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Book part
Publication date: 27 October 2014

Alain Guiette and Koen Vandenbempt

This paper seeks to develop a mid-range theory of how change recipient sensemaking processes affect the realization of strategic flexibility during simultaneous change in…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to develop a mid-range theory of how change recipient sensemaking processes affect the realization of strategic flexibility during simultaneous change in professional service firms.

Methodology/approach

The research presented is based on an exploratory embedded case study adopting a qualitative interpretive methodology, conducted at a professional service organization. A sensemaking lens was adopted in order to study organizational change processes. Data was collected through semi-structured open-ended in-depth interviews, and analyzed using first and second order analysis, inspired by the methodology used by Corley and Gioia (2004).

Findings

We identified four determinants of change recipient sensemaking: professional identification, dominant organizational discourse, equivocality of expectations, and cross-understanding between thought worlds. Case findings indicate that cognitive and affective dimensions of change recipient sensemaking are strongly interwoven in their effect on realizing strategic flexibility.

Research implications

We contribute to the competence-based strategic management literature by introducing the concept of change recipient sensemaking in understanding the realization of strategic flexibility; by identifying four major determinants in a context of simultaneous change in a professional service organization; and by highlighting the interwoven and mutually reinforcing cognitive and affective dimensions of professional’s process of constructing meaning.

Details

A Focused Issue on Building New Competences in Dynamic Environments
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-274-6

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 July 2022

Kui Yin, Can Li, Oliver J. Sheldon and Jing Zhao

Drawing upon a dynamic managerial capabilities perspective, this study aims to unpack how and when chief experience officer (CEO) transformational leadership influences…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing upon a dynamic managerial capabilities perspective, this study aims to unpack how and when chief experience officer (CEO) transformational leadership influences firm innovation. Specifically, a moderated mediation model linking CEO transformational leadership to firm innovation, which includes strategic flexibility as a mediator and top management team (TMT) knowledge diversity as a moderator, is theorized and empirically tested.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a survey of 354 TMT members and 62 CEOs from 62 firms in China’s construction industry to explore these relationships. Path analysis using Mplus 7.4 was undertaken to test our proposed moderated mediation model.

Findings

The results revealed that strategic flexibility mediates the positive relationship between CEO transformational leadership and firm innovation. Additionally, TMT knowledge diversity positively moderates the relationship between CEO transformational leadership and strategic flexibility.

Research limitations/implications

Taken together, these findings help advance and deepen our understanding of the mechanisms through which CEO transformational leadership influences firm innovation and boundary conditions under which CEO transformational leadership influences strategic flexibility. At the same time, this study also contributes to the literature on strategic flexibility and the CEO-TMT interface by revealing the interactive effect of CEO transformational leadership and TMT knowledge diversity on strategic flexibility.

Originality/value

Although the positive influence of CEO transformational leadership on firm innovation has been widely recognized, the specific mechanisms underlying this effect have yet to be fully theorized. This study proposes and tests a nuanced theoretical framework linking CEO transformational leadership to firm innovation via a firm’s strategic flexibility. It also argues that TMT knowledge diversity enhances the indirect effect of CEO transformational leadership on firm innovation through strategic flexibility; that is, this indirect effect is significant when TMT diversity is high, but not when TMT diversity is low.

Details

Chinese Management Studies, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-614X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 March 2022

Wanyi Chen, Rong Jin and Yuchuan Xie

The rising uncertainties in the macroeconomic environment exacerbate the challenges firms face in the export market. This study aims to explore which strategy is suitable…

1039

Abstract

Purpose

The rising uncertainties in the macroeconomic environment exacerbate the challenges firms face in the export market. This study aims to explore which strategy is suitable for export enterprises to develop sustainably under COVID-19.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the sample data of China’s A-stock listed manufacturing firms from 2010 to 2020, this study applies a survival analysis method to explore the impact of strategic flexibility on export firm survival. Furthermore, this study uses the difference-in-difference model to test the relationship between strategic flexibility and firms’ profits in the context of the pandemic.

Findings

The results show that strategic flexibility can increase firms’ survival time, improving dynamic production and innovation capabilities, which is favorable for their sustainable development. Meanwhile, after the spread of COVID-19, firms with strategic flexibility have higher profits than those without. This influence mechanism mainly involves exploring new markets that can improve the company revenue and the coordination capabilities of the supply chain; this reduces corporate costs.

Originality/value

This study expands relevant research on the factors affecting the survival of export enterprises and supplements research on the economic consequences of firms’ strategic flexibility; this also enriches the dynamic capability theory. Additionally, it provides important implications for firms to enhance strategic flexibility and recommends government implementation of policies that encourage the domestic sales of commodities originally produced for exports under COVID-19.

