创业与创新关系论文

创业与创新关系论文

来源:http://www.liuxuelunwen.org/作者:xiaoni2000发布时间:2014-09-22 10:58
本文是一篇澳洲留学论文,该文章主要探讨了商业创业与创新。通过对环境、战略决策和重组概念的讲述表明:环境变化是组织变革的关键驱动因素,持续的环境变化使外部环境保持不确定性。
澳洲留学论文The Entrepreneurship And Innovation Group
 
组织通常面临环境的快速变化和转换。Daft(2007)研究表明,组织外部的环境因素,有可能影响全部或部分的组织和包括几个领域:工业部门,原材料部门,部门,金融资源,人力资源部门,技术部门,市场部门,经济环境部门,政府部门,社会文化领域,国际部门。根据Dill(1958)的研究,环境的现象可能与组织目标的设定密切相关。因此,环境变化是组织变革的关键驱动因素以及重大变量代表的战略决策者(Tan & tan,2003)。同时,持续的环境变化使外部环境保持不确定性和复杂性的特点,导致许规划和预测过程面临的环境挑战。
 
战略决策确定以来,一个组织的总体方向和其最终可行性预测,不可预测,不可知的变化都有可能发生在其重要的周边环境(Ghoshal,1998),战略决策者正试图做出适当的战略决策来适应环境条件的变化。因此,许多研究人员在战略管理领域的搜索方法,可以帮助组织适应持续的环境变化。在2008年,Rau提出了一个重要的问题:“为什么有些组织进行战略变化速度比其他人在应对外部环境的变化快?“基于认知方式”。决策是人们如何感知特定情形的函数,显然,这个定义反映了战略决策者的角色理解的环境变化。因此,快速适应环境变化的组织有更好的生存和成功的机会。
 
Organisations are generally facing rapid changes and transformations in their environment. According to Daft, (2007), the environment is all factors that exist outside the organisation and have the potential to affect all or part of the organisation and includes several sectors: industry sector , raw materials sector, financial resources sector, ,human resources sector, technology sector, market sector , economic conditions sector , government sector, socio-cultural sector, international sector. And according to Dill (1958), Environment is the phenomena that are potentially relevant to organisational goal setting and attainment it. Therefore, environmental change is a key driver of organisational change as well as a significant variable that represents a challenge to the strategic decision-makers (Tan & Tan, 2003). Also, continuous environmental change makes the external environment characterised by uncertainty and complexity, which lead to many difficulties with regard to planning and forecasting processes to face the environmental challenges.
 
Since that the strategic decisions determine the overall direction of an organisation and its ultimate viability under the predictable, the unpredictable, and unknowable changes that may occur in its significant surrounding environment (Mintzberg, Quinn, and Ghoshal, 1998), strategic decision makers are trying to make appropriate strategic decisions to adapt their organisations to environmental conditions. Consequently, many researchers in the field of strategic management have searched for methods that can help organisations to adapt to continuous environmental change. Rau (2008, p.25), raised an important question: "why do some organisations make strategic changes faster than others in response to changes in their external environment?” Based on the cognitive approach "decision making is a function of how people perceive a particular situation” (Kotlyar & Karakowsky, 2007, p.968). Clearly, this definition reflects the role of strategic decision makers in understanding the environmental change. Therefore, organisations that adapt quickly to environmental change have a better opportunity of survival and success than slow adapters (Rau, 2008). Accordingly, it can be considered that the Iraqi organisations in general, and the public sector organisations in particular have a limited opportunity for success and survival, because it is noticeable that the response of Iraqi organisations to environmental change in Iraq is still at levels not commensurate with the size and speed of environmental change in Iraq.
Since the interactive relationships between organisation, strategic decision-making, and external environment have been one of the important topics of organisation and management theory over the last decades, and restructuring has emerged as an effective mechanism in the successful response of organisations to environmental change (Clark, 2004). These features have motivated me to engage in the subject of environmental changes and the characteristics of strategic decisions within the framework of restructuring processes in the Ministry of Industry and Minerals, which is one of the Iraqi strategic organisations and greatly affects the Iraqi economy and society. Accordingly, it is necessary to look in the selection of restructuring strategies that fit with the nature and requirements of Iraqi public sector organisations, and the factors influencing this choice as an effective mechanism to cope with environmental change in Iraq. According to Patton (2002), it is necessary to focus on the problem of the study in the social research and then using multiple methods to derive knowledge about the problem. Therefore, I tend to follow the pragmatism as an epistemological approach to address the problem of this study, because pragmatism means that the focus on the consequence of research, on the research question rather than methods, and multiple methods can be employed to answer this question (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2007; Creswell & Garrett, 2008; Creswell, 2009).
 
