Exploitation Of Existing Resources And New Exploring Commerce Essay

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The organization has to find a balance between the exploitation of its existing resources and the new exploring. It is necessary to develop technological capabilities to protect its market position. March (1991) defends the idea that organizational adaptation requires both operating and exploration, so to be conducted successfully over the long term. The essence of exploration is experimentation with new alternatives (March, 1991). Feedbacks are remote, uncertain and often negative for the exploitation. The ambidexterity refers to the continuation of synchronized exploitation and exploration, through units (structural ambidexterity) or different individuals (contextual ambidexterity), each one is specializing in the operation or in the exploration (Gupta and Smith, 2006). The joint management of innovation research and exploration operations appears to be a defining issue for the long term success of companies.

For company, a question arises: how to choose among these various forms of organizational innovation management? To try to answer this question, two aspects must be addressed by research. First, it should consider how established companies, the know-how, are organized to carry out these two types of innovation and the development of cooperation if a solution is to increase the radical innovations. Then there are questions about the determinants of organizational choices made by firms observed.

The idea that the long-term success of the company rests on its ability to not only build on existing skills and improve the efficiency of the company, but also to explore entirely new fields is largely common in organizational theory. Yet we know little about the how organizations manage the dilemma between exploitation and exploration, and the possible simultaneous combination of these two activities. Research existing management have mainly presented this phenomenon in terms of discrete and dichotomous (divided and subdivided into two), forcing firms to choose between the two types of activities. However, the orientation of the company on one of these dimensions been linked to suboptimal performance and an increased risk of failure long term. Successful organizations combine exploitation and exploration instead of favoring one side over the other. The burgeoning literature on ambidextrous organizations specifically seeks to overcome the limitations of models exist to allow the simultaneous combination of these two strategies.


Continuous innovation (Verona and Ravasi, 2003) is feasible in the long term through the combination of exploration innovations and exploitation. We define exploration innovations (Danneels, 2002; Benner and Tushman, 2003; O'Reilly and Tushman, 2004) as innovations that require new knowledge or new skills for company, on the technological or marketing sector.

Innovation exploration will be seen as a form of innovation that moves away from significantly from the existing core competencies of the company on the client axis or

on the technology axis. Innovation exploitation refers to operating strategies based on innovation accelerating the innovation process from technological & marketing skills of company (Chanal and Mothe, 2005).

In summary, exploration innovations and exploitation innovations differs from incremental and radical innovations because they focus on the concept of competencies (marketing and / or technological) more than on the degree of novelty of innovation (Dougherty and Hardy, 1996; Danneels, 2002 and Benner and Tushman, 2003). These two forms of innovation when combined, give the organization a dual structure. This combination gives the organization a character ambidextrous.

Three forms of ambidexterity can be identified in the literature:

The structural ambidexterity by Benner and Tushman (in 2003) is view as the integration of operations and exploration in separate units. The need for balance appropriate between these two types of activities has been crystallized by the conceptualization of Tushman and O'Reilly (1996) of the ambidextrous organization with the capacity to be both competitive in mature markets (where the notions of cost, efficiency and innovation incremental are critical) and innovative in terms of product development for emerging markets (where experimentation and flexibility are the main keys).

More recently, Gibson and Birkinshaw (2004) and Birkinshaw and Gibson (2004) introduce the concept of contextual ambidexterity, the ability for behavioral (not structural) to achieve alignment in the short term and long-term adaptation - defined as the ability to quickly reconfigure operations within a single SBU (strategic business unit) to respond to environmental changes.

Finally ambidexterity network (McNamara, Baden-Fuller, 1999) can be defined as the balance of operations and exploration externally via the network, focusing on large companies operating around their core business and small entities (or start-up) on innovation exploration. It should be noted that this type of dual wielding is far from stable and many discussions are going around that concept.

In addition, companies often respond to the difficulties of implementing a policy of innovation by establishing cooperative relations. Such cooperation can serve as a generator of innovation because they provide access to knowledge and resources unavailable elsewhere (Powell, Kogut Smith-Doerr, 1996). Thus, organizations often have access not only to resources they have internally, but also the resources of their external environments. Goes and Park (1997) show that firms, taken individually, do not have the ability to seek and develop new concepts and ideas effectively. Stuart and Podolny (1996) show a significant positive relationship between a company's propensity to bind external relations and its degree of innovation in fields that are not directly related to those in which it had developed technologies in past. Appealing to skills of external partners could then facilitate innovation, and more particularly outside the traditional expertise of the organization, that is to say exploratory innovations. The cooperation may well be of help valuable in the search for ambidexterity organizations. The finding of the existence of multiple organizational forms to manage innovation leads us to adopt a contingency approach to organization. It is not so for the researcher to identify how best to manage innovation, but to reveal the harmony between organizational forms and context (internal and external) of the company.


"To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often." Winston Churchil

The environment in which businesses currently undergoing major changes (deregulation, an explosion of competition, globalization, ...) technological innovations that lead them to question their methods of management and organization. Understanding the implications of organizational changes made by many companies seems to become a key issue for survival. Recent studies dealing with a large number of theories about change (Van de Ven, Poole, 1995) and passing through several empirical studies (Barnett, Carroll, 1995) are also underlined the need for more work in this area.

It is often said that the only thing that is constant is change. It's the truth. Within companies, change is constant: due to the market, staff changes, new regulations, availability of resources, and technological advances. These changes may include changes in policies and procedures, processes, systems, personnel, products, services, equipment, materials, etc.. Change management refers to the ability to query, analyze and decide on a change in a document, process, or object, then track the status of this change.

