Role of Perceived Fair Interpersonal Treatment and Organization-Based
Self-Esteem in Innovative Work Behavior in a Nigerian Bank
[a] Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Nigeria.
The purpose of this study is to examine the role of perceived fair interpersonal treatment, organization-based self-esteem, and some demographic
characteristics in innovative work behavior among employees of a Nigerian bank. Data were collected from a randomly selected sample of
185 employees through a structured questionnaire. Hierarchical multiple regression and One-Way Analysis of Variance were carried out to
test hypotheses. The results reveal significant positive influence of perceived fair interpersonal treatment and organization-based self-esteem
on innovative work behavior. Lastly, the results show significant effect of level of education on innovative work behavior. The findings suggest
that perceived fair interpersonal treatment and organization-based self-esteem are important predictors of innovative work behavior. Therefore,
organizations should focus on improving the levels of organizational based self-esteem among employees who scored low on this trait by
providing more recognition and importance. They should also strive to ensure fair interpersonal treatment among employees in order to
promote motivation to engage in innovative work behavior.
Keywords: innovative work behavior, fair interpersonal treatment, organization-based self-esteem, service organization, Nigeria
Psychological Thought, 2012, Vol. 5(2), 124–140, doi:10.5964/psyct.v5i2.33
Received: 2012-06-24. Accepted: 2012-07-16. Published: 2012-10-31.
*Corresponding author at: email@example.com
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the
original work is properly cited.
Worldwide, the essential functions (provision of services and financial products) performed by banking institutions
remained relatively constant. However, the operational, social, and structural challenges (e.g., recapitalization,
mergers and acquisition, introduction of electronic banking, rapid technological change, competition from
non-financial services institutions, and diverse needs, desires and wants of customers) confronting the Nigerian
banks, suggest the necessity for innovative work behavior among their employees. The reason for this assertion
is not far-fetched; individual innovative work behavior is crucial for increased business performance, organizational
success and survival in the long term, particularly in dynamic markets (Utterback, 1994;Balkin, Markman, &
Gomez-Mejia, 2000;Lyon & Ferrier, 2002). It has been noted (e.g., Janssen, 2001) that in coping with competition
and uncertainty, organizations need employees who can perform beyond the fulfillment of formal job requirements
when the set standard of work behaviors needs to be exceeded by engaging in innovative work behavior.
This view emerged in the late 1980s/early 1990s, where people, not products serve as an innovative company’s
major asset (Van de Ven, 1986;Vrakking, 1990;Gupta & Singhal, 1993). The fact that actions of individual
employees are of crucial importance for continuous innovation and improvement is not just found in academic
literature on innovation (e.g., Van de Ven, 1986;Janssen, 2000), but also stressed in proposition of other popular
management principles, such as total quality management (McLoughlin & Harris, 1997) and corporate
entrepreneurship (Sharma & Chrisman, 1999).
psyct.psychopen.eu | 2193-7281
Though innovative work behavior requires active participation and involvement of employees because they have
to use their full potential and perform beyond expectation (Ramamoorthy, Flood, Slattery, & Sardessai, 2005).
Surprisingly, a common concern raised by the management members and employees of some Nigerian banks
during preliminary in-depth interactions with the researcher is that most of their employees are not innovative in
their approaches and responses to work-related challenges. Thus the motivation to understand what enables
innovative work behavior is set in motion. In addition, review of literature on innovative work behavior reveals few
or no empirical data regarding innovative work behavior and its psychological antecedents among bank employees.
Even at that, previous studies are from Western and European nations. While findings of international studies can
inform research conducted in these settings, it is unclear how findings from different cultural background will
replicate with Nigerian sample. Thus, gaps exist in the literature in this area. This study was conducted to fill the
Individual innovation is operationalized in various ways. The construct has been defined in terms of individual
differences/personality traits, outputs, and behaviors (Kleysen & Street, 2001). For instance, Hurt, Joseph, and
Cook (1977) regarded innovation to be personality-based, defining it as a generalized willingness to change. As
an output, innovation is an organization’s member using new knowledge or skill sets to create a new product or
service needed by customers (Afuah, 1998). Output-based measures include West (1987) measure of role
innovation and Bunce and West (1994) composite innovation score. Based on West (1989) and West and Farr
(1989) definitions, innovative work behavior is defined as a set of behaviors directed towards the initiation (novel
or borrowing from another context), introduction, and implementation (within a work role, group or organization)
of new and useful ideas, services, processes, products or procedures to solve work-related problems in order to
enhance personal and/or business performance.
