Essays on the antecedents and consequences of ambidexterity in technological innovation
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In this dissertation, we examine the antecedents and consequences of ambidexterity, which represents a balance between exploitation and exploration, from the perspective of technological innovation. Although technological innovation is inevitably connected to ambidexterity because it has been implemented with a complicated knowledge management process to increase both depth (exploitation) and scope (exploration) in new product development, little research conceptually and empirically has focused on the drivers and outcomes of ambidexterity in a firm within the context of technological innovation. Additionally, ambidexterity may be recognized as a dynamic capability by arguing that it refers to the process by which a firm mobilizes, (re)allocates, and (re)combines resources for exploitation and exploration, but less is known about the dynamic perspective of ambidexterity by considering the role of time in its conceptualization. Therefore, we combine the dynamic capabilities theory and the context of technological innovation with insights from the literature on ambidexterity.First, we consider time in the conceptualization of ambidexterity because time plays a critical role in understanding the dynamic perspective of ambidexterity in technological innovation. Given dynamic capability theory, we shed light on vacillation as a mechanism used by firms to shift their strategic orientation in a timely manner. Then, we propose that ambidexterity and vacillation in technological innovation have both benefits and costs and hypothesize an inverted U-shaped relationship between ambidexterity or vacillation and growth. We further posit that industry conditions, such as uncertainty and growth, moderate these relationships. Second, we investigate the role of technological resources as a driver to balance exploitation and exploration in technological innovation. We propose that a firm’s technological resources have a positive effect on ambidexterity in technological innovation and the effect is moderated by the level of autonomy of the firm. Using a sample of Korean business group affiliates, we precisely examine the effect of autonomy, that means decision-making authority, on the relationship between technological resources and ambidexterity in technological innovation.This dissertation adds to the literature on ambidexterity by considering positive and negative effects of ambidexterity or vacillation on growth and by elaborating on the antecedent of ambidexterity from the perspective of technological innovation. Our findings have implications for managers seeking appropriate innovative strategies within a firm to meet industry conditions.