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The Moderating Roles of Organizational Learning and Strategic Flexibility on Marketing Strategic Change and Business Performance: Evidence from Firms in Thailand

International Marketing in the Fast Changing World

ISBN: 978-1-78560-233-7, eISBN: 978-1-78560-232-0

ISSN: 1474-7979

Publication date: 24 October 2015

Abstract

Purpose

Owing to the inconclusive results of prior studies on the strategic change–firm performance relationship, this paper extends the marketing strategy literature by postulating an “inverted U-shaped” relationship and the moderating roles of “organizational learning” (OGL) and “strategic flexibility” (STF).

Methodology/approach

A self-administered survey was employed to collect data from different strategic business units of 550 firms operating in Thailand. The data collection yielded a response rate of 17.27%. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to validate the scales, and path analysis was employed to test the hypotheses in this study.

Findings

Although no significant curvilinear relationship was found, the directions of the path coefficients are consistent with the hypothesis. Both OGL and STF serve as significant moderators in the marketing strategic change (MSC)–business performance relationships. While STF strengthens the relationship, the generative OGL tends to weaken it.

Practical implications

Managers need to understand the type of learning that fits different types of strategic changes in order to enhance business performance. Generative OGL may seem harmful for changes that are less proactive. Furthermore, firms should incorporate flexibility in managing political, economic, and financial risks in their strategies by emphasizing investments and cost sharing, flexible human capital allocation, and spontaneous and impromptu actions.

Originality/value

This study extends international marketing strategy literature by empirically testing the hypotheses in an emerging Asian economy. The research proposes a nonlinear relationship between MSC and business performance as well as introduces the moderating roles of OGL and STF.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgments

The author would like to thank two anonymous reviewers for their invaluable comments. She is also grateful to Chaiporn Vithessonthi for his help with an earlier version of this paper and Olimpia C. Racela for her constructive comments throughout this research project.

Citation

Thoumrungroje, A. (2015), "The Moderating Roles of Organizational Learning and Strategic Flexibility on Marketing Strategic Change and Business Performance: Evidence from Firms in Thailand", International Marketing in the Fast Changing World (Advances in International Marketing, Vol. 26), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 179-198. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1474-797920150000026009

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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