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e-book Innovation from Information Systems: An Ambidexterity Approach

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The article closes with nine steps applicable to any company that needs guidance on creating the third leg of the ambidexterity stool. The ability to drive both types of innovation strategies is visible in high-technology companies, large and small.

Innovation Ambidexterity and the Three-Legged Stool

Lockheed Martin Corporation, Apple, Inc. However, it is not only high-technology companies. All of these companies know that top performance can be achieved with ambidexterity. High-technology company CEOs and other top executives from over U. These companies set a course for innovation ambidexterity and then put the best organizational structures and cultures in place to support the dual directions. Furthermore, they also incorporated the right mix of business processes to influence both types of innovation. If ambidexterity is prevalent in the most prosperous firms, why do some firms still focus on one type of innovation over the other?

Because effective ambidexterity is one of the most challenging capabilities for management and leadership to successfully implement within their organizations. The challenge for all companies is how.

The Ambidextrous Organization & Organizational Change

How do you create the last leg of the ambidextrous stool? We begin to understand process influences on innovation if we categorize core business processes into three main areas: product development management PDM , supply chain management SCM , and customer relationship management CRM. The balance of the three main process categories is shown in Figure Processes impact radical and incremental innovation in their own way, and, by their very nature, require different ways of thinking, different capabilities, and different resources. Incremental improvements require cost-effective and efficient operations and are driven by requirements and needs of current customers.

Conversely, radical product innovations require new state-of-the-art expertise and skills, relying on input from lead users and open sources of innovation ideas. However, monitoring new technological advances outside the firm is crucial to both types of innovations. Furthermore, the cumulative benefit is that implementation of all of these processes allows firms to pursue both radical and incremental innovations simultaneously. Regardless of size and age, companies are capable of creating ambidexterity. Lockheed Martin Corporation has successfully attained ambidexterity with a wise collection of core business areas, organized and supported by the appropriate structures and cultures for their strategies.

Looking deeper, we can see that the company has also implemented the associated processes. Other high-technology companies, such as Apple, Inc. This strategic decision buoyed their innovations beyond the incremental. The above examples just scratch the surface of the business processes integrated within large corporations. But what about smaller companies?

Successful companies recognize that ambidexterity is achievable regardless of size and begins at the top of the organization with leadership vision and intent. With increased foreign competition and climbing steel prices, the company recognized the need to change to survive. Some small companies may have more of a challenge with limited resources, but these challenges can be overcome with changes in perspective and wise choices.

When production quantities needed to be increased, new workers were added in lieu of innovative processes which would have allowed for more efficient operations. Their ability, then, to become more successful in ambidexterity was limited by the thinking of management, not by size. Smaller organizations should also look to their external environment for outsourcing and partnership opportunities to support ambidexterity, filling in a potential gap.

They should analyze activities of large corporations for business process ideas and scale them down for their size and capabilities. Regardless, for any company, vision and honest assessment of the innovation strategies, necessary business processes, structure, and culture are the first steps. Selective integration of core business processes can be completed in an incremental fashion as the company grows, just as structure and culture changes with growth. Smart review of the processes in Figure 2 would aid organizations in identifying those that would have the highest return on investment based on the innovation strategies targeted.

For any organization that desires innovation ambidexterity or wishes to improve the outcome, the following steps are provided as guidance:.


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There are clear advantages to successful attainment of ambidexterity. Business processes bring knowledge that is instrumental to effective innovation strategy decision making—knowledge that is crucial for competitive advantage and increased firm performance. Innovation requires change—changes in products, changes in business processes, changes in skills and expertise, and changes in the organizational structure and culture—to explore new directions and exploit opportunities. Regardless of size or age, firms can transform and achieve ambidexterity in innovation by employing prudent business processes that cumulatively impact radical and incremental innovation, thereby building the essential third leg of the stool.

Ralph H. Kilmann, Louis R. Pondy and Dennis P. New York: North-Hollard. Susan E.

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Innovation from Information Systems - An Ambidexterity Approach | Olivier Dupouet | Springer

The potential for anti-competitive behavior and collusion not only exists within ecosystems, but also across ecosystems and Keystone leaders, and has the potential to not only negatively impact consumers, but also many other stakeholders of these organizations. Each type of innovation requires different, often opposing, structures, cultures, and processes.

Thus, to become ambidextrous, companies must create a balanced mix of all three, each a leg in a three-legged stool. The step approach may not comprise a full financial analysis of an organization, but this approach does enable the NFM to gain quick insights into the financial performance of an organization. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has defined five distinct levels for self-driving AVs, which range from controlling specific tasks such as parking and braking level 1 to where the vehicle is fully autonomous with no steering wheel or other human controls level 5.

When new employees fail to reach their potential, we too often look to those who failed rather than the context that contributed to this failure. In this article the authors offer recommendations for how managers can help new employees be more successful. Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. March Journal of Organizational Behavior, 27, — Harvard Business Review, April , 74— Organizational factors for exploration and exploitation.

Journal of Technology Management and Innovation, 4 1 , 48— Impact of dynamic capability on innovation,value creation and industry leadership. London: City University. International Journal of Information Management, 32, 75— Ambidextrous leadership: Emerging challenges for business and HR leaders. Organizational Dynamics, 40, — Becoming a master manager: A competency framework. Explaining the heterogeneity of the leadership-innovation relationship: Ambidextrous leadership. The Leadership Quarterly, 22 5 , — Culture: the missing concept in organization studies.

Administrative Science Quarterly, 41, Development Dimensions International. Measuring the innovation projects effectiveness. Megatrend Review, 6 2 , — The corporate life cycle: Leading organizations to perpetual life. FMI Quarterly, 4, 52— Riding the waves of culture. London: Nicholas Brealey Publishing. The ambidextrous CEO. Harvard Business Review. Moderating effects of environment on the strategic leadership, organizational learning, innovation, and performance relationships. Journal of International Business and Economics, 11 2 , 45— WANG, C.

Organizational diversity and shared vision: resolving The paradox of exploratory and exploitative learning.

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European Journal of Innovation Management, 12 1 , 86— Ambidextrous organizational culture, contextual ambidexterity and new product innovation : a comparative study of UK and Chinese high-tech firms. British Journal of Management, 25 1 , Journal of International Consumer Marketing, 23, —, Doi: Human Resource Development International, 13 3 , — ZHOU, J. When job dissatisfaction leads to creativity: encouraging the expression of voice.


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