Evolution of Strategic Flexibility and Decision Making Process: A Conceptual FrameworkAuthor : Sunayana and Rakhshanda Parveen
Volume 8 No.1 January-March 2019 pp 85-92
The dynamic nature of the environment in which a firm operates, demands a very adaptive and flexible decision-making process from the managerial point of view. There is a need to understand the elements of strategic flexibility and the process of efficient decision-making and implementation. Hence this paper reviews the literature and systematically analyses the results on the basis of different criteria. Various aspects of strategic flexibility were interpreted and linked through a conceptual framework. Scholarly database “Web of Science” has been scanned resulting in the inclusion of various qualitative, quantitative and empirical studies. The review consists of paper from various domain, i.e. services, exports, manufacturing, healthcare, etc., covering a period of 1975-2019. This study will help in better understanding of the evolution of the concept over time and will give a clear-cut step in the decision-making process. Finally, this paper will open several avenues for further studies providing a base for empirical researches.
Decision-Making, Management Cognition, Strategic Options, Strategic Flexibility
 Aaker, D. A., & Mascarenhas, B. (1984). The need for strategic flexibility. Journal of Business Strategy, 5, 74–82.
 Abbott, A., & Banerji, K. (2003). Strategic flexibility and firm performance: the case of US based transnational corporations. Global Journal of Flexible Management Systems, 4, 1–8.
 Ansoff, H. I. (1975). Managing strategic surprise by response to weak signals. California Management Review, 18(2), 21–33.
 Anwar, J., & Hasnu, S.A.F. (2017). Strategic patterns and firm performance: comparing consistent, flexible and reactor strategies. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 30(7), 1015-1029.
 Arief, M., Thoyib, A., Sudiro, A., &Rohman, F. (2013). The effect of entrepreneurial orientation on the firm performance through strategic flexibility: A study on the SMEs cluster in Malang. Journal of Management Research, 5, 44–62.
 Arnold, V., Benford, T., Canada, J., & Sutton, S.J. (2015). Leveraging integrated information systems to enhance strategic flexibility and performance: The enabling role of enterprise risk management. International Journal of Accounting Information Systems, 19, 1-16
 Bamel, U. K., & Bamel, N. (2018). Organizational resources, KM process capability and strategic flexibility: a dynamic resource-capability perspective. Journal of Knowledge Management, 22(7), 1555-1572.
 Beach, R., Muhlemann, A.P., & Price, D.H.R. (2000). Manufacturing operations and strategic flexibility: survey and cases. International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 20(1), 7-30.
 Bierly, P. E., & Chakrabarti, A. K. (1996). Technological learning, strategic flexibility, and new product development in the pharmaceutical Industry. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management,43, 368–380.
 Bock, A. J., Opsahl, T., George, G., & Gann, D. M. (2012). The effects of culture and structure on strategic flexibility during Business model Innovation. Journal of management studies, 49(2), 279-305.
 Brozovic, D. (2018). Strategic flexibility: A review of the literature. International Journal of Management Reviews, 20, 3–31.
 Cabello-Medina, C., Carmona-Lavado, A., & Valle-Cabrera, R. (2006). Identifying the variables associated with types of innovation, radical or incremental: strategic flexibility, organisation and context. International Journal of Technology Management, 35(1-4), 80-106.
 Chen, Y., Wang, Y., Nevo, S., Benitez, J., & Kou, G. (2017). Improving strategic flexibility with information technologies: insights for firm performance in an emerging economy. Journal of Information Technology, 32(1), 10-25
 Choi, J. J., Ju, M., Kotabe, M., Trigeorgis, L., & Zhang, X. T. (2018). Flexibility as firm value driver: Evidence from offshore outsourcing. Global strategy Journal, 8(2), 351-376
 Combe, I. A. (2012). Marketing and flexibility: Debates past, present and future. European Journal of Marketing, 46, 1257–1267.
 Combe, I. A., & Greenley, G. E. (2004). Capabilities for strategic flexibility: a cognitive content framework. European Journal of Marketing, 38, 1456–1480.