I will divide this proposal into six sections. The first section will introduce the research problem. In the second section, I will seek to justify the importance of the study. The third section will be about the objectives of the study. In the fourth section, I will review the literature related to the variables of the study (environmental changes, characteristics of strategic decisions, and restructuring). The fifth section will be devoted to clarify the relationship between the variables of the study. Finally, I will seek to justify the importance of pragmatism as an epistemological approach to this study.
 
Research problem
 
Many thinkers in the management and organisation field (e.g. Dill, 1958; Lawrence & Lorsch, 1967; Hall, 1977; Bolman & Deal, 1984; Robbins, 1990; Barney & Griffin, 1992; Mercer et al.,1992; Certo, 2000; Daft, 2001; Griffin and Moorhead, 2007 ) have given great importance to study the issue of environment and its relationship to both public and private organisations. They have studied the interaction of various environmental elements; environmental changes and their impact on the organisations performance; and how organisations respond to environmental changes or attempt to influence these changes on the one hand, and the need to make structural changes based on changes that occur in the environment on the other.
 
The development of organisations is often based on the organisations’ ability to respond and adapt to the requirements of environmental conditions and changes that face them, and there is a consensus in the literature that the conditions and environmental factors are the key to survival and success of the organisation. It is therefore significant that the organisation must pursue to think strategically within the framework of long-term visions in order to face the cases of environmental uncertainty, risk, and fast dynamic. Through adoption of strategic decisions which have characteristics related to the organisation, its goals, and its requirements, based on the characteristics of strategic decision makers to achieve the long-term goals of the organisation. The foremost amongst these strategic decisions that should be adopted by the organisation (especially under the contemporary circumstances and requirements, and under the domination of globalization concepts and their effects, and acceleration and growing of the nature and level of environmental changes) is the decisions that related to organisation restructuring, which are the crucial decisions because they took into consideration the dimensions and problems of environment within the framework of future visions and perspectives to cope with the changes that faced by contemporary organisations. Therefore, the organisations must either respond to environmental changes after they occur, or adapt to these changes. At the same time, the organisations are trying to anticipate change, to influence it in the direction which enhances the state of readiness and preparedness to face the potential changes, and lead them in the way that reduces these effects, or enables organisation to control them.
 
The foregoing represents the fundamental framework of the research problem, which will be addressed through two frameworks. Firstly, the theoretical framework, which I will seek through which to display, analyze, and discuss the intellectual opinions, as stated in the references in order to draw indicators from them. Secondly, the practical framework, which will seek to diagnose the environmental changes that are taking place in Iraq, and greatly influenced the activities of Iraqi organisations , including the Ministry of Industry and Minerals which I am going to study it, and to activate the level of its response. Specifically under a range of regulations adopted by the Iraqi government which facilitate the work of the foreign investors, as well as under the dominance of imported products in the domestic market. Also, the observer to the industrial policies in Iraq still sees clearly delays in the industrial activities compared with neighboring countries, while Iraq has the necessary capabilities and resources to improve the reality of the industrial sector in Iraq. So, it is necessary to reconsider the structure of the Ministry of Industry and Minerals to cope with environmental changes in Iraq. An initial survey, which I have conducted it showed that the response of the Ministry of Industry and Minerals to these changes or avoidance of their impacts is still at levels not commensurate with rapid and radical environmental change in Iraq, which reflected negatively on the results of the industrial sector at the country level.
 
