High-involvement innovation: views from frontline service workers and managers

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The nature of work is changing; organisations are demanding more from their employees. It is no longer acceptable to turn up and do your job when organisations are looking for employees to go ‘above and beyond’ to get extra from their employees. The effect of finanialization has exacerbated trends toward “frontline workers being required to contribute to low level operational decisions” (Thompson, 2013: 478). Thompson and McHugh (2009) highlight that advocates of this change say that “ employees ’ attitudes have to move from grudging compliance to high commitment” (pp. 216). In various work spheres innovation has become the buzzword of the moment and as such managers are looking for ‘innovation’ from all areas of the organisation. This pursuit of innovation, and ideas as the nuclei of the innovation process, has primarily been driven by firms in order to remain competitive in capitalist environments. Consequently all levels of employees are being encouraged to generate and submit ideas in order to provide the seeds of innovation for the organisation, in what is branded “ high involvement innovation ” (Bessant, 2003).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-226
Number of pages18
JournalEmployee Relations
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 12 Feb 2018


  • organisational innovation
  • human resource development
  • performance appraisal


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