Inderscience Publishers

Dual focus in exploration and exploitation: the strategic path to sustainable competitive advantage

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Organisations that can successfully develop both radical and incremental product innovations positively impact sustained competitive advantage. Past research has indicated that a dual focus in innovation strategy may be fulfilled by use of dual organisational structures and cultures. This research complements these efforts by analysing business process influences on dual focus. Using data collected from US high technology manufacturers, four strategic archetypes in innovation were developed and analysed using cluster analysis. Dual focus firms were shown to have multiple processes in place that impact both types of innovation strategies and that these firms implement these processes to a greater extent than those firms operating in the more extreme positions. Following the report of results, implications for organisations toiling for a sustainable competitive advantage through product innovation are discussed, as well as future research directions.

Keywords: exploration, exploitation, dual focus, product innovation, strategic archetypes, business process, high technology, high tech manufacturing, radical innovation, incremental innovation, sustainable competitive advantage, cluster analysis, organisational structure, organisational culture

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