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Balanced Control as an Enabler of Organizational Ambidexterity

Authors/Editors: Aschenbrücker, K.
Kretschmer, T.
Published: 2018
Type: Articles in Refereed Journals (International)
Published by: Organization Design (Advances in Strategic Management, Vol. 40), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 115-144

Abstract

The authors examine how firms can achieve organizational ambidexterity, that is, how they can successfully engage in concurrent exploitation of existing competencies and exploration of new competencies in their search for new products. Existing research has identified three enablers to manage these fundamentally different activities: temporal separation, structural separation, and the creation of context. Studying the strategic orientation, organization design, and performance of a unique sample of mid-sized German manufacturing firms, the authors find that the controlled interplay of decentralized decision making and formalized processes and goals is another effective means to manage the challenges of pursuing an innovation strategy balancing both exploitative and exploratory activities. The findings of this study suggest that this balanced control constitutes a fourth enabler of ambidexterity.

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