عنوان مقاله [English]
Introduction: In the last decade, small and medium enterprises have been considered as the main source of job creation and income in countries. These companies are more important because they play an important role in creating employment, increasing growth and economic development in the country. Also, Businesses with creativity and innovation do not shy away from change and use environmental conditions as an opportunity to create a competitive advantage. As a result, it increases flexibility. Therefore, achieving strategic flexibility in an environment where some organizations have not yet found their place in today's complex environment and need an immediate and fundamental change in the organization is important. Managers with strategic thinking can adapt to environmental changes. When managers are in a changing and unpredictable environment, they increase their efforts to adapt to environmental change and find new solutions. Managers of organizations, institutions and companies that want to grow and develop; they need to learn and apply at least some strategic thinking skills. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of managers 'strategic thinking on the flexibility of SMEs' strategy considering the mediating role of entrepreneurial orientation.
Methodology: The purpose of this study is practical and in terms of data collection, it is a descriptive survey that has been done by cross-sectional method. The statistical population of this study is all managers and executives of small and medium enterprises in Semnan province. Since the number of units deployed in this province is more than 1609 units, thus considering the limited statistical population of the statistical sample size of 310 people using Morgan table was considered. On the other hand, the sampling method used in the present study is stratified random sampling. In addition, three standard questionnaires Liedtka (1989) for measuring strategic thinking, Hughes and Morgan (2007) questionnaire for measuring entrepreneurial orientation and for strategic flexibility questionnaire of De Toni & Tonchia (2005) were used. Cronbach's alpha coefficient was also used to measure reliability. Data analysis in this study was done by structural equation modeling with partial least squares approach using SPSS and Smart Pls.
Results and Discussion: The findings of the study showed that strategic thinking of managers has a positive and significant effect on strategic flexibility and entrepreneurial orientation. Entrepreneurial orientation also has a significant impact on strategic flexibility. Finally, entrepreneurial orientation mediates the relationship between strategic thinking and strategic flexibility.
Conclusion: Entrepreneurial orientation is an active strategic orientation that tends to take an aggressive approach to product innovation. Entrepreneurial orientation responds better to turbulent economies that usually do not follow the rules of competitive markets. Therefore, in order to increase the entrepreneurial tendency of managers and officials, it is suggested to pay attention to improving their capabilities and employees, transferring up-to-date knowledge to employees, encouraging employees to do creative and innovative work and supporting them, increasing the spirit of criticism among them and promoting this Culture in the organization, holding training programs to change attitudes and instill the belief among managers and officials that there are better ways to do things. Managers and executives can increase the company's flexibility by increasing innovation and creativity in the organization, increasing the ability to estimate the immediate needs of customers, responding quickly to market changes. Given that the entrepreneurial orientation means factors such as a bold and independent position to maximize profitability, the desire to carry out new projects and risky programs, courageous and extensive actions to achieve goals, provide new services, introduce new technologies Frequent changes in new services, etc., it can be concluded that the entrepreneurial orientation of CEOs affects the strategic flexibility of companies. In general, it can be concluded that management with an entrepreneurial orientation can improve the performance of the company. Therefore, it is recommended to design and implement general training courses related to entrepreneurship using the opinions of entrepreneurs and professors in the field of entrepreneurship, because these programs and training courses should be based on comprehensive characteristics and learning principles and regardless of time constraints.