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Inferring final organizational outcomes from intermediate outcomes of exploration and exploitation: the complexity link
Published in IDEAS
2017
Volume: 23
   
Issue: 1
Pages: 61 - 93
Abstract
The difficulty in definitively linking outcomes of managerial action to organizational outcomes has been a festering issue in organizational research. The problem arises because it is not easy to separate the distinctive contributions of managers at intermediate stages, as well as the contribution of external factors beyond the control of managers. Specifically, certain managerial actions focusing on exploratory or exploitative innovation produce an intermediate output, organizational knowledge. From this base of organizational knowledge, further management actions craft the final output that eventually faces the market test. Drawing from complexity concepts, I argue that the probability of correctly fashioning the subset of key elements in the intermediate output may be a good measure of the probability of organizational success. I use March’s iconic computational simulation model to demonstrate the merits of this principle. I model the effect of complexity on managerial intentionality towards exploratory and exploitative innovation. I elicit important insights for research and practice by comparing organizational knowledge outcomes with the outcomes for probability of organizational success, in stable and moderately turbulent environment.
About the journal
JournalData powered by TypesetComputational and Mathematical Organization Theory
PublisherData powered by TypesetIDEAS
ISSN1381-298X
Open AccessNo