Theunderlying assumption of theories on ambidextrous organizations is theimportance of balancing and synchronizing exploratory and exploitativeinnovations, yet the difficulty of achieving both types of innovations in anysingly organization has often been noted in the literatures (Burns &Stalker, 1961; Duncan, 1976; Tushman & O’Reilly, 1996; Volberda, 1998).Burns and Stalker (1961), for instance, have argued that two sharply differentorganizational designs, a mechanistic and organic structure, are appropriatefor either exploitative innovations or exploratory innovations. While there islittle empirical evidence how ambidextrous organizations are able tosimultaneously pursue exploratory and exploitative innovations (cf. Benner& Tushman, 2003; Gibson & Birkinshaw, 2004; Tushman & O’Reilly,1996), this is precisely the challenge facing numerous organizations (Brown& Eisenhardt, 1997; Bradarch, 1997). Researchers have yet to determine howambidextrous organizations can be organic as well as mechanistic (Nord &Tucker,1987) and pursue both types of innovations simultaneously.existingcustomers (Benner & Tushman, 2003: 243). Exploitative innovations buildupon existing knowledge and meet the needs ofOtherliteratures have affirmed the underlying assumption that firms need tofacilitate both contradictory elements simultaneously (e.
g. Adler, Goldoftas,& Levine, 1999; Bradach, 1997; Wilson, 1966). Various theoreticalperspectives have discussed this critical challenge for organizations,including theories of technological innovation (Anderson & Tushman, 1986;Dewar & Dutton, 1986; Ettlie, Bridges, & O’Keefe, 1984; Tushman , 1985; Tushman & Anderson, 1986; Tushman, Newman, , 1986), and organizational change (Mezias & Glynn, 1993). simultaneously.Exploratory innovations requirenew knowledge or departure from existing knowledge and are designed foremerging customers or markets.Throughoutthis dissertation, ‘ambidextrous organization’ is used to refer to the abilityof firms to perform exploratory and exploitative innovations simultaneously(cf.
Benner & Tushman, 2003). The studies listed are representative ratherthan exhaustive. organizationspursue both exploratory and exploitative innovations. 1997).
In this sense, Benner and Tushman (2003) argue that ambidextrousEisenhardt& Martin, 2000; Levinthal & March, 1993; Teece, Pisano, & Shuen,balancebetween exploration and exploitation activities (Burgelman, 1996;learningliteratures have increasingly discussed the need for firms to achieve aStrategicmanagement literatures, organizational change, and organizationalINTRODUCTION Thispaper identifies, reviews and assesses the structural dilemma in businessmanagement, how they affect business operations in an ambidextrous structure. Structuraldilemma in business management could be seen as a situation where anorganisation is faced with the challenges of having to choose between thevarious structures available to be able to practice as an ambidextrousorganisation. This paper seeks to find the implications of an ambidextrous structurein business management.ABSTRACT