سوابق صلاحیت دو سو توانی در سازمان های فن آوری بپیشرفته
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|20280||2012||18 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||14830 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Operations Management, Volume 30, Issues 1–2, January 2012, Pages 134–151
High tech organizations confront dual demands of exploring new products/processes and exploiting existing products/processes. Research shows that ambidextrous organizations can better manage these dual demands, but our understanding of the antecedents that lead to ambidexterity is still emerging. In addition, previous research has taken a piecemeal approach to understand ambidexterity and does not fully consider its multilevel nature. This research takes a multilevel perspective and argues that a competency in ambidexterity involves three capabilities at different organizational levels: decision risk (strategic level), structural differentiation (project level), and contextual alignment (meso level). After correcting for endogeneity we empirically examine the relationship between these antecedents and ambidexterity competency by collecting multi-level data from 34 high tech business units and 110 exploration and exploitation R&D projects. The results indicate that decision risk and contextual alignment affect ambidexterity competency for high tech organizations. Structural differentiation does not affect ambidexterity competency but has mixed effects on R&D project performance.
“To survive, organizations must execute in the present and adapt to the future. Few of them manage to do both well.” – Eric D. Beinhocker (Beinhocker, 2006) “Tension between creativity and efficiency is bedeviling CEOs everywhere.”–Interview with George Buckley, 3M Corporation High tech organizations operate in fast industry clockspeed characterized by frequent changes in product/process technologies and increased competitive intensity (Bourgeois and Eisenhardt, 1988 and Carrillo, 2005). To flourish or even survive in these environments organizations need to simultaneously explore and exploit (Adler et al., 2009 and Cho and Pucik, 2005). Exploration3 involves “activities aimed at entering new product and process domains,” while exploitation involves “activities aimed at improving existing product and process positions” (He and Wong, 2004, p. 484). The organizational learning literature has extensively documented the tensions between exploration and exploitation (Levinthal and March, 1993, Benner and Tushman, 2002 and He and Wong, 2004). Failure to manage these tensions can result in a success trap (too much exploitation at the expense of exploration) or a failure trap (too much exploration at the expense of exploitation) (Levinthal and March, 1993). Well known organizations such as Motorola, Ericsson, and Samsung have failed to manage these tensions in their R&D settings and lost their competitive advantage (Christensen and Raynor, 2003). For example, Motorola's cell phone division reported a third quarter (in 2008) loss of $394 million and eliminated over 3000 jobs due to their inability to simultaneously develop products for current and future cell phone markets. According to a business analyst report, the R&D labs at Nokia and Research in Motion (RIM) developed a better product mix for both the current and future markets which resulted in the decline of Motorola's market share (Holmes, 2008). Operations Management scholars have also studied these tensions as the productivity dilemma (Adler et al., 2009 and Hayes et al., 2004). Several decades of research on this topic show that an organization's focus on efficiency or exploitative gains can inhibit their ability to innovate or explore (Abernathy, 1978, Benner and Tushman, 2002 and Jansen et al., 2009). In high tech organizations, exploration–exploitation tensions occur at multiple levels. For example, a R&D project team member at 3M illustrates this tension “One minute [senior] management is telling us to innovate, and the next minute they are giving us marching orders to deploy Six Sigma and become efficient. It is crazy to tell people they should be focused on becoming more efficient while at the same time you want them to explore untapped growth potential. This is making me nuts ( Rae, 2007, p.1).” As suggested by this vignette, the senior management not only makes decisions about exploration and exploitation opportunities, but also implements and evaluates them as R&D projects. The 3M story suggests that the R&D Director used similar metrics and procedures to evaluate both exploration and exploitation R&D projects which created project team issues. This example illustrates the failure to manage exploration–exploitation tensions at both strategic and project levels can create problems. Research shows that ambidextrous organizations can overcome the productivity dilemma and can simultaneously explore and exploit ( O’Reilly and Tushman, 2004 and Adler et al., 2009). However, little research investigates the prior capabilities that help organizations develop a competency in ambidexterity ( Raisch et al., 2009). This research investigates the following question: What are the antecedents to competency in ambidexterity for high tech organizations? Following Vickery (1991), we define ambidexterity competency as the organization's ability to explore and exploit in comparison to its competitors in a similar environment. Measuring ambidexterity as a “competency” (i.e. their ability to explore and exploit) rather than “actual performance” is an important step in this research. According to McGrath et al. (1995, p. 253), the actual performance on any competency will only occur “long after the competency is developed” and deployed. They