Title: Managing strategic ambidexterity: the spin-along approach

Authors: Theresa Michl; Bernhard Gold; Arnold Picot

Addresses: Institute for Information, Organisation and Management, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Ludwigstreet 28, 80539 Munich, Germany. ' Institute for Information, Organisation and Management, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Ludwigstreet 28, 80539 Munich, Germany. ' Institute for Information, Organisation and Management, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Ludwigstreet 28, 80539 Munich, Germany

Abstract: This paper is about building theory from a single case study for a practice phenomenon called spin-along. Spin-along is a combination of internal and external corporate venturing elements that supports large corporations' innovation activities. The case study contributes to corporate venturing practice and the literature as it points out the important role of management in an intentional, process-oriented corporate venturing activity. On the theoretical basis of the strategic ambidexterity concept, which refers to the close interconnection between strategic and organisational activities, we conducted the case study at a leading international laboratory and process technology provider. Results from the case study reveal that there must be two merged perspectives, namely from the parent firm and the spin-along, in order to achieve organisational ambidexterity and a higher overall innovative performance. Merging these two perspectives involves managing conflicting goals between the parent firm and spin-alongs, controlling organisational synergies and enabling the exchange of resources.

Keywords: spin-along; theory of ambidextrous organisation; exploration; exploitation; strategic ambidexterity; innovative performance; case study; theory building; corporate venturing; ambidexterity antecedents; senior management; innovation support; parent firm; organisational synergies; resource sharing; resource exchange.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2013.050243

International Journal of Technology Management, 2013 Vol.61 No.1, pp.47 - 63

Available online: 31 Oct 2012 *

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