Managing change is not just a matter of good practice for most companies is also the law. In accordance with many standards and regulatory guidelines, change control, or management and control of change within an enterprise, shall be conducted so that the company can maintain and improve quality by identifying changes which could improve the product, through monitoring and analysis of the changes, documenting and communicating the changes to relevant stakeholders. For example, according to ISO standards, source of inspiration for continuous improvement and control of documents, it is argued that the change must be managed. 

Organizations that seek to integrate the management of change in their processes and culture are of the opinion that they must go beyond the narrow perspective of a simple change control - the formal process to ensure that any modification of elements within the organization is conducted in accordance with the specifications change - to a broader framework of change management. Change management is a broader process that allows for standardization of procedure and activities for all types of change, as well as monitoring those changes in a spirit of continuous improvement to minimize change-related impacts and improve efficiency. 

The organizational change in literature

The theoretical perspectives that have sought to define the organizational phenomena are based on assumptions about the seemingly opposite conception of the organization. For some, the company is regarded as an organization characterized by phenomena of inertia (Boeker, 1989; Hannan, Freeman, 1984; Kimberly, 1979) and others (Johnson, 1987; Starbuck, 1965) by adaptation phenomena desired by management or imposed by the environment. One stream considers the environment as the engine of a selection process of organizational forms. Organizations must adapt, finding their niche or disappear. The population ecology (Hannan, Freeman, 1984) is one of the theories most representative of this trend.

A second stream highlights the proactive role of managers as a catalyst for change within the organization. This is predicated on the theory of strategic choice (Child, 1972) or the role of key members of the organization becomes essential - monitoring environmental changes in order to better adapt their strategies (Chaffee, 1985; Tichy, Ulrich 1984 Andrews, 1971). These theories emphasize the willingness to adapt managerial resources and organizational structure to the constraints and opportunities of the environment. More recently, researchers have also questioned the relationship between the standard "deterministic" and "proactive", examining the interaction between environmental context and managerial action (Van de Ven, Poole, 1995; Pettigrew 1985; Hrebiniak, Joyce, 1985).

The classical theories on change also oppose two kinds of change within organizations. We'll talk about radical change (Tushman Romanelli, 1985) or increment (Pettigrew, 1985; Quinn, 1980), revolutionary or evolutionary, first or second order (and Watzlawik ali, 1978), "piecemeal" or "quantum1",  More generally, we oppose the Darwinian, which presents evolution as a gradual succession of small mutations, design "ponctuationniste" (Eldredge, Gould, 1972; Tushman, Romanelli, 1985) which considers evolution as a long period equilibrium punctuated by short periods of radical change. The theory "ponctuationniste" or so-called punctuated equilibrium2 emerged in many disciplines of social and physical sciences. Gersick (1991) has also studied this model in six different areas to detect patterns in how systems evolve and change. Inspired by this trend, Tushman (1985) describe the process of organizational evolution as a process alternating periods of long periods called convergence during which the change is limited to adjustments and infrequent and brief periods of change radical, profound, revolutionary shifts called re-orientation or re-creation.

1 Miller and Friesen (1980) define "quantum" as a "quantum change", that is to say that involves profound changes in organizational structure, in an interval of time.They contrast his concept with that of "piecemeal", that is to say, a gradual change, step by step, adjustement of the structure 

2 Gersick defines the paradigm of punctuated equilibrium as follows: The systems evolve through alternating periods of equilibrium, during which their underlying structures persist and allow only incremental changes and periods of revolution during which their deep structures are fundamentally altered (1991).

According to Tushman and Romanelli, the strategic shift is marked by new managerial choice that address the core values and beliefs of employees, products, markets and technologies on the distribution of power, organizational structure, type, the nature and extent of control systems (Tushman, Romanelli, 1985: 176). Several empirical studies support this theory of punctuated change in many areas (Kelly Amburgey, 1991). The interest of the punctuated equilibrium model is to reconcile the vision of adaptive and inflexible organizational evolution by integrating the perspectives of voluntary change and deterministic. Similarly, the alternation of long periods of convergence conducive to incremental adjustments and short periods of radical change from managerial choices, can reconcile the conceptions incremental and radical organizational change. This rapid course of the literature highlights the diversity and number of studies dealing with organizational change. 

The steering of organizational change

The involvement of individuals in organizational change seems necessary to adapt the organization to its environment. The role of the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) is an essential dimension to initiate the process of change and thus counter the inertia that seems to characterize the organization. Several authors (Kanter, 1983; Nadler, Tushman, 1989; Kotter, 1990) highlight the importance of a symbolic leader, charismatic, which symbolizes the desire for change. Its role is to mark the willingness to change by disseminating within the organization a new outlook. The literature has also been heavily involved in the qualifications for driving change programs within organizations.

Reitter (1991) summarizes the main characteristics of "transformational leaders" highlighted by the work of Burns (1978) and especially Tichy and Devanna (1986). According to these authors, "transformational leaders" define themselves as agents of change, they are courageous, both intellectually and emotionally, believe in the ability of men to take responsibility and know how to animate an organization. They think in terms of values and are able to articulate them and share them with their employees. They understand their mistakes and learn from, can manage the complexity, ambiguity and uncertainty. They are visionaries, able to talk about the future and make it colorful (Reitter, 1991: 39).

In a broader perspective, and Bänteli Wiersema (1992) investigated the possible link between demographic characteristics of the management team and strategic changes undertaken in organizations. They suggest in their conclusions that the management teams of young age (average), with little seniority in the company, a high intellectual background (educational level) and having a strong heterogeneity in terms of specialization school, facilitate change corporate governance. To summarize, it appears that the management team and the contexts in which it operates, play a key role in steering the change.