Managerial attention to exploitation versus exploration: toward a dynamic perspective on ambidexterity
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionIndustrial and Corporate Change. 2017, 26 (6), 1145-1160. 10.1093/icc/dtx015
Managerial attention to exploitation and exploration has a strong inﬂuence on organizational performance. However, there is hardly any knowledge about whether senior managers need to adjust their distribution of attention to exploitation and exploration in response to major changes in demand patterns in their industry. Drawing on the analysis of a panel data set of 86 ﬁrms in the information technology industry exposed to an economic recession and recovery, we ﬁnd that successfully navigating an economic downturn demands more managerial attention to exploration, while leveraging the subsequent upswing requires more attention to exploitation. As such, this study contributes to the literature by providing a dynamic perspective on ambidexterity: that is, senior managers need to redistribute their attention to exploration and exploitation to effectively meet the changing environmental demands over time.