Appropriation Mechanism for Innovation Ambidexterity: a Longitudinal Study of a High-Tech SME

Ates, A. and Acur, N. (2018) Appropriation Mechanism for Innovation Ambidexterity: a Longitudinal Study of a High-Tech SME. 78th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, Chicago, Illinois, 10-14 Aug 2018.

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Recognition of the firm’s tendency toward continuous innovation search has given rise to concepts enabling adaptiveness, exploitative and exploratory innovation. Excessive focus on exploration or short term benefit obtained by exploitation both fail to establish adaptiveness to the requirements of technological turbulence brought by Industry 4.0. Neither of these options alone promotes organisational longevity. To move beyond competency and failure traps requires an ability to accommodate exploration and exploitation of technology through innovation ambidexterity. Using the ambidextrous organisation theory, this study aims to examine how a high-tech small and medium enterprise (SME) adapts and successfully manages continuous innovation over time. A single, longitudinal case study which took place in 2009 – 2017 forms the methodological basis of the qualitative inquiry presented in this paper. We will tell the story of Linn Products Ltd., one of Scotland’s most successful SMEs, which managed to continuously innovate and stay adaptive in a highly competitive market against major global competitors such as Sony, Apple, and Sonos. This study extends ambidexterity theory by identifying new constructs such as avoiding obsolescence trap, network assisted exploration, compatibility with organisational purpose, reframing competency recognition towards digital skills and past experience, future-proofing via modularity and upgradability as appropriation mechanisms underpinning innovation ambidexterity.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Additional Information:Paper Development Workshop Program Session 85: Publishing Research in Strategic Management: Framing a Paper.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Acur Bakir, Dr Nuran
Authors: Ates, A., and Acur, N.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
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