Seeing Value in Novelty: The Role of Managers’ Social Networks on Idea Valuation and Endorsement



Employees’ novel ideas often do not get recognized or valued by their managers, thus precluding these ideas from benefiting the organization. Drawing on social-information-processing theory and the situated evaluation perspective, this paper investigates how managers’ social networks may play a role in influencing their valuation and implementation of novel employee ideas. In two studies—a field study (with managers evaluating multiple product ideas generated by employees in a ceramic company) and an experimental study—we first document how managers disfavor novelty and perceive novel ideas as having less value, thereby not investing in their further development and implementation. However, managers’ advice network diversity mitigated the negative effect of idea novelty on their perceived value of the proposed product ideas such that managers with more diverse networks were able to better appreciate the value of novel ideas. Further, our field results indicated that managers who saw the value in novel ideas were more likely to support the implementation of their ideas when they were central to the organization’s managerial friendship network. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.

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Meeting ID: 915 0108 7051