IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ecl/stabus/1963.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Ambidexterity as a Dynamic Capability: Resolving the Innovator's Dilemma

Author

Listed:
  • O'Reilly, Charles A., III

    (Stanford U)

  • Tushman, Michael

    (Harvard U)

Abstract

How do organizations survive in the face of change? Underlying this question is a rich debate about whether organizations can adapt--and if so how. One perspective, organizational ecology, presents evidence suggesting that most organizations are largely inert and ultimately fail. A second perspective argues that some firms do learn and adapt to shifting environmental contexts. Recently, this latter view has coalesced around two themes. The first, based on research in strategy suggests that dynamic capabilities, the ability of a firm to reconfigure assets and existing capabilities, explains long-term competitive advantage. The second, based on organizational design, argues that ambidexterity, the ability of a firm to simultaneously explore and exploit, enables a firm to adapt over time. In this paper we review and integrate these comparatively new research streams and identify a set of propositions that suggest how ambidexterity acts as a dynamic capability. We suggest that efficiency and innovation need not be strategic tradeoffs and highlight the substantive role of senior teams in building dynamic capabilities.

Suggested Citation

  • O'Reilly, Charles A., III & Tushman, Michael, 2007. "Ambidexterity as a Dynamic Capability: Resolving the Innovator's Dilemma," Research Papers 1963, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:stabus:1963
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://gsbapps.stanford.edu/researchpapers/library/RP1963.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Justin J.P. Jansen & Frans A.J. Van den Bosch & Henk W. Volberda, 2005. "Exploratory Innovation, Exploitative Innovation, And Ambidexterity: The Impact Of Environmental And Organizational Antecedents," Schmalenbach Business Review (sbr), LMU Munich School of Management, vol. 57(4), pages 351-363, October.
    2. James G. March, 1991. "Exploration and Exploitation in Organizational Learning," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 2(1), pages 71-87, February.
    3. 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, September.
    4. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1995. "Complementarities and fit strategy, structure, and organizational change in manufacturing," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 179-208, April.
    5. Sull, Donald N & Tedlow, Richard S & Rosenbloom, Richard S, 1997. "Managerial Commitments and Technological Change in the US Tire Industry," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 461-501, March.
    6. Jack A. Nickerson & Todd R. Zenger, 2002. "Being Efficiently Fickle: A Dynamic Theory of Organizational Choice," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 13(5), pages 547-566, October.
    7. Julio Rotemberg & Garth Saloner, 2000. "Visionaries, Managers, and Strategic Direction," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(4), pages 693-716, Winter.
    8. Helfat, C.E. & Raubitschek, R.S., 2000. "Product Sequencing: Co-Evolution of Knowledge, Capabilities and Products," Papers 00-1, U.S. Department of Justice - Antitrust Division.
    9. Nicolaj Siggelkow & Jan W. Rivkin, 2005. "Speed and Search: Designing Organizations for Turbulence and Complexity," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 16(2), pages 101-122, April.
    10. Carl Shapiro, 1989. "The Theory of Business Strategy," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(1), pages 125-137, Spring.
    11. Francisco LouÁã & Sandro MendonÁa, 2002. "Steady change: the 200 largest US manufacturing firms throughout the 20th century," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(4), pages 817-845, August.
    12. Paul S. Adler & Barbara Goldoftas & David I. Levine, 1999. "Flexibility Versus Efficiency? A Case Study of Model Changeovers in the Toyota Production System," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 10(1), pages 43-68, February.
    13. Robert A. Burgelman, 1991. "Intraorganizational Ecology of Strategy Making and Organizational Adaptation: Theory and Field Research," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 2(3), pages 239-262, August.
    14. Robert R. Wiggins & Timothy W. Ruefli, 2002. "Sustained Competitive Advantage: Temporal Dynamics and the Incidence and Persistence of Superior Economic Performance," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 13(1), pages 81-105, February.
    15. Tripsas, Mary, 1997. "Surviving Radical Technological Change through Dynamic Capability: Evidence from the Typesetter Industry," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 341-377, March.
    16. Sull, Donald N., 1999. "The Dynamics of Standing Still: Firestone Tire & Rubber and the Radial Revolution," Business History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 73(03), pages 430-464, September.
    17. Steven Klepper, 2002. "The capabilities of new firms and the evolution of the US automobile industry," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(4), pages 645-666, August.
    18. Jongseok Lee & Jeho Lee & Habin Lee, 2003. "Exploration and Exploitation in the Presence of Network Externalities," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(4), pages 553-570, April.
    19. Ghemawat, Pankaj & Ricart, Joan E., 1993. "Organizational tension between static and dynamic efficiency, The," IESE Research Papers D/255, IESE Business School.
