The Role of External Knowledge Sources and Organizational Design in the Process of Opportunity Exploitation

Forthcoming, Strategic Management Journal

40 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2013

See all articles by Nicolai J. Foss

Nicolai J. Foss

Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology

Jacob Lyngsie

Copenhagen Business School - Department of Strategic Management and Globalization

Shaker A. Zahra

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management

Date Written: April 11, 2013

Abstract

Research highlights the role of external knowledge sources in the recognition of strategic opportunities, but is less forthcoming with respect to the role of such sources during the process of exploiting or realizing opportunities. We build on the knowledge-based view to propose that realizing opportunities often involves significant interactions with external knowledge sources. Organizational design can facilitate a firm’s interactions with these sources, while achieving coordination among organizational members engaged in opportunity exploitation. Our analysis of a double-respondent survey involving 536 Danish firms shows that the use of external knowledge sources is positively associated with opportunity exploitation, but the strength of this association is significantly influenced by organizational designs that enable the firm to access external knowledge during the process of exploiting opportunities.

Keywords: Strategic entrepreneurship, opportunity exploitation, organizational design, knowledge-based view

JEL Classification: D21, L23, L26, M1, O31

Suggested Citation

Foss, Nicolai J. and Lyngsie, Jacob and Zahra, Shaker A., The Role of External Knowledge Sources and Organizational Design in the Process of Opportunity Exploitation (April 11, 2013). Forthcoming, Strategic Management Journal. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2248601

Nicolai J. Foss (Contact Author)

Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

Jacob Lyngsie

Copenhagen Business School - Department of Strategic Management and Globalization ( email )

Porcelænshaven 24
Frederiksberg, 2000
Denmark

Shaker A. Zahra

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management ( email )

19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

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