Organizational Learning, Innovativeness, and Organizational Performance: A Qualitative Investigation

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76 Citations (Scopus)


In a knowledge-based economy, organizational learning and innovation are the most critical intangible assets that a manufacturer needs to acquire and exploit to achieve superior organizational performance. In this research we propose a model seeking to understand the links between organizational learning and innovativeness, and organizational performance measures. We postulate the impact of organizational learning on innovativeness, internal efficiency, customer satisfaction, and financial performance, and elaborate how such impacts are contingent on the organizational contexts of a firm. Case research was then carried out in three manufacturing companies to examine our proposed conceptual model. Our case studies showed that organizational learning happens when it is valued by senior management, and supported by an appropriate learning infrastructure and culture, leading to organizational efficiency. However, relationships among learning, innovativeness, and performance are unlikely to be established for a manufacturer pursuing a low-cost strategy or producing mature products. The proposed model and the empirical evidence provide an important foundation to develop a comprehensive theory for formulating effective learning strategies contingent on organizational context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2459-2477
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2007


  • Case study
  • Innovativeness
  • Organizational learning
  • Organizational performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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