The climate for innovation in public and nonprofit organizations
Ronquillo, John Christopher
MetadataShow full item record
The main contribution of this study is the introduction of the concept of innovation climate as it applies to public and nonprofit organizations. An innovation climate is defined as an atmosphere within an organization that fosters and propagates innovation and has in place various traits among organization members that are conducive to producing creative and novel ideas that may lead to improved organizational performance and efficiency. This study compares public (state government) and nonprofit organizations on their perceived innovativeness and analyzes the environmental factors and organizational practices that are presumably related to the innovation climate. This dissertation uses survey data from the National Administrative Studies Project III (NASP-III) that surveyed managers in state government agencies and nonprofit organizations in Georgia and Illinois over a three-wave, ten-month span, on a variety of organizational topics. Using principal component analysis the author develops a concept of innovation climate based on various elements that include innovation as an organizational value, willingness to take risks, high levels of trust from managers, low levels of red tape, a sense of pride in working for an organization, high quality of work, performance incentives, and high ethical standards. Findings from a series of OLS regression models suggest that job flexibility, the quality and reputation of the organization, and those who view work as the most important aspect of their lives are positively related to both public and nonprofit innovation climates. Personnel inflexibility negatively affects the innovation climate in both the public and nonprofit sectors, and other variables, including advancement motivation, vary by sector. The study concludes with suggestions for further research and the context in which research on innovation climate should be conducted.