    20. Jerker Denrell, 2003. "Vicarious Learning, Undersampling of Failure, and the Myths of Management," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 14(3), pages 227-243, June.
    21. Maurizio Zollo & Sidney G. Winter, 2002. "Deliberate Learning and the Evolution of Dynamic Capabilities," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 13(3), pages 339-351, June.
    22. George Westerman & F. Warren McFarlan & Marco Iansiti, 2006. "Organization Design and Effectiveness over the Innovation Life Cycle," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 17(2), pages 230-238, April.
    23. Haim Mendelson & Ravindran R. Pillai, 1999. "Industry Clockspeed: Measurement and Operational Implications," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 1(1), pages 1-20.
    24. Wendy K. Smith & Michael L. Tushman, 2005. "Managing Strategic Contradictions: A Top Management Model for Managing Innovation Streams," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 16(5), pages 522-536, October.
    25. 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.
    26. Lee Fleming, 2002. "Finding the organizational sources of technological breakthroughs: the story of Hewlett-Packard's thermal ink-jet," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(5), pages 1059-1084, November.
    27. Henry Chesbrough & Richard S. Rosenbloom, 2002. "The role of the business model in capturing value from innovation: evidence from Xerox Corporation's technology spin-off companies," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(3), pages 529-555, June.
    28. Nicolaj Siggelkow & Daniel A. Levinthal, 2003. "Temporarily Divide to Conquer: Centralized, Decentralized, and Reintegrated Organizational Approaches to Exploration and Adaptation," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 14(6), pages 650-669, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Becker-Ritterspach, Florian & Bruche, Gert, 2012. "Capability creation and internationalization with business group embeddedness – the case of Tata Motors in passenger cars," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 232-247.
    2. Chang, Yi-Ying & Hughes, Mathew, 2012. "Drivers of innovation ambidexterity in small- to medium-sized firms," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 1-17.
    3. Avimanyu Datta, 2011. "Review and Extension on Ambidexterity: A Theoretical Model Integrating Networks and Absorptive Capacity," Journal of Management and Strategy, Journal of Management and Strategy, Sciedu Press, vol. 2(1), pages 2-22, March.
    4. Prange, Christiane & Verdier, Sylvie, 2011. "Dynamic capabilities, internationalization processes and performance," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 126-133, January.
    5. Gedajlovic, Eric & Cao, Qing & Zhang, Hongping, 2012. "Corporate shareholdings and organizational ambidexterity in high-tech SMEs: Evidence from a transitional economy," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 652-665.
    6. Jansen, J.J.P., 2011. "Corporate Entrepreneurship: Sensing and Seizing Opportunities for a Prosperous Research Agenda," ERIM Inaugural Address Series Research in Management EIA-2011-046-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..
    7. Marco Marabelli & Chiara Frigerio & Federico Rajola, 2012. "Ambidexterity in Service Organizations: Reference Models from the Banking Industry," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(2), pages 109-126, February.
    8. repec:spr:scient:v:99:y:2014:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-013-1226-y is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Laurence Lehmann-Ortega & Gérald Naro, 2008. "Controle De Gestion, Capacites Dynamiques Et Strategies Emergentes Dans Les Organisations Entrepreneuriales : La Conception D'Un Balanced-Scorecard Comme « Levier De Controle Interactif »," Post-Print halshs-00525411, HAL.
    10. Kinne, Peter, 2013. "Balanced Governance: Komplexitätsbewältigung durch ausgewogenes Managen im Spannungsfeld erfolgskritischer Polaritäten," Arbeitspapiere der FOM 32, FOM Hochschule für Oekonomie & Management.
    11. Basu, Sandip & Phelps, Corey & Kotha, Suresh, 2011. "Towards understanding who makes corporate venture capital investments and why," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 153-171, March.
    12. Avimanyu Datta, 2011. "Combining Networks, Ambidexterity and Absorptive Capacity to Explain Commercialization of Innovations: A Theoretical Model from Review and Extension," Journal of Management and Strategy, Journal of Management and Strategy, Sciedu Press, vol. 2(4), pages 2-25, December.
    13. Broström, Anders, 2011. "Learning by doing in science linkages," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 252, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    14. Adriano Olímpio Tonelli & André Luiz Zambalde & Mozar José de Brito & Paulo Henrique de Souza Bermejo, 2016. "The Theory of Practice and the Development of Ambidexterity in Software Innovation Process," Brazilian Business Review, Fucape Business School, vol. 13(3), pages 26-47, May.
    15. Sébastien Brion & Caroline Mothe & Maréva Sabatier, 2010. "The Impact Of Organisational Context And Competences On Innovation Ambidexterity," International Journal of Innovation Management (ijim), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 14(02), pages 151-178.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecl:stabus:1963. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/gsstaus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.