Details

Chinese Management Studies, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-614X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 June 2021

Fabian Hoeft

Strategic flexibility is a widely discussed concept. Yet discussions remained of qualitative nature or addressed only specific aspects quantitatively underlying the…

1878

Abstract

Purpose

Strategic flexibility is a widely discussed concept. Yet discussions remained of qualitative nature or addressed only specific aspects quantitatively underlying the concept. The purpose of this paper is to develop a conceptual model identifying key factors determining strategic flexibility. Once quantified, the model provides firms a profile of each strategic option towards the company vision.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews existing and synthesises prior contributions into a conceptual model of strategic flexibility. Based on semi-structured interviews and value mapping, the model is applied using three case studies from the automotive industry.

Findings

A total of three main findings were made. First, the concept of strategic flexibility has a simple logic that aligns itself to a variety of automotive companies and visions. However, underlying this remit is an interplay of variables. Previous studies remain fragmented and have only addressed a subset of variables. Second, these variables can be grouped into three dimensions of strategic flexibility – product, process and customer – to convey a holistic understanding of strategic flexibility and its key determinants. Third, due to the uncertainty and complexity involved, depending on the firm and industry characteristics, there cannot be a one-fits-all configuration of the strategic flexibility conceptualisation.

Research limitations/implications

A variety of variables requires consideration to offer a balanced view of all three dimensions of strategic flexibility. Hence, the case studies remain at a necessarily high level.

Practical implications

The paper offers guidance for management on how to align their firm strategy to product and process contingency factors to satisfy customer needs in line with their company vision.

Originality/value

The paper aims to elevate a discussion that previously remained fragmented and mainly descriptive.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 February 2014

Yaqing Lin, Shuming Zhao and Na Li

The purpose of this study is to introduce strategic flexibility as an important dynamic capability into the field of strategic human resource management (SHRM) and explore…

2786

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to introduce strategic flexibility as an important dynamic capability into the field of strategic human resource management (SHRM) and explore its mediating role between network-building HR practices for top management team (TMT) and firm performance. Moreover, based on the context of transition economy in China, the authors examine environmental uncertainty as a moderator in these relationships and empirically test the questions above.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors have conducted questionnaire surveys on 780 top managers in 390 companies mainly located in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang and finally received 241 valid samples.

Findings

The results show that network-building HR practices have positive effects on firm performance and strategic flexibility plays a fully mediating role between them. In addition, environmental uncertainty moderates the relationship between network-building HR practices for TMT and strategic flexibility, while it has no moderating effect in the relationship between strategic flexibility and firm performance.

Originality/value

These conclusions have important implications for the development and application of SHRM in dynamic environments. Theoretically, the authors enrich the functions of network-building HR practices for TMT and provide the evidence to advocate the development of the innovative HR practices in China. In terms of the practical implications of the study, it is argued that network-building HR practices for TMT and strategic flexibility can help firms to deal with uncertainty and achieve high performance, which provides constructive guidance in the development of enterprises in the China's transition economy.

Details

Nankai Business Review International, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8749

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 September 2018

Xiangyang Wang, Ying Qi and Yingxin Zhao

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between unlearning and strategic flexibility from the down-up change perspective.

2685

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between unlearning and strategic flexibility from the down-up change perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on the routine-updating process, this study builds a theoretical model and examines it using survey data from 233 firms in China.

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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.

Article
Publication date: 31 August 2010

L.J. Gutiérrez Gutiérrez and V. Fernández Pérez

The paper aims to study the effect of external managerial social networks on strategic flexibility for a quality management (QM) perspective. External social networks can…

2820

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to study the effect of external managerial social networks on strategic flexibility for a quality management (QM) perspective. External social networks can affect strategic flexibility positively. QM also contributes to developing these networks. However, there is currently a wide variety of alternatives for managing quality in organizations, such as ISO standards or the European Foundation for Quality Management model. Thus, different alternatives will influence the external social networks differently in ways that have repercussions for strategic flexibility. Testing these differences is the main purpose of this paper.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 203 valid responses were classified in three groups: non‐QM, ISO, and total quality management (TQM) firms. Then, a comparative ANOVA analysis was performed to test differences among groups. Finally, different regressions were run to test the effects of external social networks (range, size and strength) on strategic flexibility depending of the observed group.

Findings

Paper results show that, depending on which QM initiative is implemented in the organization, the effects of external managerial networks on strategic flexibility vary. Thus, in organizations without QM, the range of external social networks influences strategic flexibility negatively, whereas in organizations with ISO standards, this negative effect disappears. In organizations with TQM, the paper finds the positive effect of both size and strength of relations in the networks.

Practical implications

The paper facilitates how to differentiate QM alternatives depending on their observed behavior.

