عنوان مقاله [English]
Introduction: A knowledge-based economy develops when knowledge-based companies have innovation, and whatever has a positive impact on the innovation is valuable for technology owners and policymakers. Due to the business development in Iran in recent years, discourse for the knowledge-based economy has increased, and many knowledge-based companies have been established. Iranian knowledge-based companies should usually compete with other companies, especially reputable old companies and organizations in the traditional sector (Arman and Shafiei, 2017). Innovation is essential for the survival, profitability and development of companies, and knowledge-based companies will certainly fail to survive without innovation. Therefore, one of the most important tasks of managers in knowledge-based companies is to create innovation and encourage the man force to innovate.
Many studies on business management have considered the lack of strategic thinking of top managers as a reason for not achieving the desired level of performance in all aspects, including innovation. Strategic thinking is essential for managers at different levels of an organization (Goldman and Casey, 2010; Moon, 2013). It improves the quality of decision-making (Goldman, 2012). In addition to strategic thinking, organizational learning has a great impact on improving organizational performance in all aspects, including innovation (Karimi and Abbasi, 2017). Although many believe that strategic thinking is an inherent capability, new studies indicate that strategic thinking can be improved using some principles and tools (Lashkarblooki and Jalali, 2018). The present research aims to study the innovativeness of knowledge-based companies from the lens of strategic thinking. It also investigates the impact of strategic learning as a mediating variable to provide more accurate explanation.
Methodology: This empirical study is a descriptive research rooted in the positivist philosophy of research. The statistical population compromised of the knowledge-based companies that, in 2018, used the services of Iran National Innovation Fund to implement their innovative plans. Since 168 knowledge-based companies were qualified to use the services, a random sampling method was used for sampling, and Cochran's formula was used to determine the required number of the cases in the samples. The data were randomly collected from 117 knowledge-based companies. A 5-point Likert scale questionnaire was used to collect the data. The reliability of the questionnaire was evaluated by measuring Cronbach's alpha and estimating composite reliability. Experts' opinions and standard questionnaires were also used to ensure the content validity. Confirmatory factor analysis, convergent validation and diagnostic validation were done to ensure the construct validity. In this research, the SPSS and Smart PLS software programs were used to analyze the data, and the results were presented as statistical models.
Results and Discussion: The findings confirm the fit of the research model and reveal that the tendency of the knowledge-based companies to innovate is directly influenced by the level of strategic thinking and strategic learning. In addition, strategic learning can increase the impact of strategic thinking on the tendency to innovate. Therefore, the managers of knowledge-based companies can use the concepts and tools of strategic thinking and strategic learning to promote innovation.
Conclusion: Knowledge-based companies are formed based on innovation and create a new market by innovative changes. Given the dependence of these companies on innovation, the lack of innovation reduces their profitability and endangers their survival. Studying the innovation of such companies should be in the different aspects, and it should not include only the barriers to innovation such as insufficient human resources, inappropriate business environment conditions, limited access to required resources and technologies. Another aspect that should be discussed is the tendency for innovation. Assuming that there are no obstacles in the way of innovation, the tendency for it is necessary to continuously innovate products, processes, and business models. Emphasizing this key point, the present study investigates the relationship between strategic thinking and strategic learning for innovativeness in knowledge-based companies. The data analysis shows that strategic thinking directly affects the tendency of knowledge-based companies to innovate. Strategic thinking improves the tendency to innovate by increasing the company's ability to recognize good opportunities, be creative, promote systemic thinking (a holistic approach to analysis that focuses on the system as a whole, not a series of parts, and how systems work overtime within the context of larger systems), and establish vision (or aspiration) and strategic communication. In addition to the direct impact of strategic thinking on innovation, the data show that strategic thinking would increase the tendency of knowledge-based companies to innovate indirectly through strategic learning. Promoting strategic thinking capabilities in knowledge-based companies would make companies increase their strategic knowledge at the organizational level and apply their experiences to innovate.