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A constructively critical review of change and innovation related concepts: Toward conceptual and operational clarity

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-494
JournalEuropean Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology
Issue number4
Early online date27 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2016


The aim of this paper is to examine and clarify the nomological network of change and innovation (CI) - related constructs. A literature review in this field revealed a number of inter-related constructs that have emerged over the last decades. We examine several such constructs - innovation, creativity, proactive behaviours, job crafting, voice, taking charge, personal initiative, submitting suggestions, and extra-role behaviours. Our conceptual analysis suggests each one of these constructs represents a specific component of CI-related behaviours. However, we also found that on occasion these concepts have been dysfunctionally operationalized with evidence of three dysfunctional effects: (i) construct confusion, (ii) construct drift, and (iii) construct contamination. Challenges for future research to enhance conceptual and operational clarity are discussed.

    Research areas

  • creativity, conceptual clarity, extra-role behaviour, proactivity, innovation

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