that:
- Intrapreneurial employee behaviour is a bottom-up process that originates from frontline employees and promotes change upwards through the ranks to top executives.
- Employees who engage in intrapreneurial behaviour tend to be more profitable assets, because they succeed in growing their skills and career potential.
- Unionisation often benefits employees, because it increases their bargaining power with the organisation relative to desired job benefits and potential security.
- Job satisfaction and organisational commitment increase individuals’ tolerance of and orientation to organisational change.
- There are significantly positive connections between an organisation’s work climate and the level of intrapreneurial behaviour from employees.
- Fair and civil treatment of employees has been found to boost the level of creativity necessary for innovation and intrapreneurship
A new study
A new study by researchers from Kinneret College in Israel has looked at intrapreneurship in organisations and the emotional or cognitive factors that may impact it.
The study found that:
- When employees perceive behaviour in the workplace as uncivil it increases job insecurity.
- Union and non-union workers both experience higher job insecurity and lower job satisfaction when incivility is present in the workplace.
- Incivility does not, however, impact the level of intrapreneurial behaviour for any employees, whether union or non-union.
- Non-union employees engage in more intrapreneurial behaviour than union employees when job satisfaction is high.
- Union employees who perceive high job insecurity reduce their intrapreneurial behaviour. This may be because unions are designed to provide security and so, when it seems that they have failed, employees experience anger and engage less at work.
Itzkovich, Y., Heilbrunn, S., & Dolev, N. (2021). Drivers of intrapreneurship: an affective events theory viewpoint. Personnel Review.
How our emotions influence work groups and organisations
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