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|Author:||Leinonen, Jouni H.|
|Title:||Organizational learning in high-velocity markets : case study in the mobile communications industry|
|Series:||Acta Universitatis oeconomicae Helsingiensis. A, ISSN 1237-556X ; 345.|
|Year:||2009 Thesis defence date: 2009-06-12|
|Index terms:||epävarmuus; information technology; learning; markets; markkinat; markkinointi; oppiminen; oppiva organisaatio; organizational learning; tietoliikenne; tietotekniikka; uncertainty|
|Bibid:||445480 | Availability info (Aalto-Finna)|
|Abstract (eng):||Case Study in the Mobile Communications Industry This longitudinal multiple case study examines how organizational learning occurs and develops in small and medium sized mobile communications (MC) firms influenced by technological and market uncertainty in highvelocity markets. Also, the study investigates how firm-specific factors including business strategies, organizational culture, and the size of an organization influence organizational learning in the MC firms. In the MC industry, the rapid and unpredictable changes in demand, competition, deregulation and technology make the information quickly obsolete thereby creating high demands for organizational learning. Earlier studies have shown that the organizational learning is a critical activity for short-term growth as well as long-term survival for many firms. However, regardless of the richness of the past research, several knowledge gaps still exist in the related research domain. First, our holistic understanding how learning occurs in terms of actors, processes and modes within firms that operate in high-velocity markets has remained limited. Second, the earlier organizational learning studies in high-velocity markets have left small and medium sized firms a relatively unexplored territory. Third, there has been a need for empirical studies, which investigate how organizational learning develops in response to changes in external environment and to firm-specific factors. Fourth, earlier studies have not examined how firms resolve the ambidexterity problem of balancing explorative and exploitative learning in practice. Finally, relatively little research effort has been put on investigating the impact of a firm’s external environment on organizational learning, and how firms learn in cooperation with business partners and customers.
The methodological choices of this study are based on the research goals and questions as well as the characteristics of the research domain of the MC industry. The purpose is to develop our understanding how organizational learning occurs and develops within MC firms in high-velocity markets characterized by technological and market uncertainties. Also, the study aims to examine how firm-specific factors including business strategy, organizational culture and the size of a firm influence organizational learning. Thereby, a qualitative multiple-case study is chosen as a research strategy in order to produce deep descriptions of organizational learning in the selected four small and medium sized mobile communications firms including Ailocom, Openbit, SmartTrust and Digia.
Drawing on the findings of the study, it is contented that organizational learning at small and medium sized MC firms occurs in explorative and exploitative learning processes in which tacit knowledge gathered by entrepreneurial individuals as well as prior knowledge acquired in inter-organizational relationships is swiftly analyzed in informal group level discussions followed by organizational responses in the marketplace. The MC firms usually experience the ambidexterity tension of balancing the exploration and exploitation of knowledge at the time of strategic renewals, and they resolve the issue by reorganizing the responsibilities in their organizations. It is also argued that the MC firms’ historical background related to organizational culture and level of available resources for co-creating knowledge with other firms influence organizational learning.
|Thesis defence announcement:|
University of Turku, Finland