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Managing tensions between exploitative and exploratory innovation through purchasing function ambidexterity Managing tensions between exploitative and exploratory innovation through purchasing function ambidexterity

François Constant (), Richard Calvi () and Thomas Johnsen ()
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François Constant: Audencia Recherche - Audencia Business School
Richard Calvi: IREGE - Institut de Recherche en Gestion et en Economie - USMB [Université de Savoie] [Université de Chambéry] - Université Savoie Mont Blanc
Thomas Johnsen: Audencia Recherche - Audencia Business School

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Abstract: This paper investigates how companies can manage tensions between exploitative and exploratory innovation by developing an ambidextrous purchasing function. We identify four types of ambidexterity (structural, sequential, contextual and managerial) and discuss how these can be combined to complement each other. We present an in-depth case study of a large firm (S Corp), which has implemented an ambidextrous purchasing function to contribute simultaneously to exploitative and exploratory innovation. We observe how the four types of ambidexterity were manifested and applied to balance purchasing's contribution to both exploratory and exploitative innovations. The case study shows how the different types of ambidexterity can be combined to mitigate tensions. Based on our case study findings, we identify a two-stage process of developing purchasing ambidexterity, combining the four types of ambidexterity over time. Our findings enrich the understanding of how companies can develop an ambidextrous purchasing function to facilitate purchasing's contribution to exploitative innovation and exploratory innovation.

Keywords: Ambidexterity; Tensions; Purchasing; Innovation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02891790
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Published in Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management, Elsevier, inPress, ⟨10.1016/j.pursup.2020.100645⟩

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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:hal:journl:hal-02891790

DOI: 10.1016/j.pursup.2020.100645

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