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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…

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. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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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

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Article
Publication date: 17 September 2020

Abdullahi Hassan Gorondutse, Darwina Arshad and Ahmad Said Alshuaibi

Although the significance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in influencing economic growth is recognized, the performance of SMEs all over the world including Nigeria…

Abstract

Purpose

Although the significance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in influencing economic growth is recognized, the performance of SMEs all over the world including Nigeria is unanticipated. Thus, this research aims to investigate the effect of strategic flexibility by moderating the effects of sustainability strategy on the SMEs' performance in Nigeria from a business strategy perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

The hypotheses of the study were tested using personally administered survey questionnaires; the study obtained 486 valid questionnaires, which were evaluated using SmartPLS algorithm and bootstrapping functions.

Findings

The research findings were established using SmartPLS algorithm and bootstrapping functions. According to the results, the research constructs have a satisfactory convergent and discriminant validity. Equally, the overall model has a very high predictive relevance. The study established a strong positive influence of strategic flexibility on the SMEs’ performance. In addition, the study also established the moderating influence of sustainability strategy on the constructs.

Research limitations/implications

The research is explorative and designed to yield results and to be generalizable. Future research is thus encouraged to confirm or contradict the results of this study in a different context.

Practical implications

The research findings may be beneficial to policymakers and academics. It can particularly be useful in understanding strategic flexibility, its influence on the performance of SMEs and whether it can fit between the sustainability and strategic direction of a business enterprise.

Originality/value

This study fulfils an identified need to study strategic flexibility and its influence on the performance of SMEs using a dynamic perspective specifically in the context of emerging economies such as Nigeria.

Details

Journal of Strategy and Management, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-425X

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Article
Publication date: 7 October 2019

Sanjay Chaudhary

Guided by the theory of dynamic capabilities and the knowledge-based view of an organization, the purpose of this paper is to examine the crucial role played by…

Abstract

Purpose

Guided by the theory of dynamic capabilities and the knowledge-based view of an organization, the purpose of this paper is to examine the crucial role played by entrepreneurial orientation and absorptive capacity in the relationship between strategic flexibility and firm performance, with a specific focus on small firms.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses survey data collected from owners of 272 small businesses in India and follows the linear regression method to establish the link between strategic flexibility and firm performance. It hypothesizes that the strategic flexibility of a small firm impacts entrepreneurial orientation, and subsequently its performance, while absorptive capacity further enhances this relationship.

Findings

The conclusions drawn from the study provide empirical evidence on the mediating role of entrepreneurial orientation in the relationship between strategic flexibility and firm performance. The findings also point out that the potential absorptive capacity of a firm strengthens the relationship between its strategic flexibility and entrepreneurial orientation.

Research limitations/implications

The empirical findings of the study are limited to small firms from the automotive service industry.

Practical implications

The study contributes to the existing knowledge on managerial practice by pointing out the importance of strategic flexibility as a dynamic capability and illustrating its impact in the case of a small firm’s performance.

Originality/value

As yet, there is a dearth of empirical evidence derived from large samples of small firms. The study supplements available literature on dynamic capabilities and knowledge management.

Details

South Asian Journal of Business Studies, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-628X

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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…

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

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Article
Publication date: 7 January 2019

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.

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.

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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…

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

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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

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

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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…

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

Content available
Article
Publication date: 2 July 2018

Aydin Beraha, Dursun Bingol, Ela Ozkan-Canbolat and Nina Szczygiel

The purpose of this paper is to determine the contribution of company functional areas – production, marketing, and human resources – to strategic flexibility

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to determine the contribution of company functional areas – production, marketing, and human resources – to strategic flexibility configurations. It also seeks to explore the comparative contributions of functional areas to product innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses the fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis to develop a better understanding of departmental contributions to strategic flexibility configuration and the effect of strategic flexibility on product innovation by functional areas.

Findings

The findings of this study indicate that marketing flexibility has a key role in product innovation.

Research limitations/implications

A limited number of cases may be one of the possible reasons for no proven contribution of HR flexibility to product innovation, and may affect results due to poor representation.

Practical implications

The required flexibility level is at least the one maintaining the company’s status and certifying competitive advantage.

Social implications

A pressure for flexibility leads companies to modify their organizational structure, processes, and resources.

Originality/value

The environmental change and uncertainty provide dynamic challenges that increase the need of company flexible reactions

Details

European Journal of Management and Business Economics, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2444-8451

Keywords

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