رهبری و نقش یادگیری سازمانی در نوآوری و عملکرد: درس هایی از اسپانیا
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 36, Issue 3, April 2007, Pages 349–359
Leadership style has been traditionally emphasized as one of the most important individual influences on firm innovation. Scholars are now paying growing attention to the possibility that the collective capability of organizational learning plays a key role in determining innovation. We propose that leadership style, an individual feature, and organizational learning, a collective process, simultaneously and positively affect firm innovation. A structural equation model and data from 408 large firms in four sectors supported our hypotheses. Organizational learning had a stronger direct influence on innovation than CEO transformational leadership for our sample; however, leadership had a strong, significant influence on organizational learning, indirectly affecting firm innovation. Additionally, innovation positively and significantly influenced performance. Organizational learning also positively affected performance, but interestingly mainly through innovation.
Market orientation and subsequent firm innovation are widely recognized to be essential for the survival and growth of organizations (Bello et al., 2004, Damanpour & Gopalakrishnan, 2001 and Hurley & Hult, 1998). Porter (1990) suggested that by the late twentieth century, most industrial economies had moved to an “innovation-driven” stage, during which firms competed on how to rapidly and profitably innovate. In this context, it is especially important to gain a better understanding of factors influencing the successful development of firm innovations. Different definitions of innovation have been proposed (e.g., Knight, 1967 and Zaltman et al., 1973). We accepted for our work the definition of innovation stated by the Product Development and Management Association (PDMA, 2004): “A new idea, method, or device. The act of creating a new product or process. The act includes invention as well as the work required to bring an idea or concept into final form”. Although firm innovation is widely prescribed as a means to improve organizational performance, many firms do not or cannot properly develop it. Researchers have urged attention to what makes it possible for firms to develop innovation, looking for answers “beyond semiautomatic stimulus-response processes” (Zollo & Winter, 2002, p. 341). Many authors have focused their attention on analyzing whether specific managerial characteristics influence the generation of innovation in organizations, while others have focused on analysis of organizational factors. We want to highlight the simultaneous influence of both kinds of factors. Leadership style has been emphasized as one of the most important individual influences on firm innovation, because leaders can directly decide to introduce new ideas into an organization, set specific goals, and encourage innovation initiatives from subordinates ( Harbone & Johne, 2003, McDonough, 2000 and Sethi, 2000). Specifically, several writers have linked “transformational leadership” to innovation (e.g. Howell & Avolio, 1993). Transformational leaders concentrate their efforts on longer-term goals; value and emphasize developing a vision and inspiring followers to pursue the vision; change or align systems to accommodate their vision rather than work within existing systems; and coach followers to take on greater responsibility for both their own and others' development (Howell & Avolio, 1993). Attention to the organizational influences on innovation is also important. Although several such influences have been analyzed, scholars are paying growing attention to the possibility that the collective capability of organizational learning plays a key role in determining innovation ( Senge, 1990, Senge et al., 1994 and Tushman & Nadler, 1986). Organizational learning has been defined as a collective capability based on experiential and cognitive processes and involving knowledge acquisition, knowledge sharing, and knowledge utilization (e.g., Dibella et al., 1996 and Zollo & Winter, 2002). We propose that both collective (organizational learning) and individual (transformational leadership) factors influence firms to develop and implement organizational innovation. Many previous studies, although contributing significantly to the understanding of innovation, have not addressed how the efficacy of innovation may vary with the simultaneous influence of different organizational factors and have not analyzed both direct and indirect influences (Van de Ven, 1993). Identifying and better understanding those influences will complement the general prescription that firms should innovate. Additionally, the ultimate purpose of firm innovation is new knowledge and new applications, especially those connected to organizational improvements, and many researchers have claimed a positive relationship between organizational learning and performance. We sought to reinforce this work by contributing to the analysis of the influence of innovation on performance. Further, we sought to show how the influence of organizational learning on performance is strengthened by the generation of innovation. In this article, our focus is primarily on research questions that concern firm innovation. We first examine the nature and strength of transformational leadership and organizational learning as antecedents of firm innovation. We then investigate whether firm innovation, organizational learning and transformational leadership affect financial performance. And finally, using these research findings, we develop a model of direct and indirect influences to guide future research in this arena and offer managerial implications
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This study (1) analyzes the simultaneous influence on firm innovation of transformational leadership and organizational learning; (2) shows that although both directly influence innovation, the collective process of organizational learning has a stronger direct influence on innovation for our sample than transformational leadership; (3) however, also shows that leadership has a strong and significant influence on organizational learning; and (4) emphasizes the positive and significant influence of firm innovation on performance. Our research demonstrates the importance of an integrated analysis of direct and indirect effects of individual and organizational determinants of firm innovation and reinforces previous literature on the importance of organizational innovation for organizational performance. Our results must be only cautiously generalized because this study has several limitations that suggest further possibilities for empirical research. First, survey data based on self-reports may be subject to social desirability bias (Podsakoff & Organ, 1986). However, an assurance of anonymity can reduce such bias even when responses concern sensitive topics (Hair et al., 1999). The low risk of social desirability bias in this study was, however, indicated by the comments of several managers who noted that it made no sense for their companies to go beyond regulatory compliance in the innovation arena. Further, we tested the possibility of common method bias using Harman's one-factor test, and none appeared to be present (Podsakoff & Organ, 1986 and Scott & Bruce, 1994). Secondly, the study is limited by its cross-sectional design. Although we tested the most plausible directions for the pathways in our model, longitudinal research is needed to assess the direction of causality of the relationships and to detect possible reciprocal processes. We have tried to temper this limitation through attention to theoretical arguments rationalizing the analyzed relationships (Hair et al., 1999) and through integrating temporal considerations into measurement of the variables. Finally, our results must be cautiously analyzed in view of the geographical and business peculiarities of our sample. Future research should pay more attention to the influence of different mixtures of influences on organizational innovation. It should be noted that selected variables explain an acceptable amount of variance of organizational innovation and performance. In any case, others could be analyzed, such as shared vision, teamwork, absorptive capacity, and technology. We might also examine other consequences of introducing an organizational innovation in firms (e.g., quality improvement, staff satisfaction, and improvements in relational capacity). The homogeneous geographical context examined here limits the influence of external conditions, but future research might well explicitly integrate the influences of external factors (Aragon-Correa & Sharma, 2003). More empirical papers supporting (or rejecting) our results in different contexts would be welcomed, especially longitudinal studies.