These features have formed an incentive to engage in the subject of environmental changes and the characteristics of strategic decisions within the framework of restructuring processes in one of the Iraqi strategic organisations (Ministry of Industry and Minerals), which greatly affects the economy and Iraqi society.
 
Research questions:
 
In order to address the study problem methodologically, I put it in the form of precise questions, and I will try to find the correct answers to them through this study:
What is the level of environmental change faced by the Ministry of Industry and Minerals?
What is the availability level of the personal and organisational characteristics to the strategic decisions in the Ministry of Industry and Minerals?
Do the decision-makers in the ministry have the ability to adapt and respond, or to affect environmental changes?
Are the strategic decision-makers in the ministry facing difficulties in the follow-up changes that occur in the external environment?
Is there a need to reconsider the ministry’s structure and its subsidiary bodies?
Do the restructuring decisions require certain organisational characteristics? And do they require special characteristics for their makers?
What are the most prominent forms of restructuring that fit the current environmental changes in Iraq?
Literature review:
 
1. The concept of environment: 环境的概念
 
Writers and researchers consider the environment each according to his or her specialisation, where the environment is a general concept have been addressed by the various sciences, and it is not linked to a specific scientific field. In the administrative, organisational, and strategic fields have emerged several concepts to the environment, which varied and differed scholars' views about them. The study sees this diversity as complementary indications, which bring together the researchers’ views. The environment concept has been approached from several perspectives. Fore example, strategists typically divide the organisational environment into dimensions or forces that affect the organisational performance, while the organisation theory has a different perspective, which has classified the environment according to its structural layers or constituent elements.
 
Therefore, the review of some views on the environment concept contributes to achieve a precise realization to this concept. The following table shows the views of some researchers in chronological order.
Table (1): The concept of environment, according to the definitions of some researchers
1
Dill
1958
Environment is the phenomena that are potentially relevant to organisational goal setting and attainment it
2
Duncan
1972
Environment is physical and social factors outside organisation
3
Hall
1977
Environment is everything outside the boundaries of a particular organisation.
4
Bolman and Deal
1984
Environment is everything outside the organisation.
5
Robbins
1990
Environment is that part directly relevant to the achievement of organisational goals.
6
Hatch
1997
Environment is an entity that lies outside the organisation and influences its outcomes.
7
Certo
2000
Environment is a set of power inside and outside the organisation that affect its performance.
8
Hall and Tolbert
2005
Environment is all phenomena that are outside the organisations and potentially or actually influence them.
9
Griffin and Moorhead
2007
Environment is everything outside the organisation boundaries (people, organisations, economic factors, objects, and events), and influence it.
 
 
10
Daft
2007
Environment is all factors that exist outside the organisation and have the potential to affect all or part of the organisation and includes several sectors: industry sector , raw materials sector, financial resources sector, ,human resources sector, technology sector, market sector , economic conditions sector , government sector, socio-cultural sector, international sector.
In accordance with the above environment concepts as mentioned by some researchers and authors, it became clear that there are two approaches to define the environment concept:
General and comprehensive approach:
This approach focuses on the broad concept of environment that looks to the environment from different angles, but they agree that the environment is all factors that surround the organisation, without specifying these factors and their impact on the organisation such as the concepts that mentioned by Duncan (1972), Hall (1977), Bolman and Deal (1984).
Particular and defined approach:
This approach focuses on a particular concept of the environment by identifying the relevant factors affecting the organisation goals such as the concepts that mentioned by Dill (1958), Daft (2007), Hall and Tolbert (2005), Hatch (1997), Robbins (1990), Griffin and Moorhead (2007), Certo (2000).
It is necessary to note that the environment concept in the general description may not be suitable for all organisations in the same effect, because the environmental factors do not have the same effect on organisations. Thus, there are organisations that might be influenced by factors, which may not influence other organisations. Therefore, I think that the environment concept linked to organisation ability, and each organisation is influenced by specific factors. So, I tend to disagree with the opinion that the environment is everything surround the organisation, because it is a general view to the definition of organisational environment concept. It is necessary to identify factors that represent a challenge to the organisation, so that the organisation reread its problems according to the change of these factors. As I mentioned that these factors and their influence degree are vary from one organisation to another. For example, there are organisations affected by political factors significantly more than other organisations. Therefore, they should take into consideration the political factors seriously, because they are a challenge, and the fundamental threat.
I argue that everything directs the future performance of the organisation (factors, circumstances, and external forces) in a way that affects its goals and mission, it is the organisation environment. Factors and external forces can not be considered as the environmental factors of the organisation, if they do not constitute an influential and crucial factor to survival of the organisation, to its competitive position, to its growth, and to its development.
 
