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Investigating Managers' Exploration and Exploitation Activities: The Influence of Top-Down, Bottom-Up, and Horizontal Knowledge Inflows

  • Tom J. M. Mom
  • Frans A. J. Van Den Bosch
  • Henk W. Volberda

This paper develops and tests hypotheses on the influence of managers' knowledge inflows on managers' exploration and exploitation activities. Based on a survey among managers of a leading electronics firm, the findings indicate, as expected, that top-down knowledge inflows of managers positively relate to the extent to which these managers conduct exploitation activities, while they do not relate to managers' exploration activities. Furthermore, as expected, bottom-up and horizontal knowledge inflows of managers positively relate to these managers' exploration activities, while they do not relate to managers' exploitation activities. We contribute to current literature on exploration and exploitation by focusing on the manager level of analysis, and by adding the importance of knowledge flow configurations to studies which investigate the impact of organizational factors on exploration and exploitation. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2007.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Management Studies.

Volume (Year): 44 (2007)
Issue (Month): 6 (09)
Pages: 910-931

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:44:y:2007:i:6:p:910-931
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  1. Jansen, J.J.P. & van den Bosch, F.A.J. & Volberda, H.W., 2006. "Exploratory Innovation, Exploitative Innovation, and Performance: Effects of Organizational Antecedents and Environmental Moderators," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2006-038-STR, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
  2. Jatinder S. Sidhu & Henk W. Volberda & Harry R. Commandeur, 2004. "Exploring Exploration Orientation and its Determinants: Some Empirical Evidence," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(6), pages 913-932, 09.
  3. Jansen, J.J.P. & van den Bosch, F.A.J. & Volberda, H.W., 2005. "Managing Potential and Realized Absorptive Capacity: How do Organizational Antecedents matter?," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2005-025-STR, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
  4. Atul Nerkar, 2003. "Old Is Gold? The Value of Temporal Exploration in the Creation of New Knowledge," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(2), pages 211-229, February.
  5. William G Egelhoff, 1991. "Information-Processing Theory and the Multinational Enterprise," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 22(3), pages 341-368, September.
  6. Jan W. Rivkin & Nicolaj Siggelkow, 2003. "Balancing Search and Stability: Interdependencies Among Elements of Organizational Design," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(3), pages 290-311, March.
  7. Richard L. Daft & Robert H. Lengel, 1986. "Organizational Information Requirements, Media Richness and Structural Design," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(5), pages 554-571, May.
  8. Bruce Kogut & Udo Zander, 1993. "Knowledge of the Firm and the Evolutionary Theory of the Multinational Corporation," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 24(4), pages 625-645, December.
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