Achim Schmitt, Gilbert Probst, Michael L. Tushman.
Pages : 128-150
We constantly hear of the increasing complexity of our fast-paced, globalized world, and those who did not survive the succession of crises of the last decade could certainly attest to the difficulties of strategy-making in such circumstances. Of course, our reflex when confronted with fear of the future is often to run for cover, particularly if management can get away with downsizing while blaming the crisis. But of course, this only fulfils the short-term objectives of strategy. If an organization favors short-term exploitation when crisis strikes, what will become of it in the longer term? By the same token, allocating resources to long-term exploration might incur the risk of precipitating the fall. It is with this ambidexterity dilemma in mind that I approached a group of colleagues who have for some time been at the forefront of research in the field. First, of course, is Michael Tushman of Harvard Business School. Michael, besides being a leading international scholar, is also one of the editors of M@n@gement. Michael is very supportive of the journal, and I thank him for that as well as for accepting the offer to join in this attempt to reflect on the dilemma of “ambidexterity in times of crisis”. Michael has been working for a long time with my dear colleague Gilbert Probst, of the University of Geneva. Working together with Michael and other colleagues, Gilbert has inspired many young scholars to research the complexity and paradoxes of ambidexterity. Finally, Achim Schmitt, an up-and-coming academic, was the final element required for a successful team. Their joint efforts produced a very thoughtful insight into the way in which ambidexterity can pass a stress test in preparation for major future crises. They offer their views on improving the theory of organizational ambidexterity in the context of economic crises, and their case study of Samsung Electronics captures the essence of ambidexterity in practice. I feel that in broader terms their text also sets the agenda for future research on ambidexterity. I hope that the readers of M@n@gement will enjoy this Unplugged essay as much as I did.
Strategy & Business Policy - Theory Development - Organizational Behavior
Unplugged est le lieu d’exploration de M@n@gement ouvert à des regards inédits portés sur des pratiques émergentes de management, propices au développement de nouveaux questionnements, aux réflexions et controverses au sein de la discipline.
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