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 multi-informant 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 form of both differentiation and cost efficiency. These positional advantages help to better explain the effects of exploratory and exploitative capabilities on new product market performance.
- Positional advantage
- Strategy implementation