Original Research

Fuelling innovation with love: Unravelling the role of companionate love culture and Confucian work values in employees’ innovative behaviour

Saichao Chang, Chen Qian, Baoming Chen, Chuanyan Qin, Gang Chao
South African Journal of Business Management | Vol 55, No 1 | a4114 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajbm.v55i1.4114 | © 2024 Saichao Chang, Chen Qian, Baoming Chen, Chuanyan Qin, Gang Chao | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 June 2023 | Published: 19 January 2024

About the author(s)

Saichao Chang, School of Business Administration, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China
Chen Qian, School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
Baoming Chen, School of Business Administration, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China
Chuanyan Qin, School of Medical Business, Guangdong Pharmaceutical University, Guangzhou, China
Gang Chao, School of Business Administration, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China

Abstract

Purpose: Following social information processing (SIP) theory, this study enriches existing research on emotional culture and innovative behaviour by introducing the chain mediating role of perspective-taking and knowledge-sharing intentions and the moderating role of Confucian work values.

Design/methodology/approach: We conducted a quantitative study using four-stage paired survey data. Data were collected from 392 employees and their corresponding supervisors in three Chinese manufacturing companies in November 2022. We chose these participants due to the significance of innovative behaviour in their roles. The surveys were anonymous and self-administered. We used SPSS20.2 and MPLUS 8.3 software to analyse the data and test our hypotheses.

Findings/results: The data analysis results indicated that: (1) the companionate love culture had a positive effect on innovative behaviour, (2) perspective-taking and knowledge-sharing intentions mediated the positive impact of the companionate love culture on innovative behaviour, and (3) Confucian work values moderated the chain mediation path by weakening the positive impact of the companionate love culture on perspective-taking.

Practical implications: To promote innovative behaviour in employees, a company could continuously manage the organisational companionate love culture.

Originality/value: Drawing on the SIP theory, this paper developed a model clarifying how and when love can fuel innovation in the workplace. It’s interesting that employees with lower Confucian work values may benefit more from a companionate love culture, as they might need more external motivation to engage in perspective-taking and knowledge sharing.


Keywords

companionate love culture; perspective-taking; knowledge-sharing intentions; Confucian work values; innovative behaviour; social information processing theory

JEL Codes

M12: Personnel Management • Executives; Executive Compensation; M14: Corporate Culture • Diversity • Social Responsibility

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Metrics

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