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The objective of the present research is to explore how firms, when engaged in collaborative new product development (NPD) activities, may be understood to be successful or unsuccessful in achieving ambidextrous processes. The study explores the organizational and managerial practices inside the firm and in the supply chain that enable or constrain the firm in reaching a balance between exploitation and exploration when engaged with NPD.Design/methodology/approachA case study approach was adopted with the ambition to develop new theoretical insight. Insights from multiple NPD projects in a single highly innovative firm were collected and coded.FindingsThe analysis shows how the organization of the NPD projects, alignment strategies, approaches to reward structure, supplier integration willingness and absorptive capacity were all formative in the firms' abilities to achieve ambidexterity in the NPD processes.Originality/valueThe presented research expands knowledge of how ambidextrous NPD processes can be reached. It demonstrates how a complex combination of factors and practices internal to the firm and concerning its supplier management strategies and practices enables or constrains ambidexterity in NPD processes. The results allow managers to devise more informed strategies and design decisions to enable NPD processes that reach adequate and simultaneous concerns for exploitation and exploration.
Business Process Management Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 17, 2021
Keywords: Ambidexterity; New product development; Organizational alignment; Supplier integration; Reward structure; Absorptive capacity
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