Self-Efficacy in Improving Employee Innovation

Introduction

Nowadays, many international, local, and private companies use new techniques and management strategies to organize their working processes. These actions are necessary for the age of globalization because employees should be more productive, whereas the products or services they provide are intended to meet the highest quality standards. Also, workers should complete their tasks as fast as possible to remain competitive with other corporations in the same market.

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People who work for such businesses refer to this phenomenon as self-efficacy. This factor is essential in contemporary trading operations as every firm strives to provide its customers with the best options that they can choose among other similar items. To reach this goal, it is important to motivate employees to increase their innovation performance. The following paper is intended to discuss and analyze how self-efficacy or its absence influences the innovation performance of employees and how their skills affect the entire business progress.

Self-Efficacy

In order to discuss different processes that happen between the phenomena mentioned above, it would be proper to determine and discuss these terms to obtain a better understanding of the topic. Self-efficacy can be interpreted as faith in the appropriateness of one’s actions and in the fact that their implementation might lead to successful outcomes of different operations (Maddux 2013, p. 35).

This term was developed by Albert Bandura (a psychologist who specializes in social learning theory). According to the scholar, the productivity of a separate working team is determined by the self-efficacy rate of its members. This theory does not have any limits as it can be discussed in the context of various professions or human activities. It would be proper to mention that self-efficacy is almost synonymous with self-confidence.

When a person has enough experience and knowledge to accomplish a particular mission consciously and professionally, one can be considered an efficacious specialist regarding the given task. However, the same individual might not know anything about another sphere or industry (Maddux 2013, p. 35). Thus, he or she is not able to provide high-quality work in diverse occupations. Therefore, the self-efficacy of an employee is also determined by one’s contribution to a certain craft or another industry that requires an intensive education.

Albert Bandura (1977, p. 202) claims that one of the factors that have a significant impact on people’s behavior is the fact that such individuals refuse to believe in the appropriateness of their actions performed to reach particular goals. This phenomenon is often referred to as Bandura’s self-efficacy theory. “The present theory is based on the principal assumption that psychological procedures, whatever their form, serve as means of creating and strengthening expectations of personal efficacy” (Bandura 1977, p. 193) To demonstrate one’s self-efficacy, it is essential for a person to show that his or her behavior might have positive consequences in tricky situations. Therefore, it is important for an employee to evaluate one’s experience and how it might resolve different problems or issues that recently occur in his or her workplace.

Bandura (1977, p. 193) stresses that the majority of psychic disorders are caused by the lack of patients’ self-efficacy and their assuredness of what they do. However, such a confident behavior does not guarantee the successful outcome of a problematic situation. Instead, an employee must analyze one’s knowledge and find the most suitable way to apply it in practice (Maddux 2013, p. 37). For instance, a computer engineer is given a task to develop a new program to control robots for one of the global automobile brand’s assembly lines.

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If the responsible worker does not have any doubts about the final product’s accurate and flawless functioning, he or she might organize one’s actions appropriately to develop the required software without other colleagues’ help. However, when a young specialist has to deal with such a mission, he or she might not have enough practical knowledge or experience to meet the customer’s needs and expectations. Therefore, the discussed specialist cannot be considered self-efficacious.

The self-efficacy theory’s central concept can be classified with the help of such terms as efficacy expectation and outcome expectation. The first component can be determined as an employee’s evaluation of personal strengths that are necessary to accomplish different missions. Another element requires a worker to identify and outline what his or her final product is supposed to look like.

“It is hypothesized that expectations of personal efficacy determine whether coping behavior will be initiated, how much effort will be expended, and how long it will be sustained in the face of obstacles and aversive experiences” (Bandura 1977, p. 197). In conclusion, it would be proper to mention that self-efficacy has to be grasped by every worker in different companies to show that one’s skills are helpful and that this person is responsible for his or her decisions taken to overcome particular difficulties.

Innovation Performance

As it is mentioned above, every modern company requires its employees to learn innovative techniques and methods that should be used in their professional activities to improve the quality of the organization’s final product or service (Andries & Czarnitzki 2011, p. 34). Businesses’ approaches to their production processes often change due to new technologies or more effective theories developed to increase their productivity rates. Therefore, not every person can grasp and use all of the innovative methods that occur in appropriate markets (Andries & Czarnitzki 2011, p. 34). However, it is essential to follow higher working standards to satisfy people who pay for the services or products developed by such firms.

