Resilience of new space firms in the United Kingdom during the early stages of COVID-19 crisis: The case for strategic agility

Matjaz Vidmar, Alessandro Rosiello, Owais Golra

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

As the COVID-19 pandemic devastated social and economic fabric of most countries, high-growth small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) were looked upon to provide the starting point for eventual recovery. This is based on the growing notion of resilience being driven by both entrepreneurial agility as well as strategic planning capacity, giving rise to the firms' strategic agility. This concept seems particularly pertinent in the fast-paced data-driven industrial sectors, such as the New Space industry. Based on a small-scale rapid-response study of UK New Space SMEs, this paper outlines their immediate response to the COVID-19 crisis in Spring 2020 and the subsequent planing undertaken to ensure the firms' survival. The findings point to a significant level of strategic agility among the studied companies, as teleworking infrastructure, organizational restructuring and new organizational culture were quickly mobilized based on transparent leadership from management teams. This points to a particularly important set of underlying capabilities developed in the New Space industry, such as structural absorptive capacity within the ecosystem, which enabled these firms to perform well in challenging circumstances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-178
Number of pages7
JournalNew Space
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2020

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • high-growth firms
  • new space
  • resilience
  • strategic agility

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