In this study, innovative work behavior is a way of behaving at work or a set of behaviors that include but are not
limited to coming up with work related innovative ideas, promoting ideas, and following-up to make sure suggested
ideas are implemented to solve problems. In the banks, examples of such behaviors may include identifying the
financial needs of customers, initiating process to meet and implementing these needs in order to improve customer
relations, or creating new deposit or withdrawal counters in addition to the regular deposit or withdrawal counters
to reduce the time spent on the queue or to decongest the banking hall, or recognizing that customers have
problem with a bank product or service, and initiating a new product or re-structuring existing or old service,
soliciting support to get the new product approved, and making sure that the new product or the re-structured
service is launched in order to acquire benefits for the customers, the organization, and the employees.
In terms of non-cognitive and cognitive factors, many variables have been studied as correlates of innovative
work behavior. These include personal traits such as openness to experience (Batey & Furnham, 2006;Harrison,
Neff, Schwall, & Zhao, 2006), agreeableness (George & Zhou, 2001;Patterson, 1999), conscientiousness (Harrison
et al., 2006;Runco, 2004), introversion-extroversion (Furnham & Bachtiar, 2008;Wolfradt & Pretz, 2001), emotional
stability (King, Walker, & Broyles, 1996), individual competencies (Bunce & West, 1994), motivation (Amabile,
1988;Eysenck, 1996;Shin & Zhou, 2003), behavioral abilities like personal initiative, voice behavior, and
self-efficacy (Frese, 2000), emotion and mood states (Shalley, Gilson, & Blum, 2000;Amabile, Barsade, Mueller,
& Staw, 2005). A few cognitive factors such as general intelligence (Guilford, 1967;Gilhooly, Wynn, & Osman,
2004), cognitive ability (Finke, Ward, & Smith, 1992), and rating of intelligence (MacKinnon, 1961;Feist & Barron,
2003) have also been studied.
2012, Vol. 5(2), 124–140
Some characteristics of work environments have been predicated upon innovative work behavior. Generally,
research shows that supportive and stimulating environment including amongst others: supportive management
practices and leadership, constructive evaluation and feedback, and supportive co-workers enhance idea generation
and innovation. For example, Tierney (2008) identifies leader characteristics as correlate of innovation, Axtell et
al. (2000),Shin and Zhou (2003),Sundgren, Dimenäs, Gustafsson, & Selart (2005) found that market environment,
external uncertainty, leadership, organizational culture, resource factors, and perception of work environment
In addition, Eisenbeiss et al. (2008, cited in Spieth, De Weerd-Nederhof, Hemlin, Schwab, & Schneckenberg,
2011) found that the quality of relationships with co-workers and team composition influence innovative behavior.
Furthermore, Hall and Mirvis (1995) suggest that psychological contract – individuals turning in a strong performance
while continuously learning and adapting in exchange for fair pay and treatment, opportunities for training and
development from the employer influences innovation. Spreitzer (1995),Oldham and Cummings (1996),Axtell et
al. (2000),West (2002),Baer, Oldham, and Cummings (2003),Parker, Williams, and Turner (2006),Axtell, Holman,
and Wall (2006) found that job characteristics like autonomy, control, satisfaction, organizational practices, such
as rules and procedures, reward system and external demands, threats or uncertainty faced by the organizations
are antecedents of innovative behavior. Amabile (1988) proposes that supervisory support and social influences
resulting from group interaction are important antecedents to idea generation and implementation.
Although the extant literature suggests that non-cognitive, cognitive and contextual factors are antecedents of
innovation, a major limitation of these studies is that they either focused only on non-cognitive, cognitive, or
contextual predictors without examining the combine influence of these perspectives in a single study. Based on
the identified gap in literature, this study provides additional empirical study of joint influence of non-cognitive and
contextual factors on innovative work behavior by examining some relevant constructs (perceived fair interpersonal
treatment and organization-based self-esteem), which have not been addressed in previous research. To the best
knowledge of the researcher, no study has investigated the predictors of innovative work behavior from this angle.
Perceived fair interpersonal treatment refers to the evaluation of treatment an employee receives from superiors
and coworkers in the organization. In Nigeria, certain cultural characteristics justify the exploration of the relationship
between perception of fair interpersonal treatment and innovative work behavior. The polygamous nature of most
Nigerian families engenders competition for the limited resources and creates rivalry, tension and anxiety among
the participants such that interactants perceive each other as “enemy”. This cultural characteristic has implications
for emerging adult personality and work behavior, because people go into the organization with formed personality,
value systems, and behavioral norm that may influence their work behavior. In this regard, employees who feel
they experience fair interpersonal treatment from other organizational members are likely to expect that they will
be treated fairly in the long run, which will engender positive feelings towards significant others, and will promote
motivation to generate innovative ideas to enhance group performance. In contrast, perception of unfair interpersonal
treatment in the work setting may create tension and anxiety. The possible coping strategy is ‘fight or flight’.
