Exploratory Innovation, Exploitative Innovation, and Ambidexterity: The Impact of Environmental and Organizational Antecedents
Justin J. P. Jansen
Rotterdam School of Management
H. W. Volberda
Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM); Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)
Frans A. J. Van Den Bosch
Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship; Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)
Schmalenbach Business Review, Vol. 57, pp. 351-363, October 2005
Organizational ambidexterity (i.e., the ability to pursue exploratory and exploitative innovation simultaneously) is crucial to firm survival. In this study we explore how multiunit firms might develop ambidextrous organizational units in response to environmental demands. We examine how environmental and organizational antecedents affect a unit's level of organizational ambidexterity. Our study reveals that multiunit firms develop ambidextrous organizational units to compete in dynamically competitive environments. Moreover, we show that organizational units with decentralized and densely connected social relations are able to act ambidextrously and pursue exploratory and exploitative innovations simultaneously. Our study provides new insights how multiunit firms can cope with contradictorily pressures for exploratory and exploitative innovations.
Keywords: Ambidexterity, Exploration/Exploitation, Organizational and Environmental Antecedents
JEL Classification: M13, O31, O32Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: November 23, 2005 ; Last revised: December 4, 2008
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