Technical innovation: trigger or threat for organizational learning? A curvilinear relationship revisited
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AuthorOrtega Egea, María Teresa; Roldán Bravo, María Isabel; Ruiz Moreno, Antonia; Haro Domínguez, María Carmen; Cabeza Pullés, Dainelis
Positive Technical Innovation misfitOrganizational learningCurvilinear relationSurvey
Purpose (mandatory): Although most research considers organizational learning as an antecedent of innovation, the relationship is complex and could be reciprocal. Therefore, more research is needed on the profit gained from the learning an organization acquires from its innovation activities. Using the concept of fit, this paper aims to investigate whether organizational learning increases when an organization’s technical innovation level exceeds that of its competitors (positive misfit), theorizing the curvilinear effect of positive technical innovation misfit on organizational learning. Design/methodology/approach (mandatory): This paper uses regression analysis with survey data gathered from 202 European firms. Findings (mandatory): The findings support the argument that positive technical innovation misfit has an inverted-U shaped effect on organizational learning. Practical implications: The findings obtained should orient firm managers to developing a work environment that enables optimal levels of technical innovation and learning—levels at which the technical innovation developed drives learning among the organization’s members but avoids becoming trapped in the organizational complexity involved in very high levels of positive technical innovation misfit. Originality/value (mandatory): This study resolves conflicting views of the relationship between organizational learning and technical innovation and adds to the existing literature that indicates that proactive innovative firms can fail when becoming learners.