2. The concept of strategic decision: 战略决策的概念
 
The issue of decision in general and the strategic decision in particular, has become one of the main features of the subject of management and organisation. It is necessary to define the concept of decision in general and then move towards the concept of strategic decision in order to achieve a deeper understanding of the meaning of strategic decisions. In the Oxford dictionary a decision is described as a conclusion or resolution reached after consideration.
 
 
As a term, the decision means choice an alternative among several alternatives to achieve a particular goal (Certo, 2000). Kerin and Peterson (2004), see that decision is a choice-oriented to a specific program to achieve a particular goal. Thus, decision is a conscious choice to behave or to think in a specific way in a special situation (Duncan, 1972). Also, they differ in terms of being strategic or non-strategic decisions, as a result to the difference in their nature and comprehensiveness in terms of the impact on the tasks and functions of the organisation (Younis, 2005).
 
There are several concepts of strategic decision, due to the existence of different approaches to study the strategic decision. Therefore, many views have emerged to define the concept of a strategic decision; I will mention some of them in the following table in chronological order.
Table (2): The concept of strategic decision, according to the definitions of some researchers
1
Mintzberg, Raisinghani and Theoret
1976
Important decisions in terms of the action taken, the resources committed, or the precedents set.
2
Hickson, et al.
1986
The decisions which are made at the top of the organisation about the bigger matters.
3
Schilit
1987
Significant decisions that utilize resources of the organisation in order to enhance its long -term success
4
Ghurab
1987
Decision dealing with long-term variables which has a crucial influence on continuing organisation's success, and it represents a special type of administrative decisions under uncertainty
5
Eisenhardt
1989
Decisions involve strategic positioning , have high stakes, involve many of the organisation’s functions, and which are considered representative of the process by which significant decisions are made at the organisation
6
Eisenhardt and Zbaracki
1992
Infrequent decisions made by upper-level management of an organisation that critically affect organisational health and survival
7
Mintzberg, Quinn, and Ghoshal
1998
The decisions that determine the overall direction of an organisation and its ultimate viability under the predictable, the unpredictable, and unknowable changes that may occur in its significant surrounding environment
8
Certo
2000
One-shot decisions that are often less structured than other decisions
9
Johnson and Scholes
2002
The decisions that are likely to influence the long-term direction of an organisation, and to be concerned with the scope of an organisation’s activities. These decisions are normally about trying to achieve competitive advantages for the organisation.
10
Daft
2008
Novel decisions and have no specific criteria, and no procedure exists for solving the problem faced by the organisation
Despite the differences in the concepts of strategic decision, they all agree on the importance of strategic decisions and their impact on the future of the organisation. However, through the literature related to the concept of strategic decision, and the definitions that mentioned in the table above, we can observe the evolution of the concept of strategic decision as follows:
 
In the 1970s the focus was on the importance of strategic decisions, since these decisions concern the allocation of resources in a manner conducive to achieving the goals of the organisation, with reference to their importance in the organisation development.
 
