The efficiency in accessing and utilizing specialist knowledge and the breadth of specialized knowledge have contributed to identify knowledge and organizational capabilities as critical sources of competitive advantage. In this paper, we investigate the gap in organizational learning research by presenting theory and evidence on how firms balance exploration and exploitation strategies across organizational boundaries. Moreover, the beneficial effect of the ambidexterity between internal exploitation (exploration) and external exploration (exploitation) on firm innovative performance is shown. Hypotheses are tested through a sample of 1,237 firm-year observations referred to worldwide formal interorganizational agreements in the fuel cell emerging industry completed in the period 1999-2006. Results provide evidence that firms that exploit internally tend to explore significantly less externally, thus not complementing the internal exploitation of existing technological trajectories with more explorative agreements. Nevertheless, those firms effectively balancing exploration and exploitation through ambidexterity are revealing higher innovative performances.

Balancing exploration and exploitation across firm boundaries: intra- and interorganizational learning in the fuel cell industry

RUSSO, ANGELOANTONIO
2009

Abstract

The efficiency in accessing and utilizing specialist knowledge and the breadth of specialized knowledge have contributed to identify knowledge and organizational capabilities as critical sources of competitive advantage. In this paper, we investigate the gap in organizational learning research by presenting theory and evidence on how firms balance exploration and exploitation strategies across organizational boundaries. Moreover, the beneficial effect of the ambidexterity between internal exploitation (exploration) and external exploration (exploitation) on firm innovative performance is shown. Hypotheses are tested through a sample of 1,237 firm-year observations referred to worldwide formal interorganizational agreements in the fuel cell emerging industry completed in the period 1999-2006. Results provide evidence that firms that exploit internally tend to explore significantly less externally, thus not complementing the internal exploitation of existing technological trajectories with more explorative agreements. Nevertheless, those firms effectively balancing exploration and exploitation through ambidexterity are revealing higher innovative performances.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12572/2809
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