Self-Efficacy Role in Performance Improvement

Analyzing the information given above, it is possible to see that self-efficacy has a significant influence on improving the innovation performance of different companies’ employees. If a person is confident when performing particular actions, one is giving his or her company new opportunities to raise its sales on the market and to attract more clients than other businesses (Andries & Czarnitzki 2011, p. 34). When a firm reaches new heights, it gains more profit, whereas the person who influences such changes is likely to be promoted and bring more benefits to this organization. However, it is essential to understand all the models of self-efficacy impacts on workers’ innovation performance that are listed below:

Education

As it is mentioned above, to perform appropriate actions that lead to success, it is essential to obtain the necessary education and knowledge. It would be proper to state that particular information that an employee can properly operate and implement in practice is much more valuable than this person’s experience as he or she might develop new and effective practices due to the lack of limited thinking (Beers & Zand 2013, p. 305).

Education gives people theories of how their activities should be performed. However, every individual is free to decide and demonstrate one’s imagination when working with new materials. The factor of originality is especially important in employees’ innovation performance as people start to seek creative ways of solving diverse problems. As a result, they compare their achievements and stick to the best solution in the future to make their work maximally productive.

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Understanding mutual goals

When different companies require their employees to undergo another qualification course or an educational lecture regarding their occupations, the workers should understand how the acquired information can be used by them to increase their productivity and performance (Beers & Zand 2013, p. 305). When an individual can determine and aim at reaching the mutual goals of the company that he or she works for, it is much easier to consider and implement appropriate actions for its benefit in the future.

Such actions are almost impossible to perform for a person that does not have faith in the fact that one’s methods might have successful outcomes (Beers & Zand 2013, p. 305). Moreover, when mutual goals are clear to every member of the working team, it is much easier to concentrate on separate goals as they all should lead to the desired results.

Knowing and using new technologies

Indeed, every worker should be aware of new technologies and trends in a particular market. As all industries use innovative models and inventions in their manufacturing processes, it is essential to be aware of such procedures (Beers & Zand 2013, p. 307). Otherwise, it is impossible to remain self-efficacious and improve one’s performance rate. In the twenty-first century, people must obtain new knowledge helpful in their careers daily because different working methods become old, and employees’ efficiency might reduce due to this factor.

Charisma

One of the most important qualities included in the term of self-efficacy is charisma as people cannot be sure of their actions’ appropriateness if they do not have faith in their righteousness. It is important to insist on one’s point of view or theory if it is not tested yet. Unfortunately, many people are afraid to express their thoughts and try new working methods due to the feeling that they might be judged by others (Beers & Zand 2013, p. 306). Self-efficacy does not only imply professional knowledge and experience. Employees also must learn to present their ideas to improve their innovation performance.

It is necessary to stress that self-efficacious people have different patterns of thinking. These factors influence employees’ minds, approaches to different activities, behaviors, and innovative performance. For instance, when people do not have enough faith in their actions, they might fail at completing some tasks successfully. As a result, their productivity decreases as these people’s minds become limited due to the difficulties they faced before (Schwarzer 2015, p. 55). In particular, individuals consider some missions to be harder than they are in reality. Also, some employees might be expressive and emotional when working on a particular object due to a lack of confidence. Usually, such situations imply poor time management and duties’ delegation among the working team members.

However, people, who believe that their intervention into a certain process is likely to be useful, elaborate on the general working plan first to evaluate every element or issue that might occur in the future. Usually, employees with high self-efficacy show better results in innovation performance than their other colleagues as they are interested in completing the given tasks perfectly. “People who perceive their arousal as stemming from personal inadequacies are more likely to lower their efficacy expectations than those who attribute their arousal to certain situational factors” (Stajkovic & Luthans 1998, p. 243). Sometimes, it is important to analyze one’s previous actions to improve personal innovation performance.

Indeed, self-efficacy implies the complexity of the tasks performed by employees as it requires people to think more, develop productive working plans, schedules, and organize the entire production process. As it is mentioned above, it is essential to consider new approaches to work when dealing with new technologies or management models aimed at improving innovation performance.

Therefore, self-efficacious individuals might experience more difficulties when coping with regular tasks than other specialists (Stajkovic & Luthans 1998, p. 246). Employees, who are sure that they can provide high-quality work, consider various methods that are intended to improve their skills and knowledge. Their work is considered to be creative, which makes it more complex and professional at the same time.

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Suggestions to Improve the Innovation Performance

It would be proper to state that managers are obliged to explain and clearly describe all the requirements given to their auxiliaries to perform a specific task. Otherwise, the lack of instructions might have an adverse impact on the general presentation and quality of the final product. Unfortunately, even the most experienced workers face the problem of their clients’ uncertain expectations. Therefore, they cannot be self-efficacious in such instances as they do not know which skills should be applied in the given case.

Indeed, all employees, who are expected to complete a particular task flawlessly, must be instructed by people who face the problem daily or other individuals who know the key to its solution. “Because complex tasks usually involve several possible paths for their execution, the appropriateness of the selected means should also be ensured” (Stajkovic & Luthans 1998, p. 245). Such factors as accurate data and the prevalence of a certain task on the market identify the final product’s or service’s appearance and functions.

