Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

Xerri, MJ, Brunetto, Y & Shacklock, K 2009, 'The innovative behaviour of employees within a small to medium sized enterprise: a social capital perspective', Proceedings of 23rd ANZAM Conference 2009, Sustainability Management and Marketing, Melbourne, Vic., 1-4 December, ANZAM, Promaco Conventions, Canning Bridge, WA.

Peer Reviewed



This research comprises an examination of some organisational factors that affect the transfer of knowledge used to develop the innovative behaviour of employees within a small-to-medium sized enterprise (SME). In particular, this research uses the dimensions of Social Capital Theory as a lens to provide insight into the relationship between tie strength (social networks), experience of trust and culture as well as their impact upon the innovative behaviour of employees. This study proposes a model that outlines and tests the impact of these three organisational factors upon the innovative behaviour of employees within an SME. In order to address the primary research questions and hypotheses, data was gathered utilising a triangulation of methods within a post-positivist paradigm.

The findings confirm that the organisational factors tested affect both the innovative behaviour of workplace social network members and the organisational culture that supports innovation. The implication of the findings is that it provides new knowledge about how the relationship between culture, social networks and trust amongst employees impacts upon their innovative behaviour. Consequently, this new knowledge is one attempt to address the paucity of research about innovation in the service industry, particularly in relation to gaining a better understanding of innovative behaviour in an engineering context.