 
In the 1980s, the concepts of the strategic decision also emphasised the importance of the resources allocation, but a new dimension has been added which is the environmental dimension (internal environment represented by strength and weakness, and the external environment represented by the opportunities and threats), which is called SWOT analysis.
 
In the 1990s, the concepts of uncertainty have emerged in defining the concept of strategic decision.
Concepts of the strategic decision in the third millennium took into consideration the previous dimensions, and placed emphasis on the role of strategic decisions to achieve competitive advantage to enhance the competitive position of the organisation, which enable it to continue the success, and growth.
In addition, these concepts highlighted some characteristics of the strategic decision in terms of importance, risk, and the ability to create a balance between strengths and weaknesses on the one hand, and the opportunities and threats on the other. Also, these concepts emphasised the holistic and future view of the strategic decisions, and their ability to anticipate the events and to realise the reality.
 
3. The concept of restructuring: 重组的概念
 
The 1980s were characterized by a wave of important restructuring activities, this wave has become increasingly common during the 1990s (Lin, Lee and Peterson, 2006; Park and Kim, 2008). Therefore, the concept of the restructuring is still a matter of debate and controversy because of the modernity of the subject. However, researchers have cited several definitions of the restructuring concept, which varied according to their views and their different intellectual schools. The following table shows some of these definitions of the concept of restructuring.
Table (3): The concept of restructuring, according to the definitions of some researchers
1
Bowman and Singh
1993
Change aims to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of
management teams's performance through considerable changes in organisational structure
2
Staniforth
1994
Opportunities for change, improvements in the organisation, and to achieve the benefits of cost, the benefits of decision-making, the benefits of communication, and other benefits to the organisation.
3
Hitt, Ireland and Hoskisson
2001
The strategy through which the organisation can change its financial or commercial position
4
Stevenson, Bartunek and Borgatti
2003
Attempts to get people within the organisation to work more closely together.
5
Brauer
2006
A purposeful strategic option for organisation renewal
6
Lin, Lee and Peterson
2006
A set of activities typically include downsizing, sale of a business line, closures or consolidation of facilities, business relocation, or changes in management structure, often occur as part of organisational strategies intended to improve efficiency, control costs, and adapt to an ever changing business environment.
Through the literature related to the concept of strategic decision, and the definitions that mentioned in the table above, we can observe that the researchers have agreed on the following:
The restructuring is one of the tools of strategic change aims to develop and improve organisational performance.
There is a consensus that restructuring is a tool that has a positive effect on the organisation's efficiency, and on the benefit of all stakeholders (inside and outside the organisation).
 
 
There are differences in the description of restructuring (strategy, process, and plan).
There is a consensus that the implementation of the restructuring is through a range of options (downsising, closures or consolidation of facilities, changes in management structure, and so on).
 
Conceptual model of the relationship between the variables of the study:
Based on the literature, and as a result to define the problem, goals, and the importance of the study, I have built a perception of the relationships between the variables, which represent link relationships, and influence relationships. These relationships have been identified on the assumption that there are two types of variables, which are independent and dependent variables as follows:
 
Environmental change: An independent variable, which has a negative impact on the other variables.
Characteristics of the strategic decision: An independent variable, which has influence and link relationships with other variables.
Restructuring strategies: A dependent variable, which is influenced by other independent variables.
I have relied on the adaptive approach to build the study's model, on the basis that the environmental changes surrounding the organisation that result in changes in the structure of the organisation that are commensurate with the amount and type of environmental changes, which would require the adoption of restructuring decisions that made by decision-makers, who must possess certain personal characteristics that qualify them to make these decisions within a flexible organisational structure which has specific organisational characteristics, as illustrated in the following figure.
 