Employees who are attempting to cope with job tension and anxiety by flight strategy are not likely to be good
candidate for innovative work behavior.
Nevertheless, innovative work behavior could also be a fight strategy devised to manage the tension and anxiety
associate with unfair treatment in order to outshine the perceived enemy. As suggested by Folkman and Lazarus
(1980), individual innovation represents behavioral and cognitive coping strategies to mitigate, tolerate and manage
2012, Vol. 5(2), 124–140
Self-Rated Innovative Work Behavior 126
toxic work settings. Janssen (2000) has found that the level to which workers responded innovatively to their job
was determined by their perceptions of fairness on the job. Keashly, Trott, and MacLean (1994) also reported
that hostile interpersonal behaviors generally decrease job satisfaction, and may in turn lower extra-role behaviors.
However, studies on the relationship between perceived fair interpersonal treatment and innovative work behavior
among bank employees are rare. Based on this rationale, perceived fair interpersonal treatment is expected to
be related with innovative work behavior.
Moreover, self-consistency theory (Korman, 1976;Locke, McClear, & Knight, 1996) postulates that self-evaluation
as competent and worthy organizational member is likely to motivate personal resolve to improve actual work
behavior. This is to maintaining consistency between the ideal and real self. Self-esteem refers to the basic
appraisal of oneself, as it concerns the overall value that one places on oneself, as a person (Bellou, Chitiris, &
Bellou, 2005). Organization-based self-esteem is employees’ perception of self-adequacy and worthiness as
organizational members (Gardner & Pierce, 1998), and the self-perceived value as a member of a specific
organization (Gardner, Van Dyne, & Pierce, 2004). Unlike individuals with poorer self-concept who are likely to
be more sensitive to external cues such as unfair interpersonal treatment, individuals with high self-esteem who
yearn for self-enhancement and who like to maintain feelings of personal satisfaction, worthy and effectiveness
are more likely to exhibit behavior that will sustains consistency between self-evaluation and behavior. It can then
be argued that employees with high organization-based self-esteem compared to those with low organization-based
self-esteem would manifest more innovative work behavior in order to maintain consistency between self-evaluation
and actual work behavior. Not doing so may create cognitive dissonance for the individuals. A state of dissonance
is unpalatable, thus individuals would try to resolve dissonance by embarking on behavior that aligns with cognition
to maintain consonance. Thus, in a work setting characterizes by broader role definition and unforeseen work
related challenges, innovative work behavior may be a manner in which high organization-based self-esteem
individuals resolve dissonance to confirm self-evaluation as worthy organizational members.
In addition, high self-esteem individuals are more likely to have higher self-efficacy than their low self-esteem
counterparts (Gardner & Pierce, 1998;Locke et al., 1996), which contributes to innovative work performance
under almost all role conditions (Bandura, 1989). Self-efficacy has to do with the belief that one’s effort would
produce success. Because banking service is broadly defined, high self-efficacy individuals are likely to be confident
that they are capable of thinking of good ideas and undertaking more challenging activities involving innovative
practices. Association has been demonstrated between organization-based self-esteem and extra-role behavior
(e.g., Van Dyne, VandeWalle, Kostova, Latham, & Cummings, 2000). In the words of de Jong (2006), innovative
work behavior implies that individuals go beyond the scope of their job requirements to be innovative of their own
free will. Thus innovative work behavior is a form of extra-role behavior. Korman (1976) and Brockner (1988) posit
that employees’ self-esteem is central to the explanation of work performance. Thus a relationship is expected
between organization-based self-esteem and innovative work behavior.
Moreover, certain demographic characteristics such as age, sex, educational qualification and job tenure have
been found to be related to innovative work behavior. Consistent with previous research, age, sex, level of
education, and job tenure were controlled for by including them in the study. For examples, task domain expertise
that comes with tenure may account for variance in innovative work behavior (Oldham & Cummings, 1996;Tierney
& Farmer, 2004). Research also suggests that older workers who have been with a company for some time often
are less innovative in their work because people tend to become set in their ways of doing things over time
(Janssen, 2004). In addition, people with lower educational attainment may not have the cognitive capacity to
2012, Vol. 5(2), 124–140
exhibit innovative work behavior. Carmeli and Schaubroeck (2007) suggest that gender differences may account
for variation in the degree to which men and women are involved in innovative work behavior.
