Winning through becoming Janus-like: exploiting current businesses while exploring new entrepreneurial opportunities

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Maatschappij- en Gedragswetenschappen
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After years of downsizing and cost-cutting, organizations have come to realize that they can?t shrink their way to success. The CEO of Philips recently indicated that the lack of entrepreneurial behavior and exploratory initiatives is the most important barrier to future growth. Because of maturing technologies, emerging business models, and new competitors, a new imperative has become clear: firms must become Janus-like, looking in two directions at once ? with one face focused on ongoing businesses and the other on entrepreneurial initiatives This ability, referred to as organizational ambidexterity, has been suggested to lead to superior performance. There is little doubt however that the mindsets and organizational elements needed for exploitation are radically different from those needed for exploration, making their simultaneous pursuit within the same organization rather difficult.
Despite the importance of marrying entrepreneurial efforts with ongoing business for realizing firm growth and economic prosperity (cf. AWT, 2012: World Economic Forum, 2012), insights about how and under what conditions ambidexterity may be organized are far from complete. This VIDI research project proposes an integrated framework of three subprojects that each provides fundamental answers to outstanding issues. First, there are few attempts to understand how and under what conditions small to medium-sized firms - often faced with resource constraints ? may be able to use effective approaches to resolving paradoxical challenges. Second, large firms - often faced with bureaucratic constraints ? may aspire to facilitate ambidexterity at lower hierarchical levels. But what are organizational and managerial requirements to do so successfully? Finally, research has mostly applied static approaches yet scholars have called for more dynamic perspectives on understanding how organizations sustain ambidexterity over time. Together, the subprojects explain how firms may overcome fundamental challenges with spurring entrepreneurial efforts alongside existing operations and contribute to the overall competitiveness of the Dutch Economy in general.

Prof. dr. J.J.P. Jansen
Verbonden aan
Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, Rotterdam School of Management, Strategie en Omgeving
S. Ahmadi MSc, Prof. dr. J.J.P. Jansen, N.B. Niet Bekend en Niet Gebruiken, N.B. Niet Bekend en Niet Gebruiken, N.B. Niet Bekend en Niet Gebruiken
01/09/2013 tot 31/08/2018

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