The Impact of strategic Agility on the SMEs competitive capabilities in the Kingdom of Bahrain


Strategic Agility, Competitive Capabilities, Small and Medium Business

How to Cite

Ebrahim Seyadi, A. and Elali, W. (2021) “The Impact of strategic Agility on the SMEs competitive capabilities in the Kingdom of Bahrain”, International Journal of Business Ethics and Governance, 4(3), pp. 31-53. doi: 10.51325/ijbeg.v4i3.78.


With a highly uncertain and changing business environment, the typical way of planning a business is not particularly useful in different organizations worldwide. The current literature explores the concept of strategic Agility based on the idea of flexible planning and implementation and can pivot direction at the time of crises. Three main theories underpinning these concepts are contingency-based theory, resource-based theory, and Dynamic capability theory. These theories have one common point of view: enterprises' ability to cope with unexpected changes, survive unprecedented threats from the business environment, and take advantage of changes as opportunities. The literature has identified various variables that impact the adoption of strategic Agility in the organization, including strategic sensitivity, Resource fluidity, and Leadership unity. Some studies in the literature have found these variables as dimensions of strategic Agility. Further, the literature discussed how competitiveness could be achieved through strategic Agility at times of crisis, particularly in SMEs, which are highly prone to external problems due to limited resources and budgets.


Al-Fadly, A. (2020). Impact of COVID-19 on SMEs and employment. Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Issues, 8(2), 629.

Almajdoub, S. (2018). The Structural Constraints of Entrepreneurship in Bahrain. Issue Brief, 7.

Alrabeei, H., & Kasi, B. R. (2014). Barriers to growth: Key challenges facing Bahraini small and medium enterprises. Oman Chapter of Arabian Journal of Business and Management Review, 34(2599), 1-18.

AMBE, I. M. (2010). Agile Supply Chain: Strategy For Competitive Advantage. Journal of Global Strategic Management, 5-17.

Ambrosini, V., & Bowman, C. (2009). What are dynamic capabilities and are they a useful construct in strategic management?. International journal of management reviews, 11(1), 29-49.

Amuda, Y. J. (2020). impact of coronavirus on small and medium enterprises (smes): Towards postcovid-19 economic recovery in Nigeria. Academy of Strategic Management Journal, 19(6), 1-11.

Arbussa, A., Bikfalvi, A., & Marquès, P. (2017). Strategic agility-driven business model renewal: the case of an SME. Management Decision, 271-293.

Argyris, C. (1999). On organizational learning. Boston: Wiley-Blackwell Publishers Inc.

Attallah, S., Al-Jayyousi, O., & Mamlook, R. (2019). Critical Literature Review of Enablers for SMEs Innovativeness in Bahrain. Journal of American Academic Research, 54-64.

Bartika, A., Bertrand, M., Cullen, Z., Glaeser, E., Lucac, M., & Stanton, C. (2020). The impact of COVID-19 on small business outcomes and expectations. Proceedings of the national academy of sciences , 17656-17666.

Beer, M., & Eisenstat, R. A. (2004). How to have an honest conversation about your business strategy. Harvard Business Review, 82(2), 82-89.

Bentrepreneur. (2019). Retrieved from SMES DEVELOPMENT:,or%20BD3%20million%20in%20turnover.&text=Presently%2C%20SMEs%20are%20contributing%20to,employed%20within%20the%20private%20sector.

Birkinshaw, J., Hamel, G., & Mol, M. J. (2008). Management innovation. Academy of management Review, 33(4), 825-845.

Bock, A. J., Opsahl, T., George, G., & Gann, D. M. (2012). The effects of culture and structure on strategic flexibility during business model innovation. Journal of Management studies, 49(2), 279-305.

Bouazza, A. B., Ardjouman, D., & Abada, O. (2015). Establishing the factors affecting the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises in Algeria. American International journal of Social science, 4(2), 101-115.

Calabrese, G. (2001). R&D globalisation in the car industry. International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, 1(1), 145-159.

Chen, I. J., & Paulraj, A. (2004). Towards a theory of supply chain management: the constructs and measurements. Journal of operations management, 22(2), 119-150.

Child, J., Chung, L., & Davies, H. (2003). The performance of cross-border units in China: A test of natural selection, strategic choice and contingency theories. Journal of International Business Studies, 34(3), 242-254.

Churchill, N., & Lewis, V. (1983). The Five Stages of Small Business Growth. Harvard business review.

Darwish, S. (2014). The role of universities in developing small and medium enterprises (SMEs): Future challenges for Bahrain. International Business and Management, 8(2), 70-77.

Dess, G. G., & Beard, D. W. (1984). Dimensions of organizational task environments. Administrative science quarterly, 52-73.

