Keywords: strategic management, entrepreneurial orientation, exploratory innovation, exploitative innovation, strategic ambidexterity, adolescent organisations, organisational design, innovativeness, proactiveness, risk taking, competitive aggressiveness, autonomy, ICT firms, entrepreneurship, antecedents, information technology, communications technology
Antecedents of strategic ambidexterity: effects of entrepreneurial orientation on exploratory and exploitative innovations in adolescent organisations
Strategic ambidexterity, the ability to pursue exploratory and exploitative innovations simultaneously, is a key driver of firm survival and progress. However, our understanding of the organisational antecedents of ambidexterity is limited. We advance the existing body of literature by examining the influences of entrepreneurial orientation (EO) on both dimensions of strategic ambidexterity. Our study in 75 adolescent ICT companies shows that the effects of the constituent dimensions of EO on exploratory innovation differ from those on exploitative innovation. Each dimension of EO, i.e., risk taking, innovativeness, proactiveness, competitive aggressiveness, and autonomy, stimulates exploratory innovation, whereas only proactiveness and competitive aggressiveness facilitate exploitative innovation. The dimensions have no conflictive effects; thus, none of the dimensions facilitating exploratory innovation impedes exploitative innovation. Therefore, the results would suggest that organisations aiming toward ambidexterity should strive for high levels of EO.