In the mood to innovate : a multilevel study on the interaction of entrepreneurs' innovative work behaviour and affect : a dissertation presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Business Studies in Management, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand
Affect is a hot topic in entrepreneurial research. However, extant literature is lagging behind in its use of affective theory and methodology, and furthermore, attention resides in isolated topics of inquiry, rendering the field stunted and disjointed. The purpose of this research is to adopt burgeoning affective theoretical perspectives to anticipate daily fluctuation in entrepreneurs’ innovative behaviour. The circumplex model of affect is utilised in this research to challenge the rhetoric that all spectrum of pleasant moods lead to beneficial work behaviour. Though multilevel modelling based on 3360 data points nested within 160 entrepreneurs (21 surveys per participant, completed over two weeks), support is found for the proposition that pleasant moods do not necessarily result in productive behaviour. Specifically, activation (the energising dimension of affect) has greater influence on propelling entrepreneurs’ innovative behaviour than valence (affect’s pleasant or unpleasant nature), such that high activation unpleasant and pleasant affect (worried, anxious, inspired, enthusiastic) predicts innovative work behaviour, while low activation pleasant affect (calm, relaxed) does not.
The affect-behaviour relationship is examined from several perspectives resulting in a feedback model between high activation moods and innovative work behaviour engagement. Engagement in innovative work behaviour positively correlated to entrepreneurs’ experience of high activation unpleasant affect, and negatively related to high and low activation pleasant affect. Thus although innovative work behaviour benefits from high activation pleasant moods, engagement essentially decreases them.
Affective dispositions correlated with daily affective experiences also, as such entrepreneurs with low levels of trait negative affect experienced more pleasant moods during the day and visa versa. Findings confirmed the hypothesis that the quality of previous night’s sleep both moderates the link between affect and innovative work behaviour, plus predisposes entrepreneurs to pleasant or conversely unpleasant affective daily experiences – illustrating the importance of sleep in affective research. Additionally innovative work behaviour was predicted via “the affective shift model”, which was adapted to include the influence of activation. The results further attest to the relevance of temporal dynamics of affect perspectives in entrepreneurial research. Specifically, the model demonstrated that innovative work behaviour ensued when high activation unpleasant affect was followed by high activation pleasant affect, or simply with an increase in the level of high activation affect, of either valence between morning and afternoon. Empirical, theoretical, and practical implications of the findings are discussed.