10th International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement (ESEM)
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Context: In the workplace, some individuals engage in the voluntary and intentional generation, promotion, and realization of new ideas for the benefit of individual performance, group effectiveness, or the organization. The literature classifies this phenomenon as innovative behaviour. Despite its importance to the development of innovation, innovative behaviour has not been fully investigated in software engineering. Objective: To understand the factors that support or inhibit innovative behaviour in software engineering practice. Method: We conducted a pilot case study in a Canadian software company using interviews and observations as data collection techniques. Using qualitative analysis, we identified relevant factors and relationships not addressed by studies from other areas. Results: Individual innovative behaviour is influenced by individual attitudes and also by situational factors such as relationships in the workplace, organizational characteristics, and project type. We built a model to express the interacting effects of these factors. Conclusions: Innovative behaviour is dependent on individual and contextual factors. Our results contribute to relevant impacts on research and practice, and to topics that deserve further study.