further note that when understanding precursors (antecedents), it is important to first apprehend how these antecedents affect competency before studying its impact on actual performance (Amit and Schoemaker, 1993 and Van de Ven, 1986). In a recent paper Danneels (2008) studies the antecedents to the competence for exploring new markets and new technologies. Since the purpose of our research is to understand the antecedents to ambidexterity, we follow (Amit and Schoemaker, 1993 and Danneels, 2008) and measure ambidexterity as a competency. This study makes the following contributions to our understanding of an ambidexterity competency in high tech organizations. First, it argues that high tech organizations benefit from three distinct capabilities (decision risk, structural differentiation, contextual alignment) at different organizational levels to develop ambidexterity competency. A decision risk capability helps senior level managers resolve the conflicting tensions that occur when making exploration and exploitation decisions. A structural differentiation capability allows exploration and exploitation projects to coexist within the same physical setting. And a contextual alignment capability at the meso level promotes alignment and adaptability across the strategic and project levels. Second, the analysis examines the antecedents to ambidexterity competency in a fast industry clockspeed where managing these tensions become more challenging. Finally, this study empirically investigates the relationship between ambidexterity competency and performance by collecting multilevel survey data from 110 R&D projects in 34 high tech business units. The rest of the paper is organized as follows. Section 2 reviews the literature on ambidexterity. Section 3 develops hypotheses of the antecedents at different levels that lead to ambidexterity competency. Section 4 discusses the research design to collect multilevel data from 34 business units and 110 R&D projects. Section 5 gives the analysis and the results. Finally, Section 6 discusses the contributions, limitations, and directions for future research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Scholars recognize the challenge of managing the dual goals of exploration and exploitation (Adler et al., 2009, Kristal et al., 2010, Tatikonda and Rosenthal, 2000 and Gupta et al., 2006), and the role of ambidexterity (Azadegan and Dooley, 2010, Patel, 2010, Anand et al., 2009 and Jansen et al., 2006). Yet, research has not provided a comprehensive understanding of how organizations develop ambidexterity competency (Raisch et al., 2009). Several mechanisms have been proposed to promote ambidexterity competency: integration, differentiation, alignment and adaptability. Previous research has often focused at one level or has not fully controlled the effect of organizational context. This has given rise to competing forms of ambidexterity competency: structural ambidexterity argues for differentiation (O’Reilly and Tushman, 2004, Jansen et al., 2009 and Hayes et al., 2004), whereas contextual ambidexterity argues for alignment and adaptability (Gibson and Birkinshaw, 2004 and Adler et al., 2009). These competing and seemingly divergent perspectives have led to ambiguity and confusion. We address these limitations by investigating ambidexterity competency at multiple levels in high tech organizations. We argue that high tech organizations develop ambidexterity competency from three distinct capabilities: A decision risk–strategic capability, a structural differentiation–project capability and a contextual alignment–meso capability. The decision risk capability encourages managers to engage in divergent thinking. It promotes leadership through doubt and encourages managers to deal with conflicting ideas, paradoxes and ambiguity. Higher levels of decision risk capability helps managers more accurately assess the risks between exploration and exploitation opportunities. The contextual alignment capability promotes synchronization to changes in strategic level goals and project level activities. The structural differentiation capability promotes coexistence of exploration and exploitation projects by creating pragmatic boundaries between these activities. As a result, integration, differentiation, alignment and adaptability are not competing mechanisms, but rather mechanisms that reside at different levels of the organization to promote ambidexterity for these organizations. Testing this theory entailed collecting data from multiple levels within a business unit and from multiple business units. The data came from 34 business units and 110 R&D projects that involved 313 respondents. The study sampled both exploration and exploitation R&D projects to understand how these projects align with the organization's strategic decisions and goals. These projects coexist in the same physical setting and compete for similar resources and are championed by the R&D director. The findings suggest decision risk capability, the ability to resolve strategic contradiction when deciding on portfolio choices is developed through paradoxical or Janus thinking. Ambidexterity researchers have often used examples of Roman god Janus to emphasize the importance of looking at both the current and future (O’Reilly and Tushman, 2004, Jansen et al., 2009 and Smith and Tushman, 2005). However, what was not clear from these studies was the meaning of Janus thinking or how it promotes ambidexterity. We argue that higher levels of decision risk capability promote a “devils’ advocate” mentality among senior managers questioning the most obvious solution and seeking data for and against alternatives. Senior managers in high tech organizations may feel the