Title: Organisational unlearning, organisational flexibility and innovation capability: an empirical study of SMEs in China

Authors: Xiangyang Wang; Yanqiu Lu; Yingxin Zhao; Shunlong Gong; Bai Li

Addresses: Department of International Business, School of Management, Jilin University, Changchun 130022, China ' Department of International Business, School of Management, Jilin University, Changchun 130022, China ' Department of Technological Economics and Management, School of Management, Jilin University, Changchun 130022, China ' Department of Corporation Management, School of Management, Jilin University, Changchun 130022, China ' Department of Agricultural Economy and Management, School of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Jilin University, Changchun 130022, China

Abstract: The increasing variability and turbulence of the external environment have brought more uncertainty to enterprises' survival and development. To enhance the capability of adapting to the external environment, enterprises have to constantly improve their organisational flexibility. Organisational unlearning has positive effects on organisational flexibility since it can eliminate the internal factors that conflict with the external environment. In this paper, a conceptual model is established and examined based on the data of 248 questionnaires from Chinese enterprises to reveal the relationships among organisational unlearning, organisational flexibility and organisational innovation capability. Our research results reveal that organisational unlearning has significant effects on both incremental innovation and radical innovation. Furthermore, we also find that organisational flexibility partly mediates the relationship between organisational unlearning and incremental innovation, and fully mediates the relationship between organisational unlearning and radical innovation.

Keywords: organisational unlearning; organisational flexibility; incremental innovation; radical innovation; strategic flexibility; innovation capability; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; technology management; China.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2013.052178

International Journal of Technology Management, 2013 Vol.61 No.2, pp.132 - 155

Available online: 15 Feb 2013 *

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