Personal Costs and Benefits of Employee Intrapreneurship: Disentangling the Employee Intrapreneurship, Well-Being, and Job Performance Relationship

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Abstract

Ample studies have confirmed the benefits of intrapreneurship (i.e., employee behaviors that contribute to new venture creation and strategic renewal activities) for firm performance, but research on the personal costs and benefits of engaging in intrapreneurial activities for employees is lacking. Building on job demands–resources and reinforcement sensitivity theories, we examined how employees’ reinforcement sensitivity qualified the relationship among their intrapreneurial behavior, subjective well-being, and other-rated job performance. Using a sample of 241 employee dyads, the results of moderated mediation analyses confirmed that employee intrapreneurship related positively to work engagement for employees high (vs. low) in sensitivity to rewards (behavioral approach system), which subsequently related positively to innovativeness and in-role performance and negatively to work avoidance. In contrast, employee intrapreneurship related positively to exhaustion for employees high (vs. low) in sensitivity to punishments (behavioral inhibition system), which subsequently related positively to work avoidance and negatively to in-role performance (but not to innovativeness). Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

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