Purpose: The innovation orientation theory has emerged within the literature in the last 40 years particular within the development of other strategic orientations, but the bulk of seminal literature in the area has been developed in the past 11 years. The purpose of this paper is to revisit the concept innovation orientation in the light of recent research. Design/methodology/approach: This paper presents a systematic review of this literature, covering 74 scholarly articles published between 1982 and 2017. Findings: Innovation orientation is a sub-construct positioned within the wider field of innovation and relates to an innovation-based strategic orientation, where orientation is used to describe the overall dominant approach that represents an organisation’s competitive posture and strategic focus. It is a multifaceted construct that includes a range of core common variables innovation culture, competition-based understanding, organisational flexibility and specific capital and knowledge capabilities and is particular relevant for that managers and executives to understand how to manage innovation at the firm level. Literature also reports links between innovation orientation and organisational performance. Originality/value: On the basis of these analyses, a comprehensive innovation orientation framework is developed including key antecedents and key outcomes in terms of performance enhancement and capabilities development. Suggestions for future research are also presented.