شایستگی های متمایز فن آوری و یادگیری سازمانی: اثرات آن بر نوآوری سازمانی به منظور بهبود عملکرد شرکت
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|4084||2012||27 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, Volume 29, Issue 3, July–September 2012, Pages 331–357
This paper analyzes how top management support of technology influences the generation of technological skills, technological distinctive competencies and organizational learning. The research also examines the effects of technological distinctive competencies and organizational learning on organizational innovation and reflects how all of these variables impact organizational performance. The results of our empirical analysis, based on a sample of 201 Spanish technological firms, suggest that: (1) top management support positively influences the generation of technological skills, technological distinctive competencies and organizational learning; (2) technological distinctive competencies and organizational learning positively affect organizational performance, directly and indirectly through organizational innovation.
Recently, firms have been operating in business environments characterized by rapid change and increasing competitiveness (Hitt et al., 2000). In this context, technology and technology relationships to organizational structures, processes and results have been conceived as an important subject of interest for organizational researchers (Orlikowski, 2000), since they enable organizations to develop products or delivery of services more quickly in highly competitive situations on a global level, as well as continuous technological change and ever shorter product life cycles (García Morales et al., 2007b). When faced with such scenarios, firms must innovate continuously to guarantee their organizational survival (Hurley and Hult, 1998). Innovation must be driven by the capability to exploit organizational competencies, technologies and knowledge in order to stimulate competitive advantages (DeCarolis, 2003). Firms are under increasing pressure to foster “organizational learning” and develop, strengthen and renew “technological competencies.” These competencies enable firms to adapt, integrate and reconfigure their skills, knowledge and capabilities. In doing so, they adapt to the changing business environment and deliver value to the customer in the appropriate form, responsibly and continuously (Wang et al., 2004 and García Morales et al., 2007b). This research presents a model to analyze the importance of top management support in the effective adoption and implementation of new technologies in organizations and, more specifically, in the generation of technological distinctive competencies, technological skills and organizational learning. This study will also contribute empirical evidence of the effects of technological distinctive competencies and organizational learning on organizational innovation and demonstrate how all of the foregoing influence organizational performance. Prior studies have analyzed the relation between some of the foregoing constructs; for example, support from management and effective implementation of specific technologies, such as information systems (Young and Jordan, 2008) and the influence of technological distinctive competencies on organizational performance (Lee et al., 2001 and Wang et al., 2004). There is, however, no integrated model of all of these systems in the literature, nor is there a model that focuses on the broad concept of technology. We would also point out that the analysis proposed does not only explain how to achieve improvement in organizational performance through direct relationships with strategic variables such as technological distinctive competencies and organizational learning. This analysis also introduces indirect relationships, in this case through innovation, which can achieve the same goal. We therefore find an innovative model with great potential that enables organizations not only to survive in turbulent and changing environments but also to improve their competitive position. We will perform this analysis within the framework of technology firms. We choose this type of firm because of the current importance of technology firms in modern economies, due to the contribution of technology firms to economic growth, increase in productivity and creation of new, innovative industries, products and processes (Grinstein and Goldman, 2006). This study provides an explanation of the crucial role that top management support of technology plays in the process of stimulating technological skills, technological distinctive competencies and organizational learning. Top management includes the “CEO and its direct subordinates responsible for corporate policy” (Green, 1995, p. 223). Different studies have shown that, when top management's level of support and commitment is perceived as high, it is logical to expect the success of the system (Ifinedo, 2008). Managers must be willing to allocate adequate capital and human resources (Carbonell and Rodríguez Escudero, 2009). Although some authors have shown that this support is essential for the successful implementation of specific technology, such as information systems (Dong, 2008), few studies in the existing literature analyze how this support affects the process of technology implementation in general. We must therefore take into account a much wider concept of technology: a body of knowledge, tools, and techniques derived from science and practical experience and used in the development and application of products, processes, systems, and services (Steensma, 1996). The influence of top management support on technological distinctive competencies may also be stimulated by the development of technological skills, which in a technological context refer to both firm-specific techniques and scientific understanding (Leonard-Barton, 1992). These skills provide the basis for a firm's competitive competencies (Teece, 1986). The “myth of deskilling” wrongly encourages managers to expect that new equipment will enable a reduction of required skills. This myth is one of the greatest obstacles to the effective implementation of new technologies (Swamidass and Nair, 2004). The generation of required skills is thus a crucial question, since the generation of skills can also have repercussions for the generation of competencies, as competencies reflect a set of skills and technologies (Peppard and Ward, 2004). Another important issue is determining how the top management support can foster organizational learning. The promotion of continuity, commitment, capability, contribution, collaboration and consciousness of organizational learning is in the hands of top management (García Morales et al., 2007b). It is top management's task to stimulate the creation of organizations that adopt a learning culture (Real et al., 2006). The literature has shown that this result can be achieved through the creation of a shared vision, team learning, personal mastery and mental models (Senge, 1990). Our study also treats how organizational learning can be encouraged by involving top management in the processes supporting new technologies (Robey et al., 2000). This research therefore shows how top management support affects organizational learning (Andrawina, 2009). The literature on organizational learning has grown exponentially in recent years (Bontis et al., 2002, Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995 and Real et al., 2006). Organizational learning has been defined as a collective capability based on experiential and cognitive processes and involving knowledge acquisition, knowledge sharing, and knowledge utilization (Aragón