Purpose – There is no empirical evidence, particularly in relation to small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs), to support the concept of cultural barriers and how they relate to open‐mindedness (OM). Some of these cultural barriers can be linked to outdated knowledge, which can impede the adoption of new configurations. The purpose of this paper therefore is to test the role of cultural barriers in the relationship between OM and organizational innovation. Design/methodology/approach – These relationships are examined through an empirical investigation of 133 SMEs. Findings – The results show that the relationship between OM and organizational innovation is likely to suffer if a firm does not overcome previously its cultural barriers. An explanation for this could be thatoutdated knowledge can impede the adoption of new configurations. Therefore, it is important for organizations to provide an appropriate environment for overcoming cultural barriers. Otherwise new knowledge will not be acted on or incorporated into new products and services. Originality/value – The authors point out the importance for organizations of taking this perspective into account when they are seeking to respond proactively to the challenges thrown up by the external environment.
Journal of Organizational Change Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 6, 2010
Keywords: Culture; Small to medium‐sized enterprises; Innovation; Organizational change; Organizational culture; Spain
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