Korea Productivity Association
생산성논집, Vol.34 no.4 (2020)
기업미래통찰(Corporate Foresight)이 중소기업 성과에 미치는 영향 연구 : 혁신성의 매개효과를 중심으로
In this VUCA world, all types of business enterprises seek for instruments of sustainable competitive advantages to compete for the future(Hamel and Prahalad, 1994). Since 1950s, corporate foresight emerges as one of the most efficient methods, defined as a set of practice of a organization to lay the foundation for future competitive advantage by detecting discontinuous changes early, interpreting the consequences, and formulate effective responses for the long-term survival and success of the company(Jemala, 2010; Rohrbeck et al., 2015). The corporate foresight process and tools are well documented in literatures of strategic management, innovation management and future studies(Becker, 2002; Daheim and Uerz, 2008; Rohrbeck, 2010; Battistella, 2014; Ruff, 2015). Furthermore, the values of corporate foresight are studied to justify the investment for corporate foresight resources from qualitative studies among large companies(Rohrbeck, 2012; Rohrbeck and Gemünden, 2011; Rohrbeck and Schwarz, 2013). Recently, the positive relations of corporate foresight and firm performance are empirically tested with 7-year longitudinal analysis(Rohrbeck and Kum, 2018). The studies on corporate foresight in Small and Medium Enterprises, however, are scare(Jannek and Burmeister, 2007), which calls for the attention of scholars, managers and policy-makers to upscale SMEs with corporate foresight(Poteraska and Sacio-Szymanska, 2014; Bidaurratzaga and Dell, 2012; Paliokaite 2010). This study intends to fill this gap of corporate foresight researches in SMEs. We investigated the relations of corporate foresight and firm performance with the role of innovativeness among Korean SMEs in manufacturing and service industries. Considering limited data available about SME’s corporate foresight and firm performances, we measured 1) corporate foresight with 11-item instrument from Rohrbeck and Gemünden(2011) and Yoon et al.(2018), 2) innovativeness with 5 questions from Hurley and Hunt(1998) and Kim(2013) and 3) firm performance with 8 items from Henri(2006), Widener(2007) and Kim(2013), with online self-reported questionnaire, directed to the managers of SMEs in Korea. From the hierarchical regression analysis of 203 samples, controling the company age and industry type, we found that 1) corporate foresight has the positive effect on the firm performance(β=.581, p<.001), 2) corporate foresight has the positive effect on the innovativeness of the firm(β=.727, p<.001), 3) innovativeness has the positive effect on the firm performance(β=.539, p<.001), and 4) corporate foresight’s effect on the firm performance is mediated by the innovativeness(β=.252, p=.002). The results of this study confirm and expand the previous studies of Jissink et al.(2014) and Yoon et al.(2018). This study contributes to building the empirical evidence of corporate foresight research in SMEs, which is limited, despite the value of SMEs to the economy. The practical implications for managers and policy makers are as follows. First, CEOs and the top management in SMEs should give their attentions to corporate foresight to identify, observe and interpret factors that induce change, to determine possible organization-specific implications, and to trigger appropriate organizational responses. Second, CEOs and the top management in SMEs should engage their managers in corporate foresight practices, starting from corporate foresight training to vision building toward a desired future so that managers scan environments ahead of competition, and drive decision-making under uncertainties as a routine. Third, CEOs and the top management in SMEs should be open to the collaborative foresight with universities, other firms, and the government within regional or industrial clusters to overcome the liabilities of smallness. The last but the most critical call falls on the policy makers to strengthen the foresight initiatives for SMEs and collaborators as a means for the prosperity of the national economy.