Innovative work behaviour: mapping out the knowledge sharing behind it. Research into the role of a central network position for innovative work behaviour of educational professionals and the mediating role of task conflict.
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Today’s schools endlessly face challenges through new demands of the 21ste century. Educational professionals are responsible for the implementation of educational improvements and hereby rely on knowledge sharing processes in their organization, as these are crucial for the development of new ideas and knowledge. This study investigated whether a central position in a knowledge-sharing network stimulate innovative behaviour of educational professionals. Moreover, it was attempted to clarify this relationship by exploring the mediating role of task conflict. Six teams from a university of applied sciences and an educational advice organization participated. The knowledge-sharing network was visualised through social network analysis, which provides insight into the flow of knowledge in teams. Quantitative surveys were used to measure innovative behaviour and task conflict. It was found that actively sharing ideas in a team stimulates innovative behaviour. This finding contributes to educational practice because it creates awareness for educational institutions that knowledge sharing in teams should be stimulated, as this can be a valuable contribution to the implementation of educational improvements. No evidence was found for the mediating role of task conflict. However , a suggestion was made that conflict management should be added as a control variable, as this is needed to benefit from task conflicts.