The Impact of Technological Innovation Cycles on Organizational Learning

18 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2015

See all articles by Jeffrey Ray

Jeffrey Ray

Swiss Management Center (SMC) University; University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)

Date Written: December 4, 2011


In today’s constantly changing business environment, the ability to acquire knowledge, and to do it quickly, is often the difference between surviving and not surviving. Organizational learning is therefore being recognized as a critical organizational function of considerable interest to corporate leaders. This interest in organizational learning has been encouraged by the perception that learning and innovation are essential for the survival of organizations due to the dynamics of external environments. Despite continued interest by researchers in innovation and organizational learning, there is a gap with regard to considering both issues concurrently. This paper describes how information technology (IT) innovations have brought new capabilities to E-commerce which can potentially improve individual and organizational learning. Focused training programs can ensure organizational learning is realized, and that staff members have the requisite skills to update products and services to keep pace with the market place as new innovative technologies are introduced.

Successful organizations are considered the ones that can learn, and learn quickly. Knowledge has become an organizations most important intangible asset since it is accumulated through organizational learning. New tools are available that can support collaboration efforts, but the organization must eliminate policies that inhibit information sharing and collaboration among team members. If an organization has a structural problem due to norms and values that discourage the sharing of information, innovative IT approaches will not improve the organizational performance since the underlying institutional problems will still be in place. The need for organizations to develop dynamic capabilities that can span innovation cycles is clear. If IT investments must be tied to strategic business plans and legitimate value propositions, then individual and organizational learning programs should focus on developing the skill to integrate business value propositions into product investment strategies. Organizations must assess which learning techniques will ensure staff can adapt the firm’s products and services as new innovative technologies are introduced. Ongoing, focused, training can ensure staff has the capabilities to implement product updates that achieve value propositions tied to the new technologies.

Keywords: innovation cycles, organizational learning, focused ongoing training, acquire knowledge, organizational policies, inhibiting information sharing, organizational performance, collaboration, coordination, organizational learning, e-commerce, organizaitonal decision making

JEL Classification: L15, M13, M53, O31, O32, O33

Suggested Citation

Ray, Jeffrey, The Impact of Technological Innovation Cycles on Organizational Learning (December 4, 2011). Available at SSRN: or

Jeffrey Ray (Contact Author)

Swiss Management Center (SMC) University ( email )

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University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) ( email )

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