Doz, Y. (2020). Fostering strategic agility: How individual executives and human resource practices contribute. Human Resource Management Review, 30(1), 100693.

Doz, Y., & Kosonen, M. (2007a). Fast strategy: How strategic agility will help you stay ahead of the game. Wharton School Press.

Doz, Y., & Kosonen, M. (2007b). The new deal at the top. Harvard Business Review.

Doz, Y. L., & Kosonen, M. (2010). Embedding strategic agility: A leadership agenda for accelerating business model renewal. Long range planning, 43(2-3), 370-382.

Ebrahim, A., Saif, Z., Buheji, M., AlBasri, N., Al-Husaini, F., & Jahrami, H. (2020). COVID-19 Information-Seeking Behavior and Anxiety Symptoms among Parents. Open Scientific Publishers.

Eisenhardt, K. M., & Martin, J. A. (2000). Dynamic capabilities: what are they. Strategic management journal, 21(1011), 1105-1121.<1105::AID-SMJ133>3.0.CO;2-E

Elali, W. (2021) “The Importance of Strategic Agility to Business Survival During Corona Crisis and Beyond”, International Journal of Business Ethics and Governance, 4(2), pp. 1-8. doi: 10.51325/ijbeg.v4i2.64.

Emine, D. (2012). Increasing the productivity of Arab SMEs through knowledge management. Journal of Business & Management, 1(1), 40-51.

Garengo, P., & Bititci , U. (2007). Towards a contingency approach to performance measurement: an empirical study in Scottish SMEs. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 802-825.

Gerald, E., Obianuju, A., & Chukwunonso, N. (2020). Strategic agility and performance of small and medium enterprises in the phase of Covid-19 pandemic. International Journal of Financial, Accounting, and Management, 2(1), 41-50.

Gilbert, C. G. (2005). Unbundling the structure of inertia: Resource versus routine rigidity. Academy of management journal, 48(5), 741-763.

Grant, R. M. (1991). The resource-based theory of competitive advantage: implications for strategy formulation. California management review, 33(3), 114-135.

Gunasekaran, A., & Ngai, E. W. (2004). Information systems in supply chain integration and management. European journal of operational research, 159(2), 269-295. ttps://

Hamel, G. (2008). The future of management. Harvard Business School Press.

Hamel, G., & Prahalad, C. K. (1990). The core competence of the corporation. Harvard business review, 68(3), 79-91.

Hashim, J. (2015). Information communication technology (ICT) adoption among SME owners in Malaysia. International Journal of Business and information, 2(2).

Hebert, D. J. (2021). COVID-19's Impacts on SMEs and Policy Recommendations in Response. National Law Review, XI (20). Available at: https://www. (accessed on 10 March).

Hitt, M. A., Ireland, R. D., & Rowe, G. W. (2005). Strategic leadership: Strategy, resources, ethics and succession. Handbook on responsible leadership and governance in global business, 19-41.

Hong, P., Tran, O., & Park, K. (2010). Electronic commerce applications for supply chain integration and competitive capabilities: an empirical study. Benchmarking: An International Journal.

Hutton, S., & Eldridge, S. (2019). Improving productivity through strategic alignment of competitive capabilities. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 644-668.

Jones, O., & Tilley, F. (2003). Competitive Advantage in Smes: Towards a Conceptual Framework.

Kumar, A., & Motwani, J. (1995). A methodology for assessing time based competitive advantage of manufacturing firms. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 33-43.

Kuuluvainen , A. (2012). How to concretize dynamic capabilities? theory and examples. Journal of Strategy and Management, 5(4), 381-392.

Lado, A. A., Boyd, N. G., Wright, P., & Kroll, M. (2006). Paradox and theorizing within the resource-based view. Academy of Management Review, 31(1), 115-131.

Laurie, D. L., & Harreld, B. (2009). New mindset: For growth during crisis. Financial Executive, 25(5), 34-40.

Lee, H. L. (2002). Aligning supply chain strategies with product uncertainties. California management review, 44(3), 105-119.

Lengnick-Hall, C. A., & Beck, T. E. (2009). Resilience capacity and strategic agility: Prerequisites for thriving in a dynamic environment (pp. 39-69). San Antonio, TX: UTSA, College of Business.

Lewis, M. W., Andriopoulos, C., & Smith, W. K. (2014). Paradoxical leadership to enable strategic agility. California management review, 56(3), 58-77.

Lutfi, M., Buntuang, P. C. D., Kornelius, Y., & Hasanuddin, B. (2020). The impact of social distancing policy on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Indonesia. Problems and Perspectives in Management, 18(3), 492.

Makadok, R. (2001). Toward a synthesis of the resourcebased and dynamic capability views of rent creation. Strategic management journal, 22(5), 387-401.