Originality/value

A new perspective (QM) is observed to test how managerial networks affect strategic flexibility.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 110 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2013

Virginia Fernández‐Pérez, Antonio José Verdú‐Jóver and Jose Benitez‐Amado

This paper aims to examine how the characteristics of CEOs' social networks, such as the size of the network and the strength of the ties, influence strategic flexibility

3953

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine how the characteristics of CEOs' social networks, such as the size of the network and the strength of the ties, influence strategic flexibility from a strategic orientation perspective. External social networks can affect strategic flexibility positively. Different orientations could have repercussions for the relationship between external social networks and strategic flexibility.

Design/methodology/approach

The data came from surveys completed by the managers of 188 Spanish firms. The methodology used was regression analysis.

Findings

The authors observe that external social networks affect strategic flexibility positively, more strongly when the networks are greater in size. The sample was classified into three groups: conservative, intermediate and entrepreneurship firms. The authors find that other effects vary according to the kind of strategic orientation in the organization. Both findings support and extend social capital and network theory and flexibility literature.

Research limitations/implications

The interviews were held with Spanish CEOs, and the character of the research was cross‐sectional. This could have implications for the generalizability of the findings.

Originality/value

The authors' results extend previous research not only by highlighting the importance of CEOs' social networks in driving strategic flexibility but also by indicating how different strategic orientations either enhance or inhibit this relationship.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 42 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 September 2012

Yiannis Kouropalatis, Paul Hughes and Robert E. Morgan

Firms face high velocity conditions today that render product market strategies increasingly temporal. Strategic flexibility is critical for enabling rapid adaptation to a…

5534

Abstract

Purpose

Firms face high velocity conditions today that render product market strategies increasingly temporal. Strategic flexibility is critical for enabling rapid adaptation to a changing environment. At the same time, managerial commitment to product‐market strategy signifies the extent to which a manager comprehends and supports the strategy and reflects a necessary sense of ownership for any chosen product‐market strategy. The purpose of this paper, then, is to examine strategically ambidextrous firms through the twin lenses of flexibility and commitment to determine whether performance benefits accrue from such characteristics.

Design/methodology/approach

While traditional research streams examine strategic flexibility and commitment to product‐market strategy as opposing ends of a continuum, this paper adopts a broader perspective and examines strategic flexibility and commitment to product‐market strategy as elements of strategically ambidextrous firms. Cluster analysis is used to identify groups of high and low strategically ambidextrous firms.

Findings

Strategically ambidextrous firms exhibit commitment to product‐market strategy, which enables the effective realisation of selected strategies through focusing managerial attention and firm resources, and strategic flexibility, which enables adaptation of the planned product‐market strategy based on feedback received, or abandonment followed by new strategic choices and impetus. The paper reveals that firms with high strategic ambidexterity exhibit significantly greater levels of strategic resources, decentralisation, product‐market strategy process effectiveness, and implementation effectiveness compared with low ambidexterity firms. Thus, strategic ambidexterity is revealed to endow significant performance benefits.

Originality/value

This paper addresses the need to examine ambidexterity as “flexible commitment”.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 46 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 September 2020

Linbo Yang and Chenjing Gan

The dynamic capabilities theory indicates that uncertain environments necessitate firms’ dynamic capability. This study aims to examine how dynamic capability can be…

2672

Abstract

Purpose

The dynamic capabilities theory indicates that uncertain environments necessitate firms’ dynamic capability. This study aims to examine how dynamic capability can be shaped based on cooperative goal interdependence with supply chain partners by focusing on the mediating role of strategic flexibility and the moderating role of human resource flexibility.

Design/methodology/approach

Questionnaire surveys were administered to firm presidents, chief executive officers, chief human resources officers (CHOs) and other senior managers at 300 firms located in China. The data collection process was carried out in one wave with multiple sources. Of the firms contacted, the sample in this study consisted of 233 matched “CHO-other top manager” dyads. Structural equation modeling and the bias-corrected bootstrap method were used to test the proposed causal relationships, moderation model, mediation model and moderated mediation model.

Findings

Cooperative goal interdependence with both upstream companies and downstream companies was positively related to dynamic capability and strategic flexibility mediated these main effects. Moreover, human resource flexibility moderated the positive direct relationship between strategic flexibility and dynamic capability and the indirect relationships among cooperative goals, strategic flexibility and dynamic capability such that these relationships in companies with high human resource flexibility were stronger than these relationships in companies with low human resource flexibility.

Originality/value

The findings contribute to the literature on dynamic capability by providing empirical evidence regarding the relationships among cooperative goals, strategic flexibility, human resource flexibility and dynamic capability, which enriches the theory of cooperation and competition and suggests a new path to promote dynamic capability.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 36 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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