Title: Performance outcomes of interaction, balance, and alignment between exploration and exploitation in the technological innovation domain

Authors: David Cembrero; Josune Sáenz

Addresses: Deusto Business School Health, University of Deusto, Avenida Universidades, 24, Bilbao, Spain ' Deusto Business School, University of Deusto, Camino de Mundaiz, 50, San Sebastian, Spain

Abstract: A key point in previous research on ambidexterity is the operationalisation of the ambidexterity concept. Usually, multiplicative interaction (i.e., showing high scores in exploration and exploitation) and balance are the two facets considered. We argue that a third facet should be added: alignment, which refers to the extent to which exploration and exploitation are certainly interrelated and complement each other. The results of the research show that, unlike previous research, what truly matters for firm performance is to focus on radical innovation and to develop incremental innovations that truly complement the former ('alignment'). On the contrary, interaction and balance between both types of innovation do not show a significant influence on company performance. Specific measures to operationalise the alignment construct are provided.

Keywords: ambidexterity; alignment; exploration; exploitation; technological innovation; firm performance.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBIR.2018.088464

International Journal of Business Innovation and Research, 2018 Vol.15 No.1, pp.14 - 33

Received: 04 Feb 2015
Accepted: 14 Sep 2015

Published online: 11 Dec 2017 *

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