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Purpose – This empirical study aims to examine the influence of transformational leadership (TL) on organizational innovation (OI) and performance (OP) depending on the level of organizational learning in technological firms. Design/methodology/approach – The research examined a sample of 164 pharmaceutical firms. A global model is formulated and the hypotheses are tested using structural equations. Findings – First, the study shows a positive relation between TL and OI, between TL and OP and between OI and OP. Second, the study verifies that these relationships are more strongly reinforced in organizations with high‐organizational learning than in organizations with low levels of organizational learning. Third, the study supports the theoretical arguments made but not demonstrated empirically in the prior literature. Practical implications – Organizational learning takes places in a technological community of interaction in which knowledge is created and expands in a constant dynamic between the tacit and the explicit with cognitive and behavioral change. Organizations with greater organizational learning generate a network of learning that will make it easier for them to learn what they need to know and to innovate, enabling the organization to maintain its competitive position as a technological center. This shows that organizational learning improves relations substantially between TL, OI and OP. Originality/value – This study serves as a reference for fostering organizational learning in technological firms. Organizational learning improves relations among TL, OI and OP. Previous studies, although contributing to the understanding of the direct and indirect relations among leadership, innovation and performance, have not addressed the different effects depending on the level of organizational learning in these technological firms.
Journal of Organizational Change Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 4, 2008
Keywords: Transformational leadership; Organizational innovation; Organizational performance; Pharmaceuticals industry; Innovation
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