Masago, M. O., Okombo, M. O., Alice, S., Reuben, K., Chaka, B., Godrick, B., & Joshua, O. K. (2020). Effects of COVID-19 pandemic on small & middle-income economies (SMEs) in developing nations: A case study of Narok Town, Kenya. Dutch Journal of Finance and Management, 1-11.

McCann, J. (2004). Organizational effectiveness: Changing concepts for changing environments. People and Strategy, 27(1), 42.

Misiko, S. (2014). TQM and operations management tools as agility strategies used by firms in Kenyan dairy industry. Doctoral dissertation, University of Narobi.

Moore, S. B., & Manring, S. L. (2009). Strategy development in small and medium sized enterprises for sustainability and increased value creation. Journal of cleaner production, 17(2), 276-282.

Morton, J., Stacey, P., & Mohn, M. (2018). Building and maintaining strategic agility: an agenda and framework for executive IT leaders. California management review, 61(1), 94-113.

Ramukumba, T. (2014). Overcoming SMEs challenges through critical success factors: A case of SMEs in the Western Cape Province, South Africa. Economic and business review, 16(1), 19-38.

Nader, S., & Heidari, A. (2016). How was competitive advantage sustained in management consultancies during change. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 661-685.

Narasimhan, R., Swink, M., & Kim, S. W. (2006). Disentangling leanness and agility: an empirical investigation. Journal of operations management, 24(5), 440-457.

Nejatian, M., Zarei, M. H., & Rajabz, A. (2019). Paving the path toward strategic agility: A methodological perspective and an empirical investigation. Journal of Enterprise Information Management, 538-562.

OECD. (2020). Retrieved from Coronavirus (Covid-19): SME policy responses. :

Omar, A. R., Ishak, S., & Jusoh, M. A. (2020). The impact of Covid-19 Movement Control Order on SMEs’ businesses and survival strategies. Malaysian Journal of Society and Space, 139-150.

Robu, M. (2013). The dynamic and importance of SMEs in economy. The USV annals of economics and public administration, 13(1 (17)), 84-89.

Rosenzweig, E. D., & Roth, A. V. (2007). B2B seller competence: construct development and measurement using a supply chain strategy lens. Journal of Operations Management, 25(6), 1311-1331.

Ruangchoengchum, P. (2017). Performance Measurement that Affects SMEs Business Profits: Case Study of SMEs in Khon Kaen Province. ABAC Journal, 37(1), 26-42.

Salma, J. (2016). Need For Strategic Agility In Organizations: A Case Study on Adoption Of Strategic Agility In The Data And Internet Service Industry In Kenya. Theses and Dissertations(Chandaria School of Business).

Sampath, G., & Krishnamoorthy, B. (2017). Is strategic agility the new Holy Grail? Exploring the strategic agility construct. International Journal of Business ?Excellence, 13(2), 160-180.

Syriopoulos, K. (2020). The impact of COVID-19 on entrepreneurship and SMEs. Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies, 26(2), 1-2.

Tang, G., Park, K., Agarwal, A., & Liu, F. (2020). Impact of innovation culture, organization size and technological capability on the performance of SMEs: The Case of China. Sustainability, 12(4), 1355.

Tawfiqi, D. N., Hamdan, A., Masfaka, M. M., & Muwafak, B. M. (2018). The role of islamic banks in the entrepreneurial success: evidence from Bahrain. International Journal of Entrepreneurship, 22(2), 1-22.

Teece, D., & Pisano, G. (2003). The dynamic capabilities of firms. Handbook on knowledge management, 195-213.

Teece, D. J., Pisano, G., & Shuen, A. (1997). Dynamic capabilities and strategic management. Strategic management journal, 18(7), 509-533.<509::AID-SMJ882>3.0.CO;2-Z

Toni, A., & Tonchia, S. (2001). Performance measurement systems. International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 46-70.

UNCTAD. (2020). Retrieved from Impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on trade and development: Transitioning to a new normal.:

Warnier, V., Weppe, X., & Lecocq, X. (2013). Extending resource-based theory: considering strategic, ordinary and junk resources. Management Decision, 51(7), 1359-1379.

Weber, Y., & Tarba, S. Y. (2014). Strategic agility: A state-of-the-art introduction to the special section on strategic agility. California Management Review, 56(3), 5-12.

Wernerfelt, B. (1984). A resourcebased view of the firm. Strategic management journal, 5(2), 171-180.

Winter, S. G. (2003). Understanding dynamic capabilities. Strategic management journal, 24(10), 991-995.

Yaghoubi, N. M., & Dahmardeh, M. R. (2010). Analytical approach to effective factors on organizational agility. Journal of basic and applied scientific research, 1(1), 76-87.

Zhang, Z., & Sharifi , H. (2000). A methodology for achieving agility in manufacturing organisations. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 496-512.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2021 Array


Download data is not yet available.