Document Type

Article

Publication details

Pre-print of: Xerri, M & Brunetto, Y 2011, 'The impact of the perceived usefulness of workplace social networks upon the innovative behaviour of SME employees: a social capital perspective', International Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 15, no. 5, pp. 959-987.

The publisher's version of this article is available at

http://dx.doi.org/10.1142/S1363919611003350

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

This research includes an examination of the impact of three organisational factors upon the perceived usefulness of workplace social networks for problem solving in engineering SMEs. As well this research examines the impact of the perceived usefulness of workplace social networks upon the innovative behaviour of engineering SME employees. More specifically, the dimensions of Social Capital Theory are applied as a lens to develop an understanding into the effect of the strength of workplace social network ties, sociability and organisational culture upon the perceived usefulness of workplace social networks for problem solving. This study examines the proposed model by applying mixed methods. The research method includes a survey with engineering employees' and interviews with senior management. The findings confirm that the organisational factors tested (tie strength, sociability and organisational culture) impact upon the perceived usefulness of workplace social networks for problem solving. Furthermore, the findings also confirmed that the perceived usefulness of workplace social networks affects the innovative behaviour of engineering SME employees. Therefore, this research adds to the current body of literature by providing insight into the usefulness of workplace social networks for problem solving and the impact this has on the innovative behaviour of engineering SME employees.