Therefore this paper examines whether organization-based self-esteem and perceived fair interpersonal treatment
will significantly predict innovative work behavior of bank workers in a Nigerian bank, and whether this prediction
would hold after controlling for age, gender, and job tenure. A take home for various stakeholders in the Nigerian
banking industry, financial services operators, organizational managers, researchers, and human resource
practitioners who want to enhance innovative work behavior of their employees is that findings would provide an
understanding of how organization-based self-esteem and perceived fair interpersonal treatment can influence
willingness to perform innovative work behavior. This information has implications for the development of expanded
innovative work behavior models/theories that would simultaneously incorporate both intrinsic and contextual
perspectives. Findings would also assist in designing psychological embedded innovative work behavior training
packages to enhance willingness to perform innovative work behavior among the work force.
Design and Procedure
The present study is based on a dataset from a random sample of 185 employees drawn from a Nigerian Bank.
Utilizing a cross-sectional design and multi-stage sampling method a bank was purposively selected for data
collection. Next, branches of the bank located at Capital cities of five States in the South-Western zone of Nigeria
were listed in alphabetical orders and those that fall on even numbers were selected as participating banks. Using
a list of staff at the selected branches, employees who fall on even numbers were randomly chosen as respondents.
Questionnaires were distributed through the internal mail system of the bank. A total of two hundred and fifty
survey packets that consist of cover letter and questionnaire were sent to randomly selected non-management
staff that fulfill the criterion of being fulltime employees and employed in the bank for a period of at least one year.
Decisions to select only permanent bank staff with at least a year experience was to control for extraneous variables
such as differences between permanent bank staff and outsourcing/contract staff, experience in banking services,
and organizational status. To reduce self-report bias, confidentiality and anonymity were provided through a
highlighted sentence at the top of the questionnaire that asks the participants not to identify themselves in any
way. Only 201 of 250 questionnaires administered, representing a response rate of 80.04% were satisfactorily
completed and returned. 185 questionnaires were found usable and included in the analysis. The remaining 16
questionnaires are discarded due to missing data.
Participants’ ages ranged from 29 to 54 years with a mean of 34.83 years (s.d = 13.43). Job tenure of the employees
ranged from 6 to 20 years with a mean of 7.49 years (s.d = 4.10). Completed questionnaires were returned to
head of operations who handed them to the researcher. Due to time factor and limited control over the bank, only
two hundred and one (n= 201) of the two hundred and fifty questionnaires administered were received representing
a response rate of 80.04%, out of which 185 questionnaires were found usable for data analysis, the remaining
16 questionnaires were discarded due to missing data. The summary of demographic information is presented
in Table 1.
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Self-Rated Innovative Work Behavior 128
Level of Education
57 (30.81)Diploma certificate
88 (47.57)Bachelor Degree/its equivalent
40 (21.62)Master Degree & Above
All the constructs used in the study were adapted from previous studies and were measured using multiple-item
measures. Employees responded to a battery of test that measures perceived fair interpersonal treatment,
organization-based self-esteem, and innovative work behavior. Information on gender, marital status, and level
of education were also obtained for better understanding of the participants’ background.
Perceived Fair Interpersonal Treatment
Fair interpersonal treatment was measured with the 18 items Perceived Fair Interpersonal Treatment scale
developed by Donovan, Drasgow, and Munson (1998). Items include “Employees are praised for good work;
Supervisors yell at employee; Coworkers help each other; Coworker argues with each other”. Items are rated on
Yes = 3, ? = 2, No = 1. The Perceived Fair Interpersonal Treatment scale has two dimensions; the Supervisor
subscale consists of 14 items (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, & 14) and the Coworker subscale consists
of 4 items (15, 16, 17, & 18). According to Donovan et al. (1998), more items were dedicated to assessing
perceptions of supervisor’s interpersonal treatment because employees’ perceptions of the fairness of supervisors’
treatment may be more critical than their perceptions of the overall fairness of the work environment. In terms of
reliability, Donovan et al. (1998) reported that the 18 items Perceived Fair Interpersonal Treatment scale produced
an alpha of .90. Donovan et al. (1998) also reported a Cronbach alpha of .90 for the Supervisor subscale and an
alpha of .74 for the Coworker subscale respectively. An alpha of 0.77 with split-half reliability of 0.70 were obtained
for the Supervisor subscale, while an alpha of 0.86 with split-half reliability of 0.79 were obtained for Coworker
subscale in this study.
Organization-based self-esteem was measured with a 10-item scale developed and validated by Pierce, Gardner,
Cummings, & Dunham (1989). Items are rated on a 5-point Likert type of 1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly
agree. Items include “I count around here; I am an important part of this place; I am a valuable part of this place”.
2012, Vol. 5(2), 124–140
Gardner, Van Dyne, and Pierce (2004) reported an alpha of .87 for the scale, while Tang (2008) reported an alpha
of .91 for the scale among Chinese respondents. An alpha of 0.85 was obtained in the present study.
