Managing Exploration and Exploitation Paradoxes in Creative Organizations

Knight, E.R.W. and Harvey, W.S. Managing exploration and exploitation paradoxes in creative organizations. Management Decision (2015), Forthcoming.

34 Pages Posted: 2 Jan 2015

See all articles by Eric R. W. Knight

Eric R. W. Knight

University of Sydney Business School

William S. Harvey

University of Exeter Business School

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

Purpose -- This paper addresses the paradox that individuals face in seeking to both generate new ideas and be committed to delivering standardised processes in a creative industry. We explore this tension in order to better understand how synergistic benefits are reaped at the intersection of these competing demands.

Design/Methodology/Approach -- The paper adopts a longitudinal case study approach inside a global media organisation in the creative industries sector. Data derived from participant observations, manager interviews, administered survey instruments, and archival documentation.

Findings -- We find that creative organisations experience explore/exploit paradoxes which are nested at three levels: knowledge, learning and motivation. Further, we find that managers are able to respond to competing tensions through organisational processes that allow differentiation/ integration simultaneously. These management responses are supported and sustained by both structural and contextual organisational forms.

Originality/Value -- First, we provide a clearer theoretical explanation of paradox in creative organisations by accounting for competing demands to explore and exploit through nested tensions. Second, we extend our understanding of management responses to these paradox by showing how managers balance both demands simultaneously rather than cumulatively over time, thereby offering insight into how managers behave over time. Third, we outline the supporting role of organisational form in sustaining management responses within creative organisations at the same time in order to reap synergistic benefits.

Keywords: innovation, paradox theory, creative industry, management, practice

Suggested Citation

Knight, Eric R. W. and Harvey, William S., Managing Exploration and Exploitation Paradoxes in Creative Organizations (2015). Knight, E.R.W. and Harvey, W.S. Managing exploration and exploitation paradoxes in creative organizations. Management Decision (2015), Forthcoming.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2498891

Eric R. W. Knight (Contact Author)

University of Sydney Business School ( email )

Cnr. of Codrington and Rose Streets
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

William S. Harvey

University of Exeter Business School ( email )

Rennes Drive
Exeter, EX4 4PU
United Kingdom

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
73
Abstract Views
417
rank
326,771
PlumX Metrics