Keywords: continuous innovation, discontinuous innovation, exploration, exploitation, dualities, dynamic capabilities, knowledge management, KM, learning, business excellence, paradoxes, organisational capabilities, operational performance, innovation performance
Dual organisational capabilities: from theory to practice – the next challenge for continuous innovation
Today's business environment poses a significant challenge to many firms, namely to continuously innovate, combining operational excellence with both steady-state and discontinuous innovation. At a closer look, it can also be seen that a number of leading firms today seem to be able to handle the resulting situation quite well, revealing good operational and innovation performance over time. At the same time, the bulk of management theory still approaches this problem with a trade-off perspective, implying that these aspects of business are analysed separately, and that efficiency and innovation have to be regarded as mutually excluding things to strive for – suggesting that firms can be good in one of the two abilities but not in both simultaneously. This points to a gap in existing research that scholars need to fill. Building on management literature about paradoxes and dualities, and using some examples from practice, this contribution stresses the 'practicability' of the duality perspective for Continuous Innovation research and practice.