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Organizational Ambidexterity: IBM and Emerging Business Opportunities

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Author Info

  • O'Reilly, Charles

    (Stanford University)

  • Harreld, J. Bruce

    (IBM)

  • Tushman, Michael L.

    (Harvard University)

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    Abstract

    The empirical evidence is that only a tiny fraction of organizations live to age 40. Why this should be is a puzzle, since when firms are doing well they have all the resources (financial, physical, and intellectual) to continue to be successful. Yet the evidence is that most organizations fail. Drawing on recent advances in evolutionary theory, this paper illustrates how multi-level selection processes help organizations adapt in the face of technological and market changes. We show how this process, along with the concepts of organizational ambidexterity and dynamic capabilities, may help organizations survive over long time periods. We illustrate how one deliberate and repeatable version of this process enabled IBM to generate more than $15 billion in growth between 2000 and 2005.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Stanford University, Graduate School of Business in its series Research Papers with number 2025.

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    Date of creation: May 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:ecl:stabus:2025

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    Cited by:
    1. Chae, Bongsug (Kevin), 2012. "An evolutionary framework for service innovation: Insights of complexity theory for service science," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(2), pages 813-822.
    2. O'Reilly, Charles A., III & Tushman, Michael L., 2013. "Organizational Ambidexterity: Past, Present and Future," Research Papers 2130, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    3. Richter, Mario, 2013. "Business model innovation for sustainable energy: German utilities and renewable energy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 1226-1237.

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