Can we win them all? Benefits and costs of structured and flexible innovation-implementations

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Bureaucratic job structuring was compared with person-job integration in an attempt to determine which of the two appr oaches was a better means for innovation implementation in the workplace. The solution was hypothesized to be complex, depending on the criteria chosen for innovation effectiveness. Seventy incumbents of new linking roles in healthcare organizations were recruited. They provided data on the innovation-implementation approach applied in their case. Measures for different stakeholders' perceptions of innovation effectiveness were gathered. Three colleagues of the incumbents provided performance appraisals, reflecting internal customers' criteria for innovation effectiveness, each incumbent completed a questionnaire about burnout as a reversed proxy of innovation effectiveness, and semi-structured observations of incumbents' activities provided an index of the fit between their role behaviors and role requirements, reflecting external customers' criteria for effectiveness. While performance appraisals were found to gain most from implementation through bureaucratic job structuring, the fit between incumbents' role behaviors and role requirements benefited most from implementation through person-job integration. Decreased burnout required maximizing the two implementation processes. These findings point to possible trade-offs between the different criteria for innovation effectiveness, and call for combining features from the two implementation processes to produce a superior implementation approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-234
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology (all)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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