Correa et al., 2007 and Zollo and Winter, 2002). More synthetically, organizational learning has been catalogued as a complex process related to the development of new knowledge (Huber, 1991 and Slater and Narver, 1995). Learning processes are intrinsically social and collective phenomena (Carayannis et al., 2006). Thus, a culture of learning in which people work together enables organizations to establish themselves by fostering and maintaining a system of knowledge creation (Wang et al., 2007). Various authors have proposed that, to maintain their competitive advantages, organizations should strive to develop continuous learning (Jiménez Jiménez and Sanz Valle, 2011, Senge, 1990 and Zott, 2003). The concepts of learning and knowledge creation have also acquired special relevance because they are often used to describe the innovation process (Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995). More than ever, organizational learning is a need rather than a choice (Senge et al., 1994). In recent years, there has been marked interest in the idea that competencies constitute the foundation for obtaining sustainable competitive advantages over time (Wu, 2009). Competencies are conceptualized as “measurable patterns of knowledge, skills, abilities, behaviors, and other characteristics that differentiate high from average performance” (Wu, 2009, p. 9575). Following this concept, technological distinctive competencies can be defined as “the organization's expertise in mobilizing various scientific and technical resources through a series of routines and procedures which allow new products and production processes to be developed and designed” (Real et al., 2006, p. 508; Martín Rojas et al., 2011). Although various authors use the terms “technological capabilities” (Lall, 1992, Figueiredo, 2002 and Silvestre and Dalcol, 2009) rather than “technological distinctive competencies” (Real et al., 2006 and Martín Rojas et al., 2011), our study uses the concept of “technological distinctive competencies,” since this concept fits better with our research goals. The term capability has been defined as “the firm's ability to perform repeatedly a productive task which relates either directly or indirectly to a firm's capacity for creating value through effecting the transformation of inputs into outputs” (Grant, 1996, p. 377). As Marino states (1996, p. 41), “competencies have a technology or knowledge-based component. In particular, competencies often result from a blending of technology and production skills. Capabilities, on the other hand, are rooted more in processes and business routines.” For this reason, we focus on technological distinctive competencies in the framework of our research. These include, among others, the competencies to obtain information on the state and progress of the relevant science and technologies, to generate advanced technological processes, to update and introduce new innovations based on technologies, to attract and retain qualified technical personnel, to achieve the technological differentiation of products and to assimilate new technologies (Real et al., 2006). Some authors have stressed that technological distinctive competencies drive the development of organizational learning (Prencipe, 1997), since the competencies require change over time to maintain their value, a quality that emphasizes the processes of developing knowledge and learning (McEvily et al., 2004). There is, then, a relationship between technological distinctive competencies and organizational learning (Tippins and Sohi, 2003). In analyzing the influence of technological distinctive competencies and organizational learning on organizational innovation, this research focuses on innovation at the organizational level, which has been defined as “the development and/or use of new ideas or behaviors. A new idea can pertain to a new product, service, market, operational and administrative structures, processes and systems” (Damanpour et al., 2009; p. 652). Following most of the studies of the adoption of innovation at the firm level, we thus define innovation as “new to the adopting organization” (Damanpour et al., 2009; p. 652). Such is the importance of innovation that it has been generally considered one of the key factors leading to corporate success, as innovation enables firms to negotiate the turbulence of the external environment in especially dynamic markets (Jiménez Jiménez and Sanz Valle, 2011). Despite the clear and evident advantages derived from innovation, innovation is not a problem-free process. Innovations are increasingly complex, costly and risky due to changes in consumer preferences, pressure from competitors, and rapid and radical technological changes (Griffin, 1997). Although this difficulty is recognized, promoting innovation is the basis for achieving both sustainable competitive advantages (Chen and Jaw, 2009) and organizational survival (Damanpour and Evan, 1984 and Hurley and Hult, 1998). Finally, we will also deepen understanding of the effects of technological distinctive competencies, organizational learning and organizational innovation on organizational performance. We use organizational performance to refer to both strategic market performance – which includes market share and sales growth rate – and financial market performance – which involves return on sales, return on investment and return on equity (Murray and Kotabe, 1999). Prior studies state that firms possessing technological distinctive competencies (such as the competence to apply scientific and technological knowledge to develop and improve products and processes) tend to be more innovative and thus usually to obtain much better performance (McEvily et al., 2004). Also, organizational learning is a determinant of improvement in organizational results (e.g., Carayannis et al., 2006 and Leonard-Barton, 1992). To this we must add the crucial importance of organizational innovation, which is necessary for firms to acquire better organizational performance (Thornhill, 2006 and Weerawardena et al., 2006). In sum, we will indicate how to improve organizational performance through all of the strategic variables presented above. To achieve these objectives, this study is structured as follows. Section ‘Hypotheses’, based on prior research, proposes a series of hypotheses. Section ‘Methodology’ presents the data and the research methodology used in this empirical analysis to test the hypotheses developed in Section ‘Hypotheses’. Section ‘Results’ shows the results obtained. In Section ‘Discussion and implications’, we present the discussion and implications of this research. Section ‘Conclusions’ explains the conclusions of this study. Finally, Section ‘Limitations and future research’ establishes some limitations and lines for future research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
To synthesize and conclude, we should point out that the sources of sustainable competitive advantage in technology firms are based on a set of technological distinctive competencies and other capabilities present in these organizations (García Morales et al., 2007b). Thus, managers should stress the fostering of technological distinctive competencies, organizational learning and organizational innovation, as all of these competencies and strategic capabilities can have positive effects on improving organizational performance (Hurley and Hult, 1998 and Real et al., 2006). In this way, organizations will find themselves in a better position to respond to turbulence in the environment and to take advantage of the technological opportunities that are generated continuously. These activities will contribute to improving their competitive position.