This paper explores the role of the two dimensions of ambidextrous strategic management (exploration and exploitation) on technology-oriented ventures’ innovation and company level performance. Based on a representative sample of German venture capital backed technology start-ups from various innovative industries, we are able to provide support for the oft-stated assumption that the ambidexterity strategy positively influences performance. Results indicate that both explorative and exploitative activity add to the overall success of innovation projects, which consequently influence overall firm performance positively. Moreover, our data suggest that for technology-oriented ventures, the timing of the second innovation project after start-up, i.e., the point in time when ventures become potentially ambidextrous, plays a decisive role.
Keywords: strategy, exploration, exploitation, ambidexterity, ambidextrous management, innovation, technology-oriented ventures