1.1 Background of Study
The business environment, within which organizations operate in today, has drastically changed since the pre-industrial ages when growth was slow, but pre-determined and change was predictable. Organizations and industries operated in relatively stable environments and their reaction to change was based largely on facets of extrapolation. Past success almost certainly guaranteed future success, a presumption that does not exist today (Kipley, Lewis, &Jewe, 2012). The concept of change has evolved to varying degrees and variability, introducing turbulence, as a new phenomenon of change. Numerous authors of turbulence in strategic management, have equated this phenomenon to the dynamism in the environment, characterized by three variables; uncertainty, complexity and unpredictability (Ansell, Trondal, &Øgård, 2017; Ramirez, van der Heijden, &Selsky, 2010) .
Turbulence in retrospect must not be confounded with crisis. Occasionally, these two occurrences are used interchangeably, but though similar in nature, are not synonymous in meaning. Crisis denotes a sense of urgency, threats and uncertainty, whilst turbulence is deemed more of a ‘‘persistent factor’’ (Ansell et al., 2017). In 2007/2008 the U.S underwent an economic meltdown instigated by a financial crisis in the mortgage sector. The financial crisis was sudden and unexpected, but the economic meltdown is a persistent factor that still remains a risk to organizational success or failure today, ten years later (Purves, Niblock, & Sloan, 2016). Arguably, this reiterates the theory advanced by Cameron and Kim (1987), that environmental turbulence is the major challenge affecting modernorganizations.
Kipley et al. (2012, p.2), contend that environmental turbulence is ‘‘the amount of change and complexity in the environment of an industry’’ and may be produced by factors that are exogenous to the company. The arrival of globalization, economic instability, technological convergence, political, and civil unrest has shaken the foundations of industries. These ‘‘environmental shocks’’ as Van den Bekerom, Torenvlied, and Akkerman (2016) put it,