Teaching versus Learning: An Exploratory Longitudinal Case Study

By Dyck, Bruno; Starke, Frederick A. et al. | Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Winter 2008 | Go to article overview

Teaching versus Learning: An Exploratory Longitudinal Case Study


Dyck, Bruno, Starke, Frederick A., Mauws, Michael K., Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship


The ability to innovate is paramount for small business survival and prosperity. The salience of this ability seems to be growing in importance given the increasing pace of technological change and globalization (for example, Chaston, Badger and Sadler-Smith, 1999, 2001). The ability of small firms to innovate is important not only for their own survival, but also for the well-being of the larger economy (O'Shea and McBain, 1999; Wynarczyk, 1997). During the past few decades, considerable research has been conducted on issues relating to innovation in small business, including adaptive behavior (Barrier, 1995; Comstock, 1995; Nelton, 1995), innovation and growth (Kirchoff and Phillips, 1989; Cowley and Merilees, 2001; O'Connor, Rice and Leifer, 2001; Vinnell and Hamilton, 1999), cognition and learning (Burpitt and Rondinelli, 2000), and new product development (Astebro and Gerchak, 1999; Simon, Elango, Houghton and Savelli, 2002). However, there is still much to learn about the new product development process (Huang, 2002), knowledge management (Wong, 2004), the dynamic capabilities needed to develop new products (Mosey, 2005), and organizational learning (Chaston et al., 1999).

The longitudinal study described here provides a detailed analysis of one of the key phases in the new product development process in a small business. Specifically, our focus is on that period that begins immediately after a "back-of-the-envelope" sketch of a new product idea has been conceived, continues during the development of the idea into a prototype model ready for full-scale production, and ends upon achieving full-scale production of the product. Studies of this "learning to build" (LTB) phase have been reported elsewhere (for example, Dyck et al., 2005), but overall it has received little attention despite its critical importance in organizational competitiveness (Fenwick, 2003; Hatch and Mowery, 1998). Moreover, previous studies generally do not address possible differences between small firms and their larger competitors in managing this process. For example, in their landmark study, Cooper and Kleinschmidt (1986) assessed the extent to which a sample of 123 large and small firms carried out 13 specific steps in the new product development process, but they did not report on differences between large and small firms.

Our decision to focus on the LTB phase is not meant to downplay the importance of market analysis and market development. (1) We focus on the LTB phase because it represents a competitive advantage for small businesses relative to their larger competitors, and because it may be particularly important for owner/managers of small firms to manage interpersonal, intra-organizational teaching and learning flows that occur during this phase. Whereas larger businesses have access to more expertise and explicit knowledge, it may be that smaller firms have a greater capacity to manage the tacit knowledge that is a hallmark of successful new product development (Koskinen and Vanharanta, 2002; cf Rothwell, 1989; Kanter, 1988, cited in Koskinen and Vanharanta, 2002). This advantage is partly a function of the relatively small scale of operations of small firms, which facilitates the ability to transform tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge (Koskinen and Vanharanta, 2002). For example, for innovation to occur, face-to-face communication and interaction among organization members-which is characteristic of small firms-is seen as more important than the more formal and impersonal exchange of explicit information that characterizes larger firms (Harade, 2003: 1738). It is not the total amount of information transferred that is crucial, but rather the utilization of that information that is important (Koskinen and Vanharanta, 2002). The relative informality of small- and medium-sized enterprises' (SMEs) operations can facilitate this sort of interaction or, at the very least, may not present the sorts of impediments that arise with the highly formalized development processes associated with larger businesses. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Teaching versus Learning: An Exploratory Longitudinal Case Study
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.