In increasingly turbulent business environments of todays globalizing economy, where strategically relevant changes in the context of industrial organizations are no exceptions anymore, the dominant concepts and approaches of firm strategy, like sustainable competitive advantage and strategic fit, have to be explicitly complemented by the notion of strategic flexibility. To date, diverse and heterogeneous research on the notion of strategic flexibility has mainly focused on the overall level of firm strategy. In contrast, this explorative research, which is employing a qualitative research design based on the grounded theory approach, has a specific focus on strategic flexibility in the technology strategy of large-scale and technology-intensive incumbent firms in the manufacturing industry. Objectives of this research are to identify forms of strategic flexibility in technology strategy when firms perceive and manage strategically relevant changes in their technology context and to identify enabling and facilitating efforts for these forms of strategic flexibility. For this reason, a review of existing literature on strategic flexibility, technology strategy of industrial organizations, and technology turbulence in business contexts is conducted, to establish an interview guide for semi-standardized expert interviews with senior technology managers in large-scale and technology-intensive incumbent firms in the manufacturing industry. Based the analysis of 30 interview sessions with 35 experts in 25 companies, this research is identifying distinguishable forms of technology turbulence, which companies are perceiving in their business environment, corresponding forms of strategic flexibility in the technology strategy of these organizations, and transferable recommendations how to enable and facilitate strategic flexibility in the domain of technology strategy. This research shows that the observed forms of strategic flexibility in technology strategies of industrial organizations correspond not only with the specific content of the recognized changes, but also with the initial timing and quality of perception of the relevant changes and their implications for the affected organizations. The findings of this research reveal transferable efforts in the domains of technology strategy content, methodology, organization and leadership, which are proposed to enable and facilitate strategic flexibility of companies.
|Effective start/end date||1/01/06 → 8/03/10|