Inderscience Publishers

Managing strategic ambidexterity: the spin-along approach

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This paper is about building theory from a single case study for a practice phenomenon called spin-along. Spin-along is a combination of internal and external corporate venturing elements that supports large corporations’ innovation activities. The case study contributes to corporate venturing practice and the literature as it points out the important role of management in an intentional, process-oriented corporate venturing activity. On the theoretical basis of the strategic ambidexterity concept, which refers to the close interconnection between strategic and organisational activities, we conducted the case study at a leading international laboratory and process technology provider. Results from the case study reveal that there must be two merged perspectives, namely from the parent firm and the spin-along, in order to achieve organisational ambidexterity and a higher overall innovative performance. Merging these two perspectives involves managing conflicting goals between the parent firm and spin-alongs, controlling organisational synergies and enabling the exchange of resources.

Keywords: the spin-along approach, the theory of ambidextrous organisation, exploration, exploitation, strategic ambidexterity, innovative performance, case study, theory building, corporate venturing, ambidexterity antecedents, senior management

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