Employee involvement in innovation activities in hospitals: How perception matters
Employees are a very important source of innovation and essential for the generation, dissemination and implementation of these ideas throughout the organization. This is especially relevant when considering innovation in services during service (co-) creation such as within the healthcare sector. However, perceived employee involvement in innovation (EII) and between stakeholder group interactions in hospitals has not yet been studied in detail. This paper addresses the following research questions: How do different employee groups perceive their involvement in the innovation process in hospitals and how do their actual involvement levels differ? and (2) How do different employee groups perceive their interaction with other employee groups in the innovation process and how do the ir actual interactions differ? We analyzed a single typical German research hospital and conducted episodic interviews with employees representing different staff groups. We revealed that while all groups of employees are involved in innovation activities, perception of their involvement in innovation activities differs widely. There is a gap between perception and actual involvement particularly for lower level employees such as nurses. Further, their interaction differs among employee groups and innovation takes place in-group, rather than through group interaction. With our paper, we add to the understanding of perceived EII in hospitals and discuss measures for hospital management to increase EII.