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Exploratory Innovation, Exploitative Innovation, and Performance: Effects of Organizational Antecedents and Environmental Moderators

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  • Jansen, J.J.P.
  • van den Bosch, F.A.J.
  • Volberda, H.W.

Abstract

Research on exploration and exploitation is burgeoning, yet our understanding of the antecedents and consequences of both activities remains rather unclear. We advance the growing body of literature by focusing on the apparent differences of exploration and exploitation and examining implications for using formal (i.e. centralization and formalization) and informal (i.e. connectedness) coordination mechanisms. This study further examines how environmental aspects (i.e. dynamism and competitiveness) moderate the effectiveness of exploratory and exploitative innovation. Results indicate that centralization negatively affects exploratory innovation while formalization positively influences exploitative innovation. Interestingly, connectedness within units appears to be an important antecedent of both exploratory and exploitative innovation. Furthermore, our findings reveal that pursuing exploratory innovation is more effective in dynamic environments whereas pursuing exploitative innovation is more beneficial to a unit’s financial performance in more competitive environments. Through this richer explanation and empirical assessment, we contribute to a greater clarity and better understanding of how ambidextrous organizations coordinate the development of exploratory and exploitative innovation in organizational units and successfully respond to multiple environmental conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ems:eureri:7892
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Coordination Mechanisms; Environment; Exploratory and Exploitative Innovation; Performance;

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General
    • M - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights

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