When does supervisor support encourage innovative behavior? Opposite moderating effects of general self-efficacy and internal locus of control

Tingting CHEN, Fuli LI, Kwok LEUNG

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

38 Citations (Scopus)


Previous research is inconclusive about whether supervisor support always increases employee innovative behavior. To address this inconsistency, this research explores how and when supervisor support promotes innovative behavior by examining intrinsic motivation as a mediator and employee general self-efficacy and internal locus of control as boundary conditions. Although these 2 positive self-view variables are similar in terms of their positive effects on a variety of desirable work outcomes, we draw on self-verification theory, which posits that self-confirming information draws more attention, to reason that they exhibit opposite moderating effects on the influence of supervisor support. Based on 2 samples of employees in different industries and locations in China, this moderated mediated model was supported. General self-efficacy showed an enhancement moderating effect, such that it amplified the mediated relationship between supervisor support and employee innovative behavior via intrinsic motivation. In contrast, internal locus of control showed a substitutional moderating effect, such that it weakened this mediated relationship. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-158
Number of pages36
JournalPersonnel Psychology
Issue number1
Early online date18 Feb 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2016


Bibliographical note

A short version of this paper has been accepted for publication in the Best Paper Proceedings of the 2014 Academy of Management Meeting.

Cite this