Exploratory Innovation, Exploitative Innovation, and Ambidexterity: The Impact of Environmental and Organizational Antecedents
Schmalenbach Business Review, Vol. 57, pp. 351-363, October 2005
14 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2005 Last revised: 4 Dec 2008
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, O32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation