Achieving new product success via the synchronization of exploration and exploitation across multiple levels and functional areas
O'Cass, AG and Heirati, N and Viet Ngo, L, Achieving new product success via the synchronization of exploration and exploitation across multiple levels and functional areas, Industrial Marketing Management, 43, (5) pp. 862-872. ISSN 0019-8501 (2014) [Refereed Article]
While ambidexterity has been identified as a critical prerequisite for new product success, synchronizing exploration
and exploitation in practice represents a multifaceted enigma. Ambidexterity is not in reality limited to a
single organizational level, or a specific functional area. Firms become ambidextrous when corporate-level exploratory
and exploitative strategies interact with operational-level exploratory and exploitative capabilities
across multiple functional areas. Data from a sample of technology-intensive industrial firms using a multiinformant
design shows that operational-level exploratory and exploitative product innovation and marketing
capabilities allow firms to implement corporate-level exploratory and exploitative strategies in the context of
new product development (NPD). Further, the findings reveal that the integration of exploratory product
innovation–exploratory marketing and exploitative product innovation–exploitative marketing is significant
for the implementation of exploratory and exploitative strategies over deploying each capability in isolation.
Finally, we show that the implementation of exploratory and exploitative strategies drives new product success
through creating distinct positional advantages to customers in the formof both differentiation and cost efficiency.
These positional advantages help to better explain the effects of exploratory and exploitative capabilities on
new product market performance.