This paper aims to explore managers' perceptions of learning within a sample of Swiss watch firms.
A purposeful (judgmental) stratified sampling method was employed, where in‐depth interviews with 13 marketing managers and owners were carried out over a three‐month period. Meaning units (MUs) were abstracted, which were compared and discussed with the interviewees until a basic agreement of terms could be made.
By providing tangible evidence of qualitative statements, this research suggests that if decision makers wish to influence business performance, they need to be aware of this comprehensive insight into the potential of learning orientation.
This research has taken a qualitative approach to establish external reliability. Hence, this could be followed by a large‐scale survey to discover how it can influence employee idea generation and performance. Another limitation is the exclusive focus on senior managers and owners of Swiss watch companies, who have a specific culture, history and experience. Consequently, it would be useful to take a similar approach to other established industries with different culture and environmental characteristics and experience, so that comparisons can be made.
The paper provides strategic insights and practical thinking that have influenced some of the world's leading organisations. The paper has practical implications for managers involved in unifying focus for the efforts and projects of individuals as it shows the importance of an organisation focusing on learning orientation, thereby leading to superior performance.
The paper provides a good example of learning deficiency as one of the main reasons why these companies find it so hard to successfully stay in the market.
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