Helping to improve suggestion systems: predictors of making suggestions in companies


  • We are indebted to Doris Fay, Nick Shryane, and Sabine Sonnentag for many useful suggestions to improve our paper and to Harry Garst for advising us on the LISREL analyses. We are grateful to Hoogoven Staal for letting us do the research there.


Predictors of submitting suggestions and their quality were studied in a Dutch company with a well-developed suggestion system (n=207 blue collar workers). A model with person variables (initiative at work, higher order need strength, control aspirations, and interest in work innovation), work characteristics (control and complexity), motives (better work, reward), self-efficacy, and system factors (system inhibitors, system responsiveness, and supervisor support) was developed and tested. They are related to the three process variables, deemed to be important in making a suggestion: having ideas, submitting suggestions and quality of the suggestions. A path analysis revealed that the most important factors related to these process variables were initiative at work, higher order need strength, self-efficacy, expected improvements in work and suggestion inhibitors (negatively). Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.