Functional centrality and innovation intensity: Employee-level analysis of the Telenor group

TIKs Fulvio Castellacci, Magnus Gulbrandsen and Erlend Simensen have recently published an article in Research Policy, together with Jarle Hildrum and Ieva Martinkenaite from Telenor Research.


Recent research on employee-level innovation focuses on scientists’ ability to source advanced knowledge and use it to create new ideas and innovation within a firm. The present paper introduces a new dimension to this literature: functional departments. We argue that functional centrality, namely the extent to which a functional department is central in the intra-organizational network, affects employees’ innovation intensity. We make use of a rich novel dataset at the employee-level for the Telenor Group, based on a large-scale survey among nearly 16,000 employees in all business units and functions of the company. The empirical results point out that employees’ innovation intensity is higher in departments that are centrally positioned in the company’s internal network. Task characteristics such as quality orientation, entrepreneurial attitude and result pressure moderate the relationship between centrality and innovation.


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Published Sep. 26, 2018 1:08 PM - Last modified Sep. 26, 2018 1:08 PM