Title: Social innovation and smart tourism in ambidextrous SME alliances: an empirical analysis of alliance performance

Authors: Rosamartina Schena; Angeloantonio Russo

Addresses: Department of Management, Finance and Technology, LUM University, S.S. 100 km 18, 70010 Casamassima (BA), Italy ' Department of Management, Finance and Technology, LUM University, S.S. 100 km 18, 70010 Casamassima (BA), Italy

Abstract: Strategic alliance design has the ability to achieve market-related success concurrently, and to coordinate the unpredictable process of innovation exploration and exploitation. Drawing on the innovative concept of ambidexterity, this study focuses on how SME alliances can manage the dilemma of exploration and exploitation to gain a financial performance advantage. The assumptions were tested on a sample of 9,673 Italian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) aggregated into 1,854 alliances in the period 2010-2015. Referring to the moderating effect of innovation, in the social and tourism meaning, on the relationship between ambidextrous strategies and alliance performance, the results show that: 1) SME alliances that do not move towards social or tourism strategies should prefer a targeted alliance to obtain economic benefits; otherwise; 2) if the innovative objectives are considered at the basis of the formation of the alliance, the greatest economic benefits are connected to an ambidextrous alliance.

Keywords: alliances; ambidexterity; social innovation; smart tourism; exploration; exploitation; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs.

DOI: 10.1504/IJDCET.2021.116480

International Journal of Digital Culture and Electronic Tourism, 2021 Vol.3 No.3/4, pp.234 - 256

Received: 30 Jul 2020
Accepted: 04 Nov 2020

Published online: 06 Jul 2021 *

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