Innovative Work Behavior
Innovative work behavior was assessed using a 9 item scale by Janssen (2001). The response format is on a
seven-point scale ranging from ‘1 = never’ to ‘7 = always’. In Janssen’s 9-item scale, three items (1–3) refer to
idea generation, three items (4–6) refer to idea promotion, and other three items (7–9) refer to idea realization or
implementation. Respondents were asked to report on their tendency to engage in and display innovative behaviors
at work in their organization. “I create new ideas for difficult issues”, is an example of a measurement item. Janssen
(2000) reported that inter-correlations between the three aspects of innovative work behavior ranged from 0.76
(between idea generation and idea realization) to 0.85 (between idea promotion and idea realization). According
to Janssen (2000), given these high inter-correlations and following Scott and Bruce (1994), idea generation, idea
promotion, and idea realization were conceived to combine additively to create an overall scale of innovative work
behavior. Janssen (2000) reported Cronbach coefficient alpha of 0.95 for the self-rated scores of innovative work
behavior. In this study, results of factor analysis on all items indicated that these nine items loaded on one factor
and explained 65.410% of the variance. They were averaged to form a scale with an alpha coefficient of 0.89 and
split-half reliability coefficient of 0.84.
Data was analyzed using Statistical Product Services Solution (SPSS, Version 13.0). The following statistical
procedures were employed: frequency analysis, descriptive analyses, reliability analyses, correlation analysis,
hierarchical multiple regression, and univariate analysis. The level for significance was set to p< .05.
Intercorrelations, means, and standard deviations for all continuous measures used in this study are reported in
Correlations Among Variables of the Study
—1. Innovative Work Behavior
—2. Perception of Fair Interpersonal Treatment .61**
—3. Organization-Based Self Esteem .62**-.69**
—4. Age .12.00.00
—5. Job Tenure .81**.09.06-.02
The bivariate correlations indicate that perceived fair interpersonal treatment was strongly and significantly related
to innovative work behavior (r= .67, p< .01), meaning that employees who perceived fair interpersonal treatment
had more tendencies to exhibit innovative work behavior, and those who perceived unfair interpersonal treatment
had fewer tendencies to exhibit innovative work behavior. Correlation between organization-based self-esteem
and innovative work behavior was strong and significant (r= .69, p< .01), indicating that employees with high
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Self-Rated Innovative Work Behavior 130
scores on organization-based self-esteem had more tendencies to exhibit innovative work behavior, and those
with low scores on organization-based self-esteem were more willing to exhibit innovative work behavior. Other
bivariate results revealed that age (r= .00, p> .05) and job tenure (r= .02, p> .05) were not significantly related
to innovative work behavior.
The study hypothesis derives from the purpose of study. It states that organization-based self-esteem and perceived
fair interpersonal treatment will significantly predict innovative work behavior, and this prediction would hold after
controlling for age, gender, and job tenure. To test the hypothesis, a three step hierarchical multiple regression
was conducted. Hierarchical multiple regression allows researchers to specify a fixed order of entry for variables;
therefore, makes it possible to control for the effects of covariates or test for the effect of each variable independently
aside from the influence of other variables. The suitability of the regression analysis was examined by testing for
multicollinearity using the VIF (variable inflation factor) and CI (condition index) diagnostic tools. This examination
did not reveal any violation in conducting the multiple regressions. The hierarchical multiple regression result is
presented in Table 3.
Hierarchical Regression Showing the Predictors of Innovative Work Behavior
Note. PFIT = Perceived Fair Interpersonal Treatment, OBSE = Organization Based Self Esteem. Step 1: R2= 0.01, F= 0.38, df = 3, 181, p>
.05. ΔR2= .01. Step 2: R2= 0.53, F= 103.49, df = 2, 184, p< .01. ΔR2= .53. Step 3: R2= 0.54, F= 42.10, df = 5, 179, p< .01. ΔR2= .01.
In Table 3, the control variables of age, tenure, and gender were entered into the equation at Step 1, followed by
perceived fair interpersonal treatment and organization-based self-esteem at Step 2, and a combination of control
and predictor variables at Step 3. At Step 1, the control variables made no significant contribution to explained
variance (R2) in innovative work behavior, suggesting that 1% of the variation in innovative work behavior is
accounted for by the control variables. The relative predictive values of each variable indicate that none of the
control variables contributed significantly to innovative work behavior: age (ß = -.07; t= -.54, p>.05), tenure (ß =
.05; t= .41, p>.05), and gender (ß = .08; t= .97, p>.05), suggesting that these variables are not significant
predictors of innovative work behavior among respondents in this study.
