Identifying behavioural indicators of innovators at the workplace

Purpose: Taking a literature review as a point of departure, the main aim of this paper was the identification of the behavioural indicators of innovators at the workplace, and their classification.

Design/methodology/approach: A literature review was addressed by means of a search in Elsevier’s Scopus, Web of Science and Google Scholar. By applying inclusive and exclusive criteria, references were obtained with the search protocol. After filtering and scanning, there was a selection of references plus other articles added by the snowball effect. The final phase undertaken was the classification of the main indicators raised in the publications selected.

Findings: Our main contribution was the identification of the behavioural indicators of innovators at the workplace and their classification in five dimensions.

Practical implications: This research may yield some light on the assessment of innovative workplace performance of individuals in organisations, as well as on the development of the innovative competence of students in academic institutions as a challenge to meet the needs of both professionals and Higher Education institutions.

Originality/value: Some authors have studied the characteristics of innovative people mainly focusing on cognitive abilities, personality, motivation and knowledge. We have sought to offer a better understanding of the phenomenon of individual innovation in organisations, through the analysis of behavioural indicators, an issue that has not been studied from this perspective previously.


innovation, innovation competence, individual innovation, innovative work behaviour, behavioural indicators, model of innovation competence, literature review, soft competencies, Innovation management in operations


Oliver Caunt

Oliver Caunt is the Managing Director of family business, John Caunt Scientific Ltd, who specialise in nuclear instrumentation design and manufacture. Oliver relocated the business to the Bury in 2005 and has since overseen stable growth from £1m turnover to just under £2m.

With roots firmly established in the SME landscape, Oliver is a strong champion of entrepreurship and positive collaboration. He is a graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme; has led a successful £1m grant application in collaboration with the University of Liverpool to develop world-class nuclear reactor safeguards and operations technology; is a member of a pan-European academic/commercial collaborative project- FINCODA - setup to establish a global standard tool to define and identify innovative competencies in people for the benefit of post graduates and employers; is a participant in the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority's SME mentor programme; was nominated as one of the North West Insider Magazine's 42 under 42 (faces of the future) in 2012; was the best in class for Technology in the Made in Bury Business Awards 2013; a member of the IoD99 (Institute of Directors 99 select entrepreneurs) and is now a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers in London.

Oliver lives in Ramsbottom with his wife, Ivona, and 2 young children. He spends as much time as possible out in the countryside with the kids, the dog, running and on his mountain bike, as well as enjoying the many excellent local restaurants and pubs in the area!