Figure (1): Model of the research
The idea of this model derived from the ideas that brought by the thinkers of the situational approach (in the areas of management, organisation, and strategy), on the relationship between environmental and organisational variables, and their role in determining the organisational structure as the outcome of restrictions imposed by certain environmental variables. Thus, the situational factors are important in determining the structural patterns. Child’s view (1972) is one of the main views that has been adopted as a basis for the philosophy of this model, through his contribution to add a role to another variable which affects the organisational structure in addition to the situational factors, which is the strategic decisions that are made by those who have power in the organisation (at the level of the overall strategy, or at the level of business units). These decisions in order to be effective, the makers of these decisions must have distinct personality characteristics, as well as the organisational structure must have certain characteristics enhance these decisions.
Research importance:
Importance of this study could be clarified as follows:
 
The importance of the study emerges from the importance of the variables that will be researched (environmental change, characteristics of strategic decisions, and restructuring), and the relationship and influence between these variables will be addressed in the Ministry of Industry and Minerals, which has important influence on the Iraqi economy and society.
 
The study will seek to support the intellectual opinions about the relationship between strategy and structure, which have been addressed by researchers since 1962 in Chandler's writings, and the subsequent books and articles that were trying to answer an important question , does the strategy follow the structure or vice versa?
 
 
The importance of this study emerges from the need of Iraqi organisations to conduct such type of studies. It is believed that the Iraqi organisations in dire need for such studies due to changes in the Iraqi environment, as these studies can provide the Iraqi organisations with information and data, which can be employed to serve the future direction of their activities, and to serve the public interest.
 
Also, this study derives its importance from the results that will be reached, which will help to identify the personal characteristics of strategic decision makers, and the organisational factors that required by the current phase under the turbulent environment in Iraq, which affect the restructuring processes that are facing the Ministry of Industry and Minerals, and various Iraqi ministries and organisations in general.
 
This study is an intellectual and philosophical attempt to study the effect of environmental change and the characteristics of strategic decisions on the restructuring under the scarcity of previous studies in Iraq and the Middle East, or they limited to the relationship between two variables exclusively.
Research objectives:
 
The objectives of this study can be summarized in the following points:
The study aims to identify, and attempt to determine environmental changes that affect significantly the activity and tasks of the Ministry of Industry and Minerals, and how the strategic decision-makers are facing these changes in order to contain their impact.
The study aims to diagnose the reality and personal and organisational characteristics of strategic decisions at the level of the Ministry of Industry and Minerals, and to identify the influences of those characteristics on directing the strategic decisions and on formulating the ministry's strategies.
The study aims to describe the restructuring processes and their currently prevailing forms in the Ministry of Industry and Minerals.
This study will seek to introduce intellectual and philosophical framework describes the variables of the study, and to review the perspectives and interpretation of the researchers and authors about these variables and their contents, and to link them practically within a framework of integrated knowledge.
Research Methodology:
 
The term epistemology is derived from two Greek words. The first word is episteme, which means knowledge, and the second word is logos, which means reason. Therefore, epistemology is the branch of philosophy which is based on the theory of knowledge in terms of its procedures, validation, and methods to obtain and gather knowledge of social reality, whatever it is realised to be (Grix, 2002).
There are four epistemological positions or worldviews (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2007; Creswell, 2009):
Positivism, typically associated with quantitative approaches (Wardlow, 1989; Creswell & Plano Clark, 2007; Creswell, 2009). Positivism can be defined as “an epistemological position that advocates the application of the natural sciences to the study of social reality and beyond” (Bryman & Bell, 2007, p.16). According to Johnson and Onwuegbuzie ( 2004), positivist purists believe that social phenomena should be treated as entities in much the same way that physical researchers treat scientific phenomena.
 
Constructivism or interpretivism, often associated with qualitative approaches (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2007; Creswell, 2009). Constructivism is a term given to a contrary epistemology to positivism, as well as to the application of natural science model to the study of social science, where the writers of interpretivism insist that the subject is related to the social sciences (communities and their institutions), which substantially different from that of natural sciences (Bryman & Bell, 2003). Thus, constructivism is based upon the assumption that individuals seek understanding of the world around them in which they live and work (Creswell, 2009).
 