2012, Vol. 5(2), 124–140
At Step 2, the increment in explained variance that resulted from the addition of perceived fair interpersonal
treatment and organization-based self-esteem after controlling for age, tenure, and gender was significant. The
two variables jointly accounted for 53% of the variance in innovative work behavior (F(2, 184) = 103.49, p< .01).
This result indicates that variables not included in the present study may account for about 47% of variance in
innovative work behavior. It is interesting to note that independently, organization-based self-esteem contributed
more (ß = .57; t= 7.89, p< .01) to innovative work behavior, suggesting that when employees scored high on
organization-based self-esteem, they are likely to be more innovative. Perceived fair interpersonal treatment also
contributed (ß = .29; t= 4.49, p< .01) to variance in innovative work behavior. This indicates that employees who
feel they are treated fairly are likely to be more innovative.
At Step 3, when control variables (i.e., age, tenure, and gender) and psychosocial work environment variables
(i.e., perceived fair interpersonal treatment and organization-based self-esteem) were entered simultaneously
into the regression equation, results revealed that the influence of control variables was insignificant and extremely
small. The whole model accounted for 54% that is, R2= 0.54, (F(5, 179) = 42.10, p< .001), a further 1% of the
variance in innovative work behavior accounted for by the inclusion of control variables. Then it can be concluded
that the inclusion of demographic variables in the model contributed just only 1%. The results also indicate that
organization-based self-esteem (ß = .52; t= 7.85, p< .01) and perceived fair interpersonal treatment (ß = .30; t
= 4.52, p< .01) made unique contributions to innovative work behavior in this study. The study hypothesis was
Further analysis was conducted to test for the effect of education level on innovative work behavior. The result of
One-Way analysis of variance (ANOVA) is presented in Table 4.
One-Way ANOVA Showing the Effect of Education on Innovative Work Behavior
The results reveal a significant effect of education level on innovative work behavior (F(2, 182) = 25.565; p<.001).
In other words, at least employees with certain level of education are more willing to exhibit innovative work
behavior compared to employees with other education levels. Based on the ANOVA results, post-hoc analyses
were performed to find out how the groups differ on innovative work behavior. Scheffé’s method was used to
compare the means of the different groups. The result is presented in Table 5.
Pairwise comparison shows that employees with Diploma certificate with mean (M= 50.38) were significantly less
willing to perform innovative work behavior compared to those with Bachelor Degree/equivalent (M= 53.05) or
Postgraduate Degrees (M= 58.70). However, no significant difference was found on innovative work behavior
between employees with Bachelor Degree/equivalent (M= 53.05) and those with Diploma certificate (M= 50.38).
Therefore, bank employees with Bachelor Degree/equivalent and Postgraduate Degrees are found to be more
willing to perform innovative work behavior.
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Self-Rated Innovative Work Behavior 132
Comparisons of Innovative Work Behavior Based on Levels of Education
321SDMGroup and Number
—11.7950.381. Diploma Certificate (57)
—2.668310.4153.052. Bachelor’s Degree/equivalent (88)
—-8.3198*-5.6515*12.2558.703. Postgraduate Degree (40)
*The mean difference is significant at the .05 level.
The purpose of this study was to test whether organization-based self-esteem and perceived fair interpersonal
treatment would significantly predict innovative work behavior of bank workers in a Nigerian bank, and whether
this prediction would hold after controlling for age, gender, and job tenure. First, findings of correlation analysis
reveal significant relationship between innovative work behavior and perceived fair interpersonal treatment. This
result concurs with Janssen (2000), whose study indicates that the level to which workers responded innovatively
to their job was determined by their perceptions of fairness on the job. The finding is also consistent with Keashly,
Trott, and MacLean (1994), who report that hostile interpersonal behaviors generally decrease job satisfaction,
and may in turn lower extra-role behaviors, such as willingness to perform innovative work behavior. Therefore,
bank workers who perceive fair interpersonal treatment are found to be more innovative in their work behavior.
The second finding reveals that there is a significant positive relationship between innovative work behavior and
organization-based self-esteem. This finding is in line with previous studies (e.g., Van Dyne et al., 2000) that have
demonstrated relationship between organization-based self-esteem and extra-role behavior, and between
self-esteem and work performance (see Korman, 1976;Brockner, 1988). Therefore, bank workers with high
organization-based self-esteem are more innovative in their work behavior. However, there were no significant
relationships among innovative work behavior, age, and job tenure. This finding is contrary to previous studies in
this area (see Oldham & Cummings, 1996;Tierney & Farmer, 2004;Janssen, 2004). This inconsistency may due
to cultural variations and different study settings; the setting of the present study differs from those of previous
Furthermore, the control variables of age, gender, and job tenure were not significant predictors of innovative
work behavior. This finding is contrary to prior findings in this area (see Oldham & Cummings, 1996;Tierney &
Farmer, 2004;Janssen, 2004;Carmeli & Schaubroeck, 2007). A possible explanation for difference in findings
could be mergers and acquisitions and non-discriminatory approach to recruitment of employees. Recent mergers
and acquisitions in the Nigerian banking sector bring people from different organizational background, culture,
expertise, and working experience together as a team. Similarly, employment in the Nigerian banks is not anchor
on specific academic discipline such as accounting, banking and finance, and related disciplines. Possession of
a diploma certificate, First degree, or its equivalent in any discipline and passing of selection interviews are the
basic requirements for employment. When people come to organization from different background, this is likely
to rub on their work behavior. This may account for no significant influence of age, job tenure and gender on
innovative work behavior in this study. Nevertheless, against the background in literature, the influence of age,
job tenure, and gender on innovative work behavior needs further research attention.