 Combe, I. A., Rudd, J. M., Leeflang, P. S. H., &Greenley, G. E. (2012). Antecedents to strategic flexibility: management cognition, firm resources and strategic options. European Journal of Marketing, 46,1320–1339.
 Claussen, J., Essling, C., & Peukert, C. (2018). Demand variation, strategic flexibility and market entry: Evidence from the US airline industry. Strategic Management Journal, 39(11), 2877-2898.
 Dai, Y., Goodale, J., Byun, G., & Ding, F. (2018). Strategic Flexibility in New High-Technology Ventures. Journal of Management Studies, 55(2), 265-294.
 Das, T. K., & Elango, B. (1995). Managing strategic flexibility: key to effective performance. Journal of General Management, 20, 60–75.
 de Soto-Camacho, E. G., & Vargas-Sanchez, A. (2015). Choice of entry mode, strategic flexibility and performance of international strategy in hotel chains: an approach based on real options. European Journal of Tourism Research, 9, 92–114
 De Weerd-Nederhof, P. C., Visscher, K., Altena, J., &Fisscher, O. A. M. (2008). Operational effectiveness and strategic flexibility: scales for performance assessment of new product development systems. International Journal of Technology Management, 44(3-4), 354-372
 Dreyer, B., & Grønhaug, K. (2004). Uncertainty, flexibility, and sustained competitive advantage. Journal of Business Research, 57, 484–494.
 Dwyer, L. M., Cvelbar, L. K., Edwards, D. J., & Mihalic, T. A. (2014). Tourism firms‟ strategic flexibility: the case of Slovenia. International Journal of Tourism Research, 16, 377–387.
 Eppink, D. J. (1978). Planning for strategic flexibility. Long Range Planning, 11, 9–15
 Evans, C. J., Kirby, J. R., & Fabrigar, L. R. (2003). Approaches to learning, need for cognition, and strategic flexibility among university students. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 73, 507-528.
 Evans, J.S. (1991). Strategic flexibility for high technology manoeuvres: a conceptual framework. Journal of Management Studies, 28, 69–89.
 Fan, Z., Wu, D., & Wu, X. (2013). Proactive and reactive strategic flexibility in coping with environmental change in innovation. Asian Journal of Technology Innovation, 21, 187–201.
 Fernández-Pérez V., Garcìa-Morales, V. J., & Pulles, D. C. (2016). Entrepreneurial decision-making, external social networks and strategic flexibility: The role of CEOs’ cognition. European Management Journal, 34(3), 296-309
 Fernández-Pérez V., & Gutiérrez, L. G. (2013). External managerial networks, strategic flexibility and organisational learning: a comparative study among non-QM, ISO and TQM firms. Total Quality Management and Business Excellence, 24, 243–258.
 Fernández-Pérez, V., Montes, F. J. L., &Garcìa-Morales, V. J. (2014). Towards strategic flexibility: social networks, climate and uncertainty. Industrial Management and Data Systems, 114, 858–871.
 Fiegenbaum, A., & Karnani, A. (1991). Output flexibility – a competitive advantage for small firms. Strategic Management Journal, 12, 101-114.
 Fisk, S. T., & Taylor, S. E. (1991). Social Cognition (International Edition), McGraw-Hill.
 Ginn, G. O., & Lee, R. P. (2006). Community orientation, strategic flexibility, and financial performance in hospitals. Journal of healthcare management, 51(2), 111-121.
 Gomez-Gras, J. M., & Verdu-Jover, A. (2005). TQM, structural and strategic flexibility and performance: an empirical research study. Total Quality Management, 16, 841–860.
 Gong, H. (2017). The Relationship between strategy flexibility and innovation performance of enterprise in dynamic environment. Agro Food Industry Hi-Tech, 28(3), 427-431.
 Goodstein, J., Boeker, W., & Stephan, J. (1996). Professional interests and strategic flexibility: a political perspective on organizational contracting. Strategic Management Journal, 17, 577–586.
