Innovation Capacity Building: An approach to maintaining balance between exploration and exploitation in organizational learning

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    The purpose of this paper is to propose how a bottom-up creation of an ambidextrous organization can be enabled. By integrating research on “contextual ambidexterity” and “individual and organizational capacity building”, an “innovation capacity building” framework is conceptualized that suggests how balance between exploration and exploitation can be maintained.

    The study is conceptual. As no data are utilized, focus is on discussing the links between the two theoretical perspectives and the advantages of the proposed innovation capacity building framework.

    The innovation capacity building framework discusses the influence, both positive and negative, of the local organizational context for ambidexterity, and the interactions required such as feedback between the management team and the employees so they together can build an ambidextrous working culture. A culture in which it is the individual employee that is responsible for switching between activities related to exploration and exploitation and where the management team empowers the employees to do so.

    This study focuses on contextual ambidexterity and how contextual ambidexterity can be implemented as a way of working in contemporary organizations. The originality lies in the proposed framework and in the dedicated focus on “how” ambidexterity can be implemented in organizations.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalLearning Organization
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)12-26
    Number of pages15
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


    • Capacity Building
    • Organizational Capacity Building
    • Individual Capacity Building
    • Innovation Capacity Building
    • Ambidexterity
    • Exploration and Exploitation
    • Empowerment
    • Organizational learning
    • bottom-up strategies
    • Strategic Management
    • Ambidextrous organization


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