2012, Vol. 5(2), 124–140
Findings also indicated that organization-based self-esteem and perceived fair interpersonal treatment explained
significant variance in innovative work behavior after controlling for the influence of control variables. The finding
is in line with the aim of the study, that organization-based self-esteem and perceived fair interpersonal treatment
will significantly predict innovative work behavior, and that this prediction would hold after controlling for age,
gender, and job tenure. These psychosocial work characteristics seem to be responsible for experiencing positive
feelings and interactions among the employees and promoting motivation to performing innovative work behavior
to benefit the work group. The finding suggests the importance of psychosocial work characteristics above
demographic factors as predictors of innovative work behavior among bank employees. Probably, the self-perceived
value of employees with high organization-based self-esteem, as important, trusted and valuable members of the
organization motivate them to think they can make a difference in the organization which may engender more
innovative work behavior to maintain consistency between their self-perceived value and their actual work behavior.
This finding is consistent with self consistency hypothesis (Korman, 1976;Pierce et al., 1989), which predicts that
individuals with high self-esteem desire positive self-perception, and they prefer consistency between the ideal
and real self presentation. Van Dyne et al. (2000),Korman (1976), and Brockner (1988) also demonstrated
association between self-esteem and work performance of employees. Another plausible explanation is that
individuals with high organization-based self-esteem may be bias in rating their actual work behavior just to feel
good in reporting their work behavior. Hence their reported innovativeness may not be the true reflection of how
they actual handle work related challenges but their bias in choosing words that will appraise them as worthy
employees. This finding suggests that organization can enhance innovative work behavior by working on
self-evaluation as regarding organization-based self-esteem.
Perceived fair interpersonal treatment also contributes significantly to innovative work behavior, implying that how
supervisors and coworkers treat employees influences their motivation to generate, promote, and implement
ideas. In other words, perception or feeling of fair interpersonal treatment affects positive reaction towards significant
organizational members, which in turn promote motivation to exhibit innovative work behavior. It is also probable
that credit mobilization strategy such as target setting for individual and work team in the bank motivate employees
to use their judgment to generate problem solving ideas in order to escape the sanction associated with unmet
target. This result reechoes the fact that the quality of interpersonal relationship at work is related to innovative
work behavior, and reinforces the need for interpersonal skills training for all employees.
Findings also revealed that organization-based self-esteem and perceived fair interpersonal treatment remained
the two most important predictors of innovative work behavior in this study, even with the inclusion of control
variables in the regression model. This finding is not consistent with previous findings in this area (see Oldham
& Cummings, 1996;Tierney & Farmer, 2004;Janssen, 2004;Carmeli & Schaubroeck, 2007), which have implicated
job tenure and gender on innovative work behavior. Probably the influence of merger and acquisition, and target
setting as a credit mobilization strategy which call for innovative performance among all employees irrespective
of age and job tenure account for this discrepancy in findings. Nonetheless, the influence of the control variable
cannot be wished away, their influence should be considered in the overall explanation of innovative work behavior.
Lastly, finding indicates that employees with Diploma certificate were significantly less willing to perform innovative
work behavior compared to those with Bachelor Degree/equivalent and Postgraduate Degrees. Thus bank
employees with Bachelor Degree/equivalent and Postgraduate Degrees are found to be more willing to perform
innovative work behavior. In general, it is expected that the more education, the more capability, the more chance
to acquire new job skills, therefore, the more tendency to generate, promote, and implement work related ideas.
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Therefore, organizations who want to promote more innovative work behavior among their employees should
focus on improving the skills and capability of employees with lower level of education.
