The role of Workplace Innovation in Business Strategies ensuring Resilience in an Uncertain and Disruptive Environment

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Organisations are confronted with increasingly dynamic markets and complicated supply chains characterised by uncertainty and disruption. In 2020, the corona crisis intensifies uncertainty and disruption. Firms need to reflect on the extent their business strategies are or should become resilient to these dynamics in order to survive and in the long run thrive in these ever-changing markets. Workplace innovation could be a vital instrument in strategies to pursue resilience. This research aims to explore to what extent firms are developing their resilient business strategies by addressing workplace innovation. From this the research question is derived: To what extent and how are organisations developing or altering strategies building upon workplace innovation in order to become more resilient in environments characterised by high levels of uncertainty and disruptiveness? Workplace innovation is defined as the degree to which firms aim for innovations in order to increase employee engagement by improving working conditions, enhancing productivity and create a culture of effective responsiveness to environmental changes. Qualitative content analysis has been conducted to answer the research question. The content analysis is based on researching during March and April 2020 a database of 900 newspaper articles about firms and their strategic decision making. The results show that integrating workplace innovation into business strategies under the uncertainty and disruptiveness conditions of COVID-19 contributes to the strengthening of resilient business strategies. This leads to the recommendation to use workplace innovation practices in the development of business strategies for resilience and continuity. Future follow-up research could investigate whether firms with active workplace innovation practices experience less negative impact and experience a faster recovery in era after the COVID-19 crisis subsides.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen