Inderscience Publishers

Flexibility, fit and innovative capacity: an empirical examination

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Flexibility is an organisation's ability to adapt to substantial and uncertain changes in the environment that requires quick reactions and which has a significant impact on performance. For many firms, creating new products, ideas or processes is a central path by which they adapt and sometimes even transform themselves in changing environments. This document takes an in-depth trans-national look into the framework of the European Union, on the effects flexibility has on firms' innovative capacity. Three different levels are analysed: strategic, structural, and operational flexibility. The objectives were tackled using data from 417 European firms. The results show that a good fit between real flexibility and that required by the environment has a positive impact on the level of innovativeness and on a company's innovative capacity.

Keywords: innovation, innovative capacity, flexibility, fit, adaptation, competencies, dynamic capability, European Union

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