 Grewal, R., & Tansuhaj, P. (2001). Building organizational capabilities for managing economic crises: the role of market orientation and strategic flexibility. Journal of Marketing, 65, 67–80.
 Guo, H., & Cao, Z. (2014). Strategic flexibility and SME performance in an emerging economy: a contingency perspective. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 27, 273–298.
 Gylling, C., Elliott, R., & Toivonen, M. (2012). Co-creation of meaning as a prerequisite for market-focused strategic flexibility. European Journal of Marketing, 46, 1283-1301.
 Gutiérrez-Gutiérrez, L. J., & Fernández-Pérez, V. (2010). Managerial networks and strategic flexibility: a QM perspective. Industrial Management and Data Systems,110, 1192–1214
 Hamlin, R., Henry, J., & Cuthbert, R. (2012). Acquiring market flexibility via niche portfolios: the case of Fisher and Paykel Appliance Holdings Ltd. European Journal of Marketing, 46, 1302–1319.
 Harrigan, K. R. (1985). Strategic Flexibility. A Management Guide for Changing Times. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.
 Hitt, M., Keats, B., & DeMarie, S. (1998). Navigating in the new competitive landscape: Building strategic flexibility and competitive advantage in the 21st century. Academy of Management Executive, 12(4), 22–43.
 Ismail, R. M., Razak, R. C., & Lazim, H. M. (2015). Mediating impact of manufacturing technology, lean and strategic flexibility on manufacturing performance. JurnalTeknologi. 77(4), 77-90.
 Kamasak, R., Yozgat, U., & Yavuz, M. (2017). Knowledge process capabilities and innovation: testing the moderating effects of environmental dynamism and strategic flexibility, Knowledge Management Research and Practice, 15(3), 356-368.
 Kandemir, D., &Acur, N. (2012). Examining proactive strategic decision-making flexibility in new product development. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 29, 608–622.
 Kortmann, S. (2014). The mediating role of strategic orientations on the relationship between ambidexterity-oriented decisions and innovative ambidexterity. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 32, 666–684.
 Kortmann, S., Gelhard, C., Zimmermann, C., & Piller, F. T. (2014). Linking strategic flexibility and operational efficiency: the mediating role of ambidextrous operational capabilities. Journal of Operations Management, 32, 475–490.
 Krupp, C., & Davidson, C. (1996). Strategic flexibility and exchange rate uncertainty. Canadian Journal of Economics-Revue Canadienne D Economique, 29 (2), 436-456
 Kurt, D., & Hulland, J. (2013). Aggressive marketing strategy following equity offerings and firm value: the role of relative strategic flexibility. Journal of Marketing, 77, 57–74
 Lagoudis, I. N., Naim, M. M., & Potter, A. T. (2010). Strategic flexibility choices in the ocean transportation industry. International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics, 2(2), 187-205,
 Li, J. Zhou, L., Zhang, F., Chen, Z., & Tian, F. (2018). Technological configuration capability, strategic flexibility, and organizational performance in Chinese high-tech organizations. Sustainability, 10(5), 1665.
 Li, Y., Li, P., Wang, H., & Ma, Y. (2017). How do resource structuring and strategic flexibility interact to shape radical innovation? Journal of Product Innovation Management, 34(4), 471-491.
 Li, Y., Su, Z., & Liu, Y. (2010). Can strategic flexibility help firms profit from product innovation? Technovation, 30, 300–309.
 Liao, S., Liu, Z., Fu, L., & Ye, P. (2019). Investigate the role of distributed leadership and strategic flexibility in fostering business model innovation. Chinese Management Studies, 3(1), 93-112.
 Lin, C-T., & Chen Y. M. (2009). Hedging strategic flexibility in the distribution optimization problem. Omega- International Journal of Management Science, 37(4), 826-837.
 Liu, H., Jiang, X., Zhang, J. Q., & Zhang, X. L. (2013). Strategic flexibility and international venturing by emerging market firms: the moderating effects of institutional and relational factors. Journal of International Marketing, 21(2), 79-98.