pressure to make quick decisions and not thoroughly consider the short term and long term consequences (Bourgeios and Eisenhardt, 1989). However, making the wrong decision can result in a significant setback. In a sense, these organizations need to slow down (consider both short and long term consequences) to speed up (increase likelihood of correct decision). This helps overcome decision making traps that frequently occur in portfolio allocation decisions (Loch and Kavadias, 2002 and Chao et al., 2009). Our results also contribute to the managerial cognition literature (Walsh, 1995 and Croson and Donohue, 2005), which emphasizes the effect of framing mechanisms on organizational outcomes (Porac and Thomas, 2002 and Bendoly et al., 2006). The analysis finds that senior managers adopt a decision risk cognition frame when deciding on exploration and exploitation opportunities. This type of framing allows senior managers to organize their understanding of the external and internal environment and avoid bias in decision making (Dilts and Pence, 2006). The analysis provides the first empirical validation of the role of senior management decision making on ambidexterity competency (Smith and Tushman, 2005). This research also investigates structural differentiation at the project level by maintaining distinct incentives, metrics and systems which allows exploration and exploitation projects to coexist. Previous research on differentiation has been mostly conceptual (O’Reilly and Tushman, 2004) and views it as physical separation of these activities (Hayes et al., 2004, Jansen et al., 2009 and Kristal et al., 2010). This study views structural differentiation as a non-spatial mechanism that allows sharing of resources between exploration and exploitation projects. The analysis does not support the link between structural differentiation and ambidexterity competency. But, the post hoc analysis finds that structural differentiation affects R&D project performance. Maintaining distinct structures in the form of metrics, processes and other sub-systems improves performance for exploitation projects. This result offers initial evidence on the relationship between structural differentiation and project performance which is rarely studied (O’Reilly and Tushman, 2004). However post hoc results do not show any relationship between structural differentiation and exploration projects. Perhaps, projects in high tech organizations incorporate other mechanisms that can avoid undue preferences among project teams. More granular research at the project level can possibly increase our understanding on this topic. We also argue that contextual alignment capability takes place at the meso level and helps synchronizes project activities with strategic level goals. The frequent changes in customer preferences and technologies benefit from faster adaptability to changes in exploration and exploitation goals and activities across organizational levels (Eisenhardt and Tabirizi, 1995; Jelinek and Schoohonven, 1994). Operations Management research in general argue for the importance of alignment between strategic and tactical goals and performance (Bendoly et al., 2007 and Papke-Shields and Malhotra, 2001). Drawing from organizational context literature (Ghoshal and Bartlett, 1994), the findings show the importance of both alignment and adaptability capability for ambidexterity competency. In general, this study has three important implications for the literature. First, it empirically examines multiple capabilities that are associated with ambidexterity competency that can help overcome the productivity dilemma. Previous research on the antecedents typically focuses on a single level of analysis which led to diverse interpretations of ambidexterity. Although scholars argue on the importance of studying multilevel antecedents, the inherent difficulty involved in collecting data from various levels within the organization and from multiple organizations has limited our understanding. The results from our empirical analyses on the importance of decision risk capability at the strategic level and contextual alignment capability at the meso level on ambidexterity competency offer initial insights on the multilevel antecedents. Second, the results from our study also contribute to the new product development literature. For instance, this study provides theoretical and empirical support on how senior leaders handle “unstructured and messy” decision to manage incremental (exploitation) and radical (exploration) project portfolios (Loch and Kavadias, 2007). The results suggest that senior manager's ability to constantly evaluate risks when making strategic choices between these portfolios can to help make better exploration and exploitation decisions. Finally, the analyses involves a two-stage least squares approach to correct for endogeneity of the predictor variables and the relevant tests for the quality of instruments (in Appendix B) also contributes on the use of instruments in survey based empirical research. Testing and correcting for endogeneity in predictor variables is a common practice in strategic management research when studying capabilities or choice decisions (Hamilton and Nickerson, 2003). Prior studies in operations management (OM) do not fully consider endogenous nature of operational capabilities (e.g. Peng et al., 2008 and Kristal et al., 2010). Recently OM scholars begin to recognize and examine endogeneity concerns (see Gray et al., 2011, Bhardwaj et al., 2011 and Park and Ro, 2011). Following these recent developments, our study tests and corrects for endogeneity and also describes other subsequent robustness tests for endogeneity (e.g. Sargan Test, Durbin–Wu–Hausman test).