Innovation requires a combination of explorative and exploitative innovation activities. Previous studies have provided valuable insights in the antecedents of investing in explorative and exploitative activities, the structural governance of exploration and exploitation and the performance implications of engaging in exploration and exploitation. These studies are dominated by cross-sectional research, largely ignoring the evolution of exploration and exploitation over time. Several scholars, however, provide first indications that the allocation of time and resources across exploration and exploitation might change over time. In order to examine the dynamics of explorative and exploitative innovation activities, we conducted an indepth case study in one particular company in the wind blade industry, applying a novel approach to measure the evolution of the amount of R&D resources allocated to explorative and exploitative activities over a 5 year time period. Our results show that the relative amount of resources and time invested in exploration versus exploitation is not static, but changes over time. The pattern of the evolution of exploration and exploitation at our case company shows phases in which exploration and exploitation activities are well balanced, and phases where one type of innovation dominates innovation activities. Based on additional qualitative data we found first indications of antecedents of the dynamics of exploration and exploitation. Together, our findings provide an interesting starting point for future research on the antecedents, structural governance and performance implications of the evolution of exploration and exploitation over time.
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 27 May 2010|
|Event||18th Annual High Technology Small Firms Conference, HTSF 2010 - University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands|
Duration: 27 May 2010 → 28 May 2010
Conference number: 18
|Conference||18th Annual High Technology Small Firms Conference, HTSF 2010|
|Period||27/05/10 → 28/05/10|