 Lord, R. G., &Foti, R. J. (1986). Schema theories, information processing, and organizational behaviour, In Sims, H. P. Gioia, D. A. and Ass. (eds.), The Thinking Organization. Jossey- Bass, 20-48.
 Mason, R., & Nair, R. (2013). Strategic flexibility capabilities in the container liner shipping sector. Production Planning & Control, 24(7), 640-651.
 Nadkarni, S., & Herrmann, P. (2010). CEO personality, strategic flexibility, and firm performance: the case of the Indian business process outsourcing industry. The Academy of Management Journal, 53(5), 1050-1073.
 Nadkarni, S., & Narayanan, V. K. (2007). Strategic schemas, strategic flexibility, and firm performance: the moderating role of industry clock speed. Strategic Management Journal, 28, 243–270.
 Nandakumar, M. K., Jharkharia, S., & Nair, A. S. (2014). Organisational flexibility and competitiveness. New Delhi: Springer India.
 Ouakouak, M. L., & Ammar, O. (2015). How does strategic flexibility pay off in terms of financial performance? International Journal of Business Performance Management, 16(4), 442-456.
 Pauwels, P., &Matthyssens, P. (2004). Strategic flexibility in export expansion: growing through withdrawal. International Marketing Review, 21, 496–510.
 Perez-Valls, M., Cespedes-Lorente, J., & Moreno-Garcia, J. (2016). Green practices and organisational design as sources of strategic flexibility and performance. Business Strategy and the Environment, 25(8), 529-544. Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.1002/bse.1881.
 Price, D. H. R., Beach, R., Muhlemann, A. P., Sharp, J. A., & Paterson, A. (1998). A system to support the enhancement of strategic flexibility in manufacturing enterprises. European Journal of Operational Research, 109, 362–376.
 Rajala, R., Westerlund, M., & Moller, K. (2012). Strategic flexibility in open innovation: designing business models for open source software. European Journal of Marketing, 46, 1368–1388.
 Raynor, M. E., & Leroux, X. (2004). Strategic flexibility in R&D. Research Technology Management, 47, 27–32.
 Reddy, S. B. (2006). Strategic flexibility and information technology properties: competitive advantage and asset specificity. Journal of Competitiveness Studies, 14, 16–43.
 Rindova, V. P., & Kotha, S. (2001). Continuous morphing: competing through dynamic capabilities, form, and function. Academy of Management Journal, 44, 1263– 1280.
 Roca-Puig, V., Beltran-Martın, I., Escrig-Tena, A. B., & BouLlusar, J. C. (2005). Strategic flexibility as a moderator of the relationship between commitment to employees and performance in service firms. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 16, 2075–2093
 Roh, J. J., Yang, M. G., Park, K., & Hong, P. (2015). Stakeholders‟ pressure and managerial responses: lessons from hybrid car development and commercialization. International Journal of Business Information Systems, 18, 506–529.
 Roy, A. (2016). Strategic flexibility for reconfiguring loan portfolios in Indian banks. Strategic Change- Briefing in Entrepreneurial Finance, 25(5), 525-536.
 Rudd, J. M., Greenley, G. E., Beatson, A. T., & Lings, I. N. (2008). Strategic planning and performance: extending the debate. Journal of Business Research, 61, 99–108.
 Saini, A., & Johnson, J. L. (2005). Organizational capabilities in e-commerce: an empirical investigation of e-brokerage service providers. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 33, 360–375
 Sanchez, R. (1995). Strategic flexibility in product competition. Strategic Management Journal, 16, 135–159.
 Sanchez, R., &Heene, A. (1997). Reinventing strategic management: new theory and practice for competence-based competition. European Management Journal, 15, 303–317.
 Schulze, M., & Heidenreich, S. (2017). Linking energy-related strategic flexibility and energy efficiency: The mediating role of management control systems choice. Journal of Cleaner Production, 140(3), 1504-1513.
 Sharfman, M. P., & Dean, J. W. (1997). Flexibility is strategic decision making: informational and ideological perspectives. Journal of Management Studies, 34(2), 191-217.
