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

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Personnel Psychology

Publication Date

Spring 2016





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Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.


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.



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Funding Information

This research is partly supported by a Faculty Research Grant, Lingnan University, Hong Kong (DB13A8) awarded to Tingting Chen, and a National Natural Science Foundation of China Grant (71302145) and a Youth Foundation Project of Humanities and Social Sciences of Ministry of Education in China (12YJC630087) awarded to Fuli Li. {DB13A8, 71302145, 12YJC630087}

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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010. Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Additional Information

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

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Recommended Citation

Chen, T., Li, F., & Leung, K. (2016). When does supervisor dupport encourage innovative behavior? Opposite moderating effects of general self-efficacy and internal locus of control. Personnel Psychology, 69(1), 123-158. doi: 10.1111/peps.12104