Role Innovation scale


This measure, (Role Innovation) developed by West (1987), asks employees to indicate the ways in which they are doing their job differently from the person(s) who did the job previously or from others doing this job in the organization. Although employees taking on an organizational role will tend to stay close to the approach observed in previous role holders, role innovation may occur when the old behaviors do not seem to have as much benefit as alternative new behaviors.


Coefficient alpha values ranged from .88 to .90 (Ashforth & Saks, 1996; Morrison, 1997). Role innovation test-retest reliability was r = .77 (Munton & West, 1995).


Role innovation correlated negatively with collective, formal, sequential, fixed, and serial approaches to socialization at 4 months and 10 months after role assumption. Role innovation correlated positively with intentions to quit and job performance at 4 months and positively with role conflict and job performance at 10 months (Ashforth & Saks, 1996). Role innovation correlated positively with personal change and job discretion within and across time periods, and negatively with self-esteem across periods (Munton & West, 1995).


West, M.A. (1987). A measure of role innovation at work. British Journal of Social Psychology, 26, 83-85. Items were taken from text, p. 85. Copyright © 1987. Reproduced with permission.


Responses are obtained on a4-point Likert-type scale where 1 =/do the job much the same as other people have done it, 2 = I do the job somewhat differ­ently than others have done it, 3 = I do the job very differently than others have done it, and 4 = / do the job completely differently than others have done it. If the respondent is the first person to do the job, he or she is instructed to use a “Not applicable” response. If a respondent has absolutely no idea how the job has been done, he or she is instructed to respond, “Don’t know.” Responses are obtained for the following six areas of job role:

  1. Setting work targets/objectives
  2. Deciding the methods used to achieve work targets/objectives.
  3. Deciding the order in which different parts of the job are done.
  4. Choosing whom you deal with in order to carry out your work duties.
  5. Initiating new procedures or information systems
  6. Developing innovative ways of accomplishing targets/objectives

This content is licensed under a CC-BY license. The CC-BY licenses grant rights of use the scales in your studies (the measurement instrument and its documentation), but do not replace copyright. This remains with the copyright holder, and you have to cite us as the source.

Mohammed Looti, PSYCHOLOGICAL SCALES (2023) Role Innovation scale. Retrieved from DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.31575.96163