How to enhance radical innovation? The importance of organizational design and generative learning

  • Emilio Domínguez Escrig
  • Francisco Fermín Mallén Broch
  • Rafael Lapiedra Alcamí
  • Ricardo Chiva Gómez
Original Paper


While previous studies have tried to disentangle how the structure of an organization influences its capability to innovate, the results obtained to date are inconclusive and often contradictory. As a result, it is difficult to generalize the conclusions of previous research. In this regard, some authors have pointed out that it is necessary to consider mediating variables to explain how the structure of the organization or some of its characteristics affect innovation. Since the effects of an organic structure must be investigated in conjunction with firm-specific capabilities, such as those related to organizational learning processes, this study considered the role of generative learning as an explanatory variable. Generative learning has the potential to question the current norms of the organization, going beyond simple improvements, in a process that involves intuition, attention, dialogue and inquiry. Using a sample of 251 companies, this study provides empirical evidence of the mediating role of generative learning in the relationship between organic structure and radical innovation.


Organic structure Organizational design Generative learning Radical innovation 

Mathematics Subject Classification




This work was supported by the University Jaume I under Grant P11B2008-13; and the Spanish Innovation Ministry, under Grant ECO2011-26780.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Administración de Empresas y MarketingUniversitat Jaume ICastellón de la PlanaSpain

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