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.
Aron O’Cass is a Professor of Marketing at the University of Tasmania, Australia. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Marketing, a Master of Business majoring in Marketing and a PhD in Marketing. Aron has published over 200 research papers on issues related to marketing strategy, branding, consumer behavior, political marketing, voter behavior, status branding and fashion, and numerous other issues. His publications appear in journals such as Journal of Product Innovation Management, Industrial Marketing Management, British Journal of Management, Journal of Business Research, European Journal of Marketing, Journal of Economic Psychology, Journal of Advertising, and others.
Nima Heirati is a Lecturer in Marketing at the Newcastle University Business School, United Kingdom. His research relates predominantly to the field of strategic marketing, new product development, organizational ambidexterity, service innovation, and service solutions. Nima has had his publications appear in many journals such as Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, Journal of Strategic Marketing, and Australasian Marketing journal, among others.
Liem Viet Ngo is a Senior Lecturer in Marketing at the School of Marketing, University of New South Wales, Australia. His research has been published in Journal of Product Innovation Management, Journal of Marketing Management, British Journal of Management, Industrial Marketing Management, European Journal of Marketing, Journal of Business Research, and European Business Review, among others.