Towards a Richer Specification of the Exploration/Exploitation Trade-off: Hidden Knowledge-based Aspects and Empirical Results for a Set of Large R&D-Performing Firms
In this paper we describe a richer framework characterizing the trade-off between exploration and exploitation with respect firm performance. We devise a model that complements the notion of organizational learning as a process of inferential learning from the past with an explicit incorporation of a knowledge/information-related theory. Based on this and an international panel data set of large R&D performing firms, we can show empirically that a firm’s innovation activities affect its growth perspectives and its asset base differently, depending on the degree of exploitation/exploration. We also show that competitors’ R&D has important diverging effects on other firms which again depend on the degree of exploitation/exploration. Finally, we demonstrate the mediating role of environmental risk. We therefore argue that the trade-off between exploration and exploitation has (at least) three constituent dimensions: an internal dimension relating to performance in terms of increasing sales growth and preservation of the asset base, an external competitive dimension, and a contingency dimension relating to environmental factors such as risk. We conclude that the trade-off between exploration and exploitation can only be fully understood, if all three components are taken into account simultaneously.
|Date of creation:||10 Apr 2012|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: CIRCLE, Lund University, PO Box 117, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden|
Phone: +46 (0) 46 222 74 68
Web page: http://www.circle.lu.se/
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- Olof Ejermo & Astrid Kander, 2011. "Swedish business research productivity," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(4), pages 1081-1118, August.
- Justin J. P. Jansen & Frans A. J. Van Den Bosch & Henk W. Volberda, 2006.
"Exploratory Innovation, Exploitative Innovation, and Performance: Effects of Organizational Antecedents and Environmental Moderators,"
INFORMS, vol. 52(11), pages 1661-1674, November.
- 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.
- Kander, Astrid & Enflo, Kerstin & Schön, Lennart, 2007. "In Defense of Electricity as a General Purpose Technology," Papers in Innovation Studies 2007/6, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
- Teece, David J. & Rumelt, Richard & Dosi, Giovanni & Winter, Sidney, 1994. "Understanding corporate coherence : Theory and evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 1-30, January.
- Henk W. Volberda & Arie Y. Lewin, 2003. "Co-evolutionary Dynamics Within and Between Firms: From Evolution to Co-evolution," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(8), pages 2111-2136, December.
- 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. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
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