Advocacy/Participatory, typically influenced by political concerns, and this worldview is more often associated with qualitative methods than quantitative methods. It is based upon the assumption that "the postpostivist assumptions imposed structural laws and theories that did not fit marginalized individuals in our society or issues of social justice that needed to be addressed" approaches (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2007; Creswell, 2009, p.9).
 
Pragmatism, the last epistemological approach, typically associated with mixed methods research. It is an American philosophical approach derives from the work of writers such as Dewey, Meade, and James. Pragmatism means that the focus on the consequence of research, on the research question rather than methods, and multiple methods can be employed to answer this question (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2007; Creswell & Garrett, 2008; Creswell, 2009). This means that the research approaches should be combined in methods that enable researchers to answer significant research questions (Johnson & Onwuegbuzie, 2004).
 
I tend to follow the pragmatism worldview as an epistemological approach to address the problem of the study, which may be complex because there are several factors affecting the slow response of public sector organisations to environmental change in Iraq. It is necessary to focus on the problem of the study in the social research and then using multiple methods to derive knowledge about the problem (Patton, 2002). According to Creswell (2009), pragmatism provides a philosophical foundation for research:
It is not committed to any system of philosophy and the reality.
 
Researcher has the freedom to choose how to deal with the problem.
Pragmatism does not see the world as an absolute unity; therefore, there is more than one way to deal with the problem.
Truth is not based in a duality between reality independent of the mind or within the mind, but it is what works at the time.
Pragmatists look to the what and how to research, in accordance with the intended results.
Pragmatist researchers agree that research always occur in a variety of contexts.
Pragmatists believe that researchers need to stop asking questions about reality and laws of nature.
 
Thus, pragmatism creates a paradigm distinct from traditional paradigms in that it provides an opportunity for researchers to use quantitative and qualitative methods in social and behavioural researches (Tashakkori & Teddlie, 1998). The mixed methods approach can produce knowledge that is unavailable to the quantitative and qualitative approaches through " the creation of a wider picture, more confidence in findings, an improved study component, a wider variety of views, a way of researching an issue that was otherwise impossible, or an understanding of why and where a study component failed" (O’Cathain & Thomas, 2006; as cited in O’Cathain, Murphy & Nicholl, 2007, p. 148). For example, Kauer, Waldeck, and Scha¨ffer (2007), examined the effects of top management team characteristics on strategic decision making process. Their conclusions are based on quantitative and qualitative data, all study results were then checked by going back to the strategic decision makers. What emerged was a wider picture of how team characteristics affect team strategic decision making than was available in previous studies. Also, in another previous study, Elbanna and Child (2007) examined rationality of strategic decision making. They used qualitative and quantitative data in a complementary manner, in the two phases of their study in order to achieve as complete and realistic a picture of rationality in strategic decision making as possible.
 
In recent years, the traditional research methods, either qualitative or quantitative, may not be sufficient because of the complexity, ambiguity, and diversity of factors affecting a phenomenon. Consequently, a flexible research approach, such as the mixed methods approach has become a necessity to address this issue. It is the third methodology that emerged from "paradigm wars". This methodology provides an opportunity for researchers to benefit from the advantages of quantitative and qualitative approaches and to avoid their weaknesses. This approach enables researchers to ask exploratory and confirmatory questions in a single study, which leads to extension of knowledge, enrichment of understanding , confirmation of conclusions, and realism of findings, because the quantitative and qualitative approaches are complementary to each other, and they add value to each other. Accordingly, the relationship between environmental change, characteristics of strategic decisions, and restructuring strategies need to a mixed methods approach, where it is important to look at the relationships between these variables, but more important is the interpretation of these relationships to understand what is happening and why deeply. The examination of relationships between these variables and their interpretation may contribute to help the Ministry of Industry and Minerals, and public sector organisations to respond successfully to the environmental change in Iraq by choosing an appropriate restructuring strategy based on an accurate reading of the reality of public sector organisations in Iraq.
 



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