Theoretical and Managerial Implications of Findings
The current study contributes to the literature by making an attempt to show that organization-based self-esteem
and perceived fair interpersonal treatment influence innovative work behavior among employees in a Nigerian
bank. Through hierarchical regression equation modeling, support was found for the study hypothesis. The
implications of the study findings are as following:
First, the findings of this study implicated ‘fight or flight’ coping strategy and self-consistency theory as useful
conceptual framework for empirical exploration of the link among perceived fair interpersonal treatment,
organization-based self-esteem and innovative work behavior. In other words, if innovative work behavior is a set
of behaviors directed towards the initiation, introduction, and implementation of new and useful ideas, services,
processes, products or procedures to solve work-related problems in order to enhance personal and/or business
performance, then motivating its occurrence should focus on enhancing certain psychosocial organizational
characteristics among employees to increase its manifestation. This knowledge should subsequently assist
organizational managers, HR practitioners, social and organizational psychologists, and others in related disciplines
in developing behavioral modification packages.
Second, findings demonstrate that organization-based self-esteem and perceived fair interpersonal treatment
explained variance in innovative work behavior beyond demographic characteristics, suggesting that perception
of psychosocial work environment and innovative work behavior are associated and may, therefore, function as
better predictors for innovative work behavior among employees. These findings imply that organizational
management and human resource practitioners should focus on improving the levels of organizational based
self-esteem among employees who scored low on this trait by providing more recognition and importance. The
finding also implies a need for better understanding of interpersonal treatment among employees. In order to gain
a better understanding for the low level of innovative work behavior among employees, organizational management,
HR practitioners or relevant professionals in organizational behaviors are encouraged to pay special attention to
interpersonal treatment before designing strategy to enhance innovative work behavior among employees.
Furthermore, they should embark on personnel training to emphasize fair interpersonal treatment as an
organizational norm among all employees. In this regard, it is suggested that interaction from the micro to macro
level functions properly and the organization culture supports an attitude of receptiveness. If the organizational
culture is open and healthy, unfair interpersonal treatment would be minimal and the cooperative atmosphere in
the workplace will have positive impact on employees’ work attitudes and behaviors.
Third, employees with higher level of education are likely to perform more innovative work behavior than those
with lower level of education. Nevertheless, it is important to encourage all employees to continuously generate,
promote, and implement new solutions to work related problems.
These findings notwithstanding, the present findings should be interpreted with an acknowledgment of the following
limitations. A serious constraint of the current study was its reliance on self-report measures. Since the same
source reported innovative work behavior, perceived fair interpersonal treatment, and organization-based
self-esteem, it is likely that common method variance inflated true relationships between these variables. In future
research, a longitudinal design and more sources of data would be useful to assess the causality of the hypothesized
2012, Vol. 5(2), 124–140
relationships. Other limitations of the study include absence of moderator or mediator variable and the inability of
the predictors used in the study to account for the total variance in innovative work behavior. Another restriction
of the current study is related to the representativeness issue of the sample. As with all research, there are
contextual limits based on the sample. In this case, the sample represented only one industry (banking sector) in
only one bank, and only one country (Nigeria). Despite the limitations, this study provides an insight into the
influence of some psychosocial organizational variables associated with innovative work behavior of bank employees
The present study outlines the role of perceived fair interpersonal treatment and organization-based self-esteem
in innovative work behavior among bank employees in a Nigerian bank. In sum, after control for the influence of
age, tenure and gender, innovative work behavior is predicted by both perceived fair interpersonal treatment and
organization-based self-esteem. These findings suggest that perceptions of psychosocial organizational factors
such as organization-based self-esteem and perceived fair interpersonal treatment play significant roles in
willingness to perform innovative work behavior. Because willingness to perform innovative work behavior relies
on perceived self-value as an organization member and perception of fair interpersonal treatment from supervisor
and co-workers, increasing organization-based self-esteem and encouraging fair interpersonal treatment among
employees may help in enhancing willingness to perform innovative work behavior. Finally, findings indicated that
employees with higher level of education are likely to perform more innovative work behavior than those with
lower level of education. The present study has expanded the body of knowledge by implicating perceived fair
interpersonal treatment and organization-based self-esteem on innovative work behavior. If future research
evidence supports these variables, then the gap in psychosocial organizational antecedents of innovative work
behavior among bank employees is filled. It is therefore suggested that more research to be conducted among
bank employees in Nigeria and other countries. Research using additional predictors and factors likely to moderate
or mediate the relationships between antecedents and innovative work behavior should be designed. Hopefully,
findings of the current research would contribute to recruitment strategies, induction training, future research, and
provide some business insights to service organizations.
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About the Author
Oluyinka Ojedokun, PhD, is an Applied Social/Environmental Psychologist. He teaches psychology at both
undergraduate and graduate levels at Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State, Nigeria. His
research activities are centered around, but are not limited to areas such as behavioral and attitudinal aspects of
environmental pollution and application of psychological principles to many areas of human endeavor.
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