 Shadi, R. (2016). The effect of strategic flexibility and organizational legitimacy on green management performance in companies of Aras free trade zone. IIOAB Journal, 7(2), 84-92.
 Shimizu, K., &Hitt, M. A. (2004). Strategic flexibility: organizational preparedness to reverse ineffective strategic decisions. Academy of Management Review, 18, 44– 59.
 Singh, D., Oberoi, J. S., & Ahuja, I. S. (2013). An empirical examination of barriers to strategic flexibility in Indian manufacturing industries using analytical hierarchy process. International Journal of Technology. Policy and Management, 13, 313–327.
 Sushil (2015). Strategic flexibility: the evolving paradigm of strategic management. Global Journal of Flexible Systems Management, 16, 113–114.
 Tamayo-Torres, I., Ruiz-Moreno, A., & Verdu, A. J. (2010). The moderating effect of innovative capacity on the relationship between real options and strategic flexibility. Industrial Marketing Management, 39, 1120–1127.
 Tan, J., & Zeng, Y. (2009). A stage-dependent model of resource utilization, strategic flexibility, and implications for performance over time: empirical evidence from a transitional environment. Asia-Pacific Journal of Management, 26, 563–588.
 TenDam, H. W. (1987). Managerial flexibility: a strategic asset. Leadership and Organization Development Journal, 8, 11–16.
 Verdú-Jover, A. J., & Gómez-Gras, J.-M. (2009). Measuring the organizational responsiveness through managerial flexibility. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 22(6), 668-690.
 Verdú-Jover, A. J., Gómez-Gras, J.-M., &Lloréns-Montes, F. J. (2008). Exploring managerial flexibility: determinants and performance implications. Industrial Management and Data Systems, 108, 70–86
 Wang, T., Libaers, D., & Jiao, H. (2015). Opening the black box of upper echelons in China: TMT attributes and strategic flexibility. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 32, 685–703.
 Wang, X., Qi, Y., & Zhao, Y. (2018). Individual unlearning, organizational unlearning and strategic flexibility: The down-up change perspective. Baltic journal of management, 14(1), 2-18.
 Wei, Z., Yi, Y., & Guo, H. (2014). Organizational learning ambidexterity, strategic flexibility, and new product development. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 31, 832–847.
 Worren, N., Moore, K., & Cardona, P. (2002). Modularity, strategic flexibility, and firm performance: a study of the home appliance industry. Strategic Management Journal, 23, 1123–1140.
 Xiu, L., Liang, X., Chen, Z., & Xu, W. (2017). Strategic flexibility, innovative HR practices, and firm performance A moderated mediation model. Personnel review, 46(7), 1335-1357.
 Xu, C., Wells, E., LeFevre, J. A., & Imbo, I. (2014). Strategic flexibility in computational estimation for Chinese and Canadian-educated adults. Journal of Experimental Psychology-Learning Memory and Cognition, 40(5), 1481-1497.
 Yawson, R. M., &Greiman, B. C. (2017). Strategic flexibility analysis of agrifood nanotechnology skill needs identification. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 118, 184-194
 Yi, Y., Gu, M., & Wei, Z. (2017). Bottom-up learning, strategic flexibility and strategic change. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 30(2), 161-183.
 Ying, Y., Deng, P., & Liu, Y. (2016). Strategic flexibility, institutional hardship, and international expansion strategy of Chinese new ventures. China- An International Journal, 14(4), 118-130.
 Young-Ybarra, C., & Wiersema, M. (1999). Strategic flexibility in information technology alliances: the influence of transaction cost economics and social exchange theory. Organization Science, 10, 439–459.
 Zahra, S. A., Hayton, J. C., Neubaum, D. O., Dibrell, C., & Craig, J. (2008). Culture of family commitment and strategic flexibility: the moderating effect of stewardship. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 32, 1035–1054.
 Zhang, M. J. (2005). Information systems, strategic flexibility and firm performance: an empirical investigation. Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, 22, 163–184.
 Zhou, K. Z., & Wu, F. (2010). Technological capability, strategic flexibility, and product innovation. Strategic Management Journal, 31, 547–561.