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Contribution Details

Type Journal Article
Scope Discipline-based scholarship
Title The asymmetric effects of exploitation and exploration on radical and incremental innovation performance : an uneven affair
Organization Unit
  • Silke Lennerts
  • Anja Schulze
  • Torsten Tomczak
Item Subtype Original Work
Refereed Yes
Status Published electronically before print/final form (Epub ahead of print)
  • English
Journal Title European Management Journal
Publisher Elsevier
Geographical Reach international
ISSN 0263-2373
Page Range Epub ahead of print
Date 2019
Abstract Text Scholars have argued that the exploitation‐exploration interaction provides a source of competi‐tive advantage beyond that provided by each individually. However, we know little about the mutual effects of exploitation and exploration on either incremental or radical innovation per‐formance. To address this gap, we examine data from 171 manufacturing firms. We find incre‐mental innovation performance is highest when exploitation interacts with an intermediary level of exploration. Radical innovation performance, however, is solely driven by exploration. A coupling with exploitation is not effective. We contribute to the extant literature, first, by disen‐tangling the interaction effects of exploitation and exploration on radical and incremental inno‐vation performance, respectively. Second, we extend extant literature that agrees that main‐taining an appropriate balance of exploitation and exploration is critical for innovation perfor‐mance and that has conceptualized this balance as symmetrical presence and magnitude of ex‐ploitation and exploration. In particular, we provide evidence in support of an asymmetric rela‐tionship.
Free access at DOI
Digital Object Identifier 10.1016/j.emj.2019.06.002
Other Identification Number merlin-id:18092
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