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Organizational learning and innovation as sources of strategic fit

Ignacio Tamayo-Torres (Department of Business Administration, University of Granada, Granada, Spain)
Leopoldo J. Gutiérrez-Gutiérrez (Department of Business Administration, University of Granada, Granada, Spain)
Francisco Javier Llorens-Montes (Department of Business Administration, University of Granada, Granada, Spain)
Francisco J. Martínez-López (Department of Business Administration, University of Granada, Granada, Spain)

Industrial Management & Data Systems

ISSN: 0263-5577

Article publication date: 12 September 2016

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the roles played by organizational learning (OL) and innovation in organizations immersed in the processes of adaptation and strategic fit in dynamic and turbulent environments. The authors analyze whether OL and innovation act as sources of strategic fit, and whether strategic fit positively affects performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use data from a survey of a representative sample of 204 respondents from European firms active in high-technology sectors (response rate: 10.42 percent) and structural equation modeling (using the EQS 6.1 program) to undertake a transversal study.

Findings

The model confirms that OL and the capacity to innovate positively influence managers’ decisions to adapt their organizations to changes in dynamic environments. The achievement of strategic fit, in turn, improves organizational performance. The authors propose considering the innovation climate as a facilitator of new product and process development, although the innovation climate is not a direct antecedent of fit.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited by the fact that the analysis is cross-sectional and by the fact that all measures used are based on managers’ perceptions.

Practical implications

Managers should create and support an entrepreneurial culture that stresses continuous learning. They should also foster programs aimed at developing abilities, and promote the development of capabilities that facilitate acceptance of organizational change. Investments in building certain capabilities, such as OL and the capacity to innovate, are strategically justified, especially in turbulent environments.

Originality/value

This study is one of the first to investigate the complex interactions among OL, innovation, strategic fit, and performance. The results improve our understanding of the links between strategic fit and performance.

Keywords

Citation

Tamayo-Torres, I., Gutiérrez-Gutiérrez, L.J., Llorens-Montes, F.J. and Martínez-López, F.J. (2016), "Organizational learning and innovation as sources of strategic fit", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 116 No. 8, pp. 1445-1467. https://doi.org/10.1108/IMDS-12-2015-0518

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited