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Learning Organization and Innovation Performance in High-Tech Small Firms

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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to explore the influence of processes of learning in organization on innovation performance in high-tech small firms. After reviewing the literature on learning and innovation, the author defines the concepts of knowledge management, organizational learning and learning organization and how they are interlinked. Hypotheses regarding the link between learning organization and innovation are presented. An original construct, based on 6 dimensions, is derived to evaluate the degree of learning in firms. The validities (reliability, unidimensionality and convergent validity) of the construct are assessed using confirmatory factor analysis. Then, the influence on innovation is tested through structural equation modelling (SEM) on a database of 110 US high-tech small firms from different industries. Specifically, influence on product and process innovations and financial performance are tested. The first results show that the presence of learning organization orientation and learning organization processes is related to innovativeness in our sample of high-tech small firms. The results are moderated by the degree of maturity of the industries and the strategic orientation of the CEOs. The conclusive part gives ways to ameliorate the learning organization processes and thus enhancing the innovative performance

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