Organisational innovativeness : the role of strategic orientation and environmental scanning

Murray, Jennifer (2012) Organisational innovativeness : the role of strategic orientation and environmental scanning. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

This study examined the effects of strategic orientation and environmental scanning on a firm’s propensity to innovate (organisational innovativeness). Previous research has mostly proposed descriptive and theoretical relationships between strategic orientation, environmental scanning and organisational innovation adoption (Beal, 2000; Jennings & Lumpkin, 1992; Raymond, Julien, & Ramangalahy, 2001). However, strategic orientation and environmental scanning, as distinct constructs, have not been empirically examined directly before in relation to organisational innovativeness. Furthermore the directionality of the relationship between strategic orientation and environmental scanning on organisational innovation adoption is still unclear (Hagen, Haile, & Maghrabi, 2003). For example, does scanning the environment result in certain types of organisational strategies, and these strategies in turn influence levels of organisational innovativeness? Or do certain types of strategic orientations pre-determine the levels of environmental scanning, and then this environmental scanning influences an organisation’s propensity to innovate? Therefore, this study using a more nuanced measure of strategic orientation; the Venkatraman’s (1989) STROBE framework of analysis, defensiveness, futurity, proactiveness, aggressiveness and riskiness, examined the directional effects of strategy and environmental scanning on organisational innovativeness Specifically, two competing models of directionality between strategic orientation and environmental scanning in relation to organisational innovativeness were proposed. Model 1 (Behavioural View) proposed that certain strategic orientation dimensions affect levels of environmental scanning, which in turn influences organisational innovativeness. In contrast, Model 2 (Open Systems view) proposed that environmental scanning affects the emphasis on certain strategic orientation dimensions, which in turn influences organisational innovativeness. Data was collected from 117 industrial firms and path analyses were used to test the two competing models. The results supported both models, suggesting a bi-directional relationship, as both models had adequate fit indices and significant paths with the data. However, overall Model 2 – the Open Systems Model had the stronger fit indices and stronger indirect effect compared to Model 1 – the Behavioural Model, suggesting that overall environmental scanning does not exert a strong direct effect on innovativeness but has more of a stronger indirect effect through the analysis and proactiveness strategic orientation dimensions. In sum, the thesis results suggest that firms’ that emphasise environmental scanning – that is continually seeking information from the environment about customers, markets, industry and new technology - are more likely to emphasise strategic orientations such as proactiveness – being innovative - and also analysis – being analytical and comprehensive in decision making - and both these strategic orientations in turn greatly influence these firms’ propensity to innovate. Discussion is given to these findings and implications are drawn for organisations and future research.

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ID Code: 60158
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Irmer, Bernd E. & Matthews, Judy H.
Keywords: organisational innovation, strategic orientation, environmental scanning
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 21 May 2013 06:04
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2015 04:39

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