Purpose – Although the significance of the learning organization concept is recognised in innovation management, there are only a few studies on the way in which a learning orientation affects new service development (NSD) in the hotel industry in Iran. This paper aims to fill that gap. Design/methodology/approach – A questionnaire is designed to ask hotel managers and owners for their thoughts on a range of organizational variables including the nature of learning orientation, NSD and the link with hotel business performance. Findings – Using 129 hotels in Iran, it was found that NSD can be driven by higher levels of commitment to learning, shared vision and open‐mindedness. Furthermore, a regression analysis suggests that the effect of NSD on performance is positive. Research limitations/implications – This paper focuses on senior managers and owners of Iranian hotels who have a specific culture, history and experience. It would be useful to take a similar approach in other established industries with different cultural and environmental characteristics and experience, so that comparisons can be made. Practical implications – The findings reinforce the argument that a learning approach, coupled with organizational creativity, is the main prescription for a creative quality process. It also provides a quantum leap in an organization in terms of innovation. Evidence from this paper also shows the importance of managerial emphasis on creating an internal business environment conducive to innovative activities. Originality/value – The paper shows how learning deficiency is one of the main reasons that companies find it difficult to remain successful in the market.
Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 6, 2009
Keywords: Learning processes; Learning organizations; Hospitality services; Innovation; Hotel and catering industry; Iran