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Linking organizational learning with technical innovation and organizational culture

Raquel Sanz‐Valle (Associate Professor at the Department of Management, University of Murcia)
Julia C. Naranjo‐Valencia (Associate Professor at the Department of Industrial Engineering, National University of Colombia. Campus La Nubia, Manizales, Colombia)
Daniel Jiménez‐Jiménez (Associate Professor at the Department of Management, University of Murcia. Campus de Espinardo, Murcia, Spain)
Laureano Perez‐Caballero (Doctoral student at the Department of Management, University of Murcia. Campus de Espinardo, Murcia, Spain)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Publication date: 25 October 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the effect of organizational learning on technical innovation and the role of organizational culture as a determinant of the organizational learning processes.

Design/methodology/approach

After reviewing the literature on organizational learning and its relationship with both, technical innovation and organizational culture, this paper analyzes those relationships using a sample of 451 firms.

Findings

Findings reveal that organizational learning is positively associated with technical innovation and that organizational culture can foster both organizational learning and technical innovation but can also act as a barrier. Additionally, findings show that in order to enhance innovation neither a flexibility focus nor an external focus are enough. Both of them are necessary to characterize organizational culture.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitations of this paper are the cross‐sectional design of the empirical research and the fact that data were collected from one source only.

Practical implications

Findings can guide managers' efforts in the development of an organizational culture which fosters both organizational learning and innovation since they show that adhocracy culture fosters both of them and that a hierarchy culture may act as a barrier for them.

Originality/value

The paper focuses on the little‐researched relations between organizational culture, organizational learning and innovation. Moreover, it focuses on the Spanish context, where there is a lack of studies on this issue. Finally, the paper provides empirical evidence that these relations exist. In particular, adhocracy enhances both learning and innovation the most, while hierarchy inhibits them most.

Keywords

Citation

Sanz‐Valle, R., Naranjo‐Valencia, J.C., Jiménez‐Jiménez, D. and Perez‐Caballero, L. (2011), "Linking organizational learning with technical innovation and organizational culture", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 15 No. 6, pp. 997-1015. https://doi.org/10.1108/13673271111179334

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited