Technological Innovation and Organisational Culture: An Exploratory Comparison of Larger and Smaller Firms


Management and Entrepreneurship

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The relationship between organisation size, technology implementation, and organisational culture is examined. Thirty-five American and Canadian manufacturing organisations were surveyed concerning their approach to implementing statistical process control (SPC) technology. Organisations were classified as either large or small and hierarchic or non-hierarchic. Approaches to implementing SPC were measured and compared among the four groups (large hierarchic, small hierarchic, large non-hierarchic and small non-hierarchic). Results indicated that both the size of the organisation and its culture determine how that organisation goes about implementing technological change. Larger organisations use interdepartmental liaisons, temporary task forces, and permanent implementation teams more than smaller organisations in implementing new technology. Non-hierarchic organisations appear to use goal and direct contact mechanisms at higher levels than hierarchical organisations when it comes to innovation and change. Results also indicate that there is more in common in the area of technological implementation between large and small businesses, and hierarchical and non-hierarchical organisations than is often suggested.