Support for Innovations and Innovative Behavior: A Moderating Effect of Power Distance in Innovative Behaviour of Middle and Lower Level Employees in Sri Lanka


  • W.A.M. Niranga Department of Industrial Management, Faculty of Science, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka
  • M.P.P. Dharmadasa Department of Marketing Management, Faculty of Management and Finance, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka


Research on practices of innovative behavior of organizational employees supports the notion that continuous support may be the predictors of effective innovation implementation in contemporary organizations. Extant studies stress that various ways of support gained for innovations is related to fruitful innovations within an organization and identified managerial, organizational and cultural support as key elements of support for innovations. Generally, level of support for innovations may vary as per the power distance in different hierarchical authorities in contemporary organizations. However, relatively few studies have tested how and why management, organization and organizational culture support relate to innovative behavior and largely ignored the influences of power distance in organization hierarchical levels. Accordingly, the main aims of the present study are to investigate whether the support for innovations affect the innovative behaviour of middle and lower level employees and to examine the role of power distance as a moderator, in in social distance process. To advance the understanding of these, simple regression analysis and moderator regression analysis were performed to test hypotheses with a sample size of 76 middle level employees and 44 lower level employees from Sri Lanka. The study found that there is a positive direct effect of support for innovations and innovative behaviour as an overall effect and separately for both middle and lower level employees. Further, power distance moderates the overall impact of the positive relationship between support for innovations and innovative behavior in general with an antagonistic effect, a synergistic effect with middle level employees and no effect with lower level employees. Present study makes several theoretical contributions to social cognitive theory and social distance theory of power represents in hierarchies. Further, managerial contributions of the present study make domestic firms successful through better focus on innovation support which facilitate innovative behaviour of employees. Besides, the power differences can be considered in different managerial levels of an organization in emerging more focus on innovative behaviour to gain sustainable competitive advantage.

Keywords: Employee innovative behaviour, support for innovations, power distance, middle and lower level employees in Sri Lanka