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Carving out New Business Models in a Small Company through Contextual Ambidexterity: The Case of a Sustainable Company

Vinicius Minatogawa (), Matheus Franco (), Orlando Durán (), Ruy Quadros (), Maria Holgado () and Antonio Batocchio ()
Additional contact information
Vinicius Minatogawa: Mechanical Engineering School, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Quilpué CP 2430000, Chile
Matheus Franco: Geosciences Institute, Department of Science and Technology Policy, University of Campinas, R. CarlosGomes, 250-Cidade Universitária, Campinas-SP 13083-855, Brazil
Orlando Durán: Mechanical Engineering School, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Quilpué CP 2430000, Chile
Ruy Quadros: Geosciences Institute, Department of Science and Technology Policy, University of Campinas, R. CarlosGomes, 250-Cidade Universitária, Campinas-SP 13083-855, Brazil
Maria Holgado: Department of Management, University of Sussex, Brighton BN1 9RH, UK
Antonio Batocchio: School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Campinas, Campinas-SP 13083-860, Brazil

Sustainability, 2020, vol. 12, issue 6, 1-34

Abstract: Business model innovation (BMI) and organizational ambidexterity have been pointed out as mechanisms for companies achieving sustainability. However, especially considering small and medium enterprises (SMEs), there is a lack of studies demonstrating how to combine these mechanisms. Tackling such a gap, this study seeks to understand how SMEs can ambidextrously manage BMI. Our aim is to provide a practical artifact, accessible to SMEs, to operationalize BMI through organizational ambidexterity. To this end, we conducted our study under the design science research to, first, build an artifact for operationalizing contextual ambidexterity for business model innovation. Then, we used an in-depth case study with a vegan fashion small e-commerce to evaluate the practical outcomes of the artifact. Our findings show that the company improves its business model while, at the same time, designs a new business model and monetizes it. Thus, our approach was able to take the first steps in the direction of operationalizing contextual ambidexterity for business model innovation in small and medium enterprises, democratizing the concept. We contribute to theory by connecting different literature strands and to practice by creating an artifact to assist management.

Keywords: business model innovation; organizational ambidexterity; design science research; small and medium enterprises; sustainability; strategy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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