Relationship between Adaptive Capability and Strategic Orientation: An Empirical Study in a Brazilian Company

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Authors: C. Kaehler, F. Busatto, G.V. Becker, P.B. Hansen, J.L.S. Santos

Publication Year: 2014


Journal: iBusiness

Volume: 6

Categories: Information Management, Adaptive Management


In this article the researchers carried out an empirical study in a Brazilian agency for maritime services. The purpose of this study was to find out if there is a relationship between adaptive capability and strategic orientations in the organizational context. The results of the study came from a survey of 273 employees from the agency. The writers of the article describe the definition of adaptive capability as: “adaptive capability is considered to be the organization’s strategic ability to maintain competitive advantage by modifying, reconfiguring or interconnecting resources, capabilities and competences, and seeking to increase the number of options or available strategic reactions in order to adapt quickly to determinism and environmental changes.” According to the writers there are four orientations that have an effect on organizational adaptive capability. These orientations are: technology orientation, cost orientation, customer orientation and competitor orientation. The results showed that there is a significant correlation between all adaptive capabilities and the strategic orientations analyzed. The writers state that technology orientation: “can have a positive influence over an organization’s adaptive capability” and that: “Technology orientation proved to be stronger than cost, customer and competitor orientations.”. For the cost orientation the result was that all correlations were significant. The researchers state for customer orientation that there is a: “A moderate correlation (Figure 2) can be noted between the prioritization of value creation and the adaptability of services to the customers’”. The results of the competitor orientation were that: “The analysis of competitor orientation and adaptability correlations shows that the adaptation of activities to face the competitive environment is moderate and positively correlated (0.519) with the identification of areas in which the main competitors have succeeded or failed.” The research method of this article took form of a survey, which had a response rate of 58.60% of the total (160 responses). The survey used a five-point Likert scale (from 1 to five), and there were 32 statements and nine open questions. After the study was finished, the data was collected and analyzed. The conclusion of the researchers is that the strategic orientations influence the adaptive capability on different levels. And furthermore the researchers conclude that the higher: “the higher the respondents’ perception of the company’s dynamic capabilities, the higher the organization’s adaptive capability to the market.” There is however one limitation that is mentioned, because the degree of influence between strategic orientations and the dynamic capabilities of a company can differ on at other companies and market dynamics of that company.