The role of self-efficacy in improving the innovation performance of employees is also determined by the number of distractive factors or objects that might present challenges to people who concentrate on their tasks. It is important to eliminate all the useless or replaceable issues from the room that is given to workers as their productivity might increase rapidly when they remain in a calm and favorable environment.

Some things that employees do not even notice might have a significant impact on their innovation performance. Another suggestion to the managers who control their auxiliaries’ work is to ensure employees’ beliefs as to their capabilities (Schwarzer 2015, p. 97). Sometimes, such an approach gives more results than additional education or multiple professional qualifications. As workers should follow stricter behavioral and cognitive requirements due to particular tasks, they might have a lack of personal abilities to cope with the emerged problem.

Although professional education is not always suitable, managers must teach their employees to perform appropriate actions when dealing with complex tasks. For instance, many people work without any break in order not to lose time. However, it is important to relax and rest during a working day because the human brain loses its productivity when processing information for an extended period.

Moreover, there are other problem-solving fetches in different professions used by experienced workers. These tips are necessary to be shared with younger specialists to improve their innovation performance and self-efficacy. Also, employees should be taught to analyze every task and develop methods of coping with them as fast as possible. This makes people think more broadly and implement considered solutions in practice to save time.

It would be proper to mention that the pieces of training mentioned above should specify the problem-solutions criteria of different difficulties that the employees of a certain company face on a daily basis (Schwarzer 2015, p. 103). Otherwise, people might not consider using the acquired knowledge in the required task. Such an outcome might make the entire lecture useless. It is essential to give examples of how the received information may help in a plethora of instances to make the worldview of the attendants wider.

Also, managers must provide their auxiliaries with strict working standards that they should follow, regardless of their critical decisions. “Managers should provide clear and objective standards against which employees can gauge the level of their performance accomplishment” (Stajkovic & Luthans 1998, p. 245). Although creativity is a positive trait and quality of workers, their capabilities should be somewhat restricted according to the rules of the company they work for at the moment. In turn, employees should remember that their efforts and strategies should be discussed with superiors in detail. It would be advantageous to ask for the managers’ approval before implementing particular action as these people have more experience and might give useful pieces of advice to their colleagues.

Discussion

Self-efficacy has always been one of the most significant factors that influence any working progress and development. Many scholars claim that people’s knowledge should be constantly practiced to use it appropriately in their professional activities. As it is mention above, a person’s perception of his or her environment and regular situations can be observed in one’s work (Schwarzer 2015, p. 103). Different individuals’ moods have various implications in practice. For instance, one employee might become less self-efficacious due to particular problems in personal life or family relationships. However, another worker’s innovation performance may increase because of the same issues as he or she might burden oneself with work to forget about other aspects of this one’s life.

Conclusion

The theory of self-efficacy is invented by Albert Bandura. This term implies a person’s confidence and faith in the righteousness of one’s actions in tricky situations. As it is mentioned above, several factors influence the self-efficacy of every individual. However, some of these traits might vary due to the emotions and character of every employee. Also, managers need to address the needs of their auxiliaries to make them more assured as to their deeds and critical decisions. Indeed, the role of self-efficacy is significant in improving the innovation performance of employees. Every worker should be motivated to reach new heights and results in one’s career. Therefore, it would be advantageous to create favorable conditions for people’s professional development at their workplaces.

Reference List

Andries, P & Czarnitzki, D 2011, ‘Small firm innovation performance and employee involvement’, Small Business Economics, vol. 43, no. 1, pp. 21–38.

Bandura, A 1977, ‘Self-efficacy: toward a unifying theory of behavioral change’, Psychological Review, vol. 84, no. 2, pp. 191–215.

Beers, C & Zand, F 2013, ‘R&D cooperation, partner diversity, and innovation performance: an empirical analysis’, Journal of Product Innovation Management, vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 292–312.

Maddux, J 2013, Self-efficacy, adaptation, and adjustment: theory, research, and application, Plenum Press, New York, NY.

Schwarzer, R 2015, Self-efficacy: thought control of action, Routledge, New York, NY.

Stajkovic, A & Luthans, F 1998, ‘Self-efficacy and work-related performance: a meta-analysis’, Psychological Bulletin, vol. 124, no. 2, pp. 240–261.

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StudyCorgi. (2020, November 23). Self-Efficacy in Improving Employee Innovation. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/self-efficacy-in-improving-employee-innovation/

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StudyCorgi. "Self-Efficacy in Improving Employee Innovation." November 23, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/self-efficacy-in-improving-employee-innovation/.

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StudyCorgi. 2020. "Self-Efficacy in Improving Employee Innovation." November 23, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/self-efficacy-in-improving-employee-innovation/.

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