Organizational culture (OC) is one of the key factors that enables the development of innovation. A great deal of research has analyzed the characteristics that make up an innovation-focused OC; however, none have unified them. This article analyzes and integrates the literature on the characteristics of an innovation OC. Its objective was to test whether there is a specific set of distinctive characteristics of an innovation-focused OC that, once identified, can be implemented and developed by firms. To this end, this study proposed and tested a model for measuring the innovation orientation of an OC. This study collected samples from small- and medium-sized companies from the oil-producing states of Mexico, obtaining information from 176 companies. To determine the group of characteristics that make up an organizational culture of innovation (OCI), the authors applied non-experimental, descriptive, transactional research with a quantitative approach. Results were obtained through the application of the following statistical techniques: Bonnet test, KMO index, Bartlett’s sphericity, Chi-square, confirmatory factor analysis, Cronbach’s alpha, principal component analysis and structural equations, which made it possible to measure the level of innovation of the OCI of these companies and to determine the characteristics that comprise it. The proposed model allowed us to identify the existence of a specific group of behavioral characteristics that emanate from a company’s personnel and another group of characteristics that arise from the company itself. Both integrated groups determine whether the OC is focused on innovation. The results also confirmed that the level of innovation of a company depends greatly on its personnel. The authors found no previous work that analyzed these characteristics from the joint perspectives of employees, middle managers and managers. This research considered the opinions of these agents, which confers greater veracity to the findings obtained. The limitations and implications are listed at the end of the study.
Due to the current trend of globalization, organizations are immersed in a changing environment, where competitive advantages are difficult to maintain. Therefore, it is important to identify, renew and combine resources and capabilities so that companies can consider alternatives that guarantee their survival and success , as well as the integration of permanent innovation as a strategy to face this unstable environment [2,3]. Therefore, the analysis and management of the development of innovation within companies are essential. In this sense, Schumpeter  emphasized the importance of organizations focusing on innovation, stating that a country without innovative organizations is condemned to technological and economic backwardness and, therefore, to poverty.
Research carried out in recent decades to determine the factors that focus a company on innovation have all assigned a prominent role to OC (organizational culture) [5,6]. Along these lines, Souto  affirmed that by focusing OC on innovation, companies can achieve success and, at the same time, surpass the competition in the development of opportunities.
A review of the literature shows that since the formal study of OCI (organizational culture of innovation) began in 1978 with the work of Roger Harrison , many researchers have focused on analyzing the behavioral characteristics that make it up [5,9]. However, there is still no epistemology regarding them .
Innovation is increasingly important in growth processes, in facing the economic crisis derived from market globalization and, even more so, in the process leading to economic development and social welfare. According to the National Survey on Productivity and Competitiveness of Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises , 97.6% of the approximately 4 million enterprises in Mexico are microenterprises, which account for 75.4% of the economically active population, followed by small enterprises, which account for 2.0% and 0.4% of workers, while medium-sized enterprises account for 13.5% and have 11.1% of the total number of current workers. Of all of them, only 35% invest less than 2% of their revenue into innovation initiatives, 32% between 2% and 5%, and 21% between 6% and 10% of the company’s revenues .