The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between unlearning and strategic flexibility from the down-up change perspective.
Drawing on the routine-updating process, this study builds a theoretical model and examines it using survey data from 233 firms in China.
Unlearning is the enabler to strategic flexibility. Specifically, individual unlearning and organizational unlearning both have positive effects on strategic flexibility. Organizational unlearning exerts a partly mediating effect on the relationship between individual unlearning and strategic flexibility.
The paper examines the different mechanisms of individual and organizational unlearning on strategic flexibility and suggests that unlearning is a useful method or approach for strategic flexibility. In addition, this study is useful to help managers or practitioners determine how to embrace strategic flexibility by unlearning.
The authors are grateful for insightful comments and suggestions from the Editor and two anonymous reviewers. This study was supported by the Humanity and Social Science on Foundation of Ministry of Education of China (No. 18YJA630110) and the project of Jilin Education Department (No. JJKH20181067SK).
Wang, X., Qi, Y. and Zhao, Y. (2019), "Individual unlearning, organizational unlearning and strategic flexibility: The down-up change perspective", Baltic Journal of Management, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 2-18. https://doi.org/10.1108/BJM-10-2017-0324Download as .RIS
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