Formulating consistent marketing strategies is a difficult task, but successfully implementing them is even more challenging. This is even more pertinent as marketing strategies quite often incorporate inherent conflicts between major breakthroughs and consolidation. Consequently, marketers need to balance exploratory and exploitative strategies. However, the literature lacks concrete insights for marketing managers as to how exploratory and exploitative strategies can be best combined. This paper addresses this issue by introducing a framework of multiple types of ambidexterity. Based on qualitative research, tools and procedures are identified to overcome marketing dilemmas and support strategy implementation by drawing on ambidextrous designs.
Adner, Ron and Daniel A. Levinthal (2002): The Emergence of Emerging Technology, California Management Review, 45 (1): 50–66.
Adler, Paul, Barbara Godolftas, and David Levine (1999): Flexibility versus Efficiency? A Case Study of Model Changeovers in the Toyota Production System, Strategic Management Journal, 24: 1011–1025.
Aksin, O. Zeynep and Patrick T. Harker (1999): To Sell or Not to Sell: Determining the Trade-offs Between Service and Sales in Retail Banking Phone Centers, Journal of Service Research, 2: 19–33.
Ambos, Bjoern and Bodo B. Schlegelmilch (2005): In Search of Global Advantage, European Business Forum, 21: 23–24.
Astley, W. Graham and Raymond F. Zammuto (1992): Organization Science, Managers, and Language Games, Organization Science, 3: 443–460.
Auh, Seigyoung and Bulent Menguc (2005): Balancing Exploration and Exploitation: The Moderating Role of Competitive Intensity, Journal of Business Research, 58: 1652–1661.
Bass, Bernard M. (1985): Leadership and Performance Beyond Expectation, Free Press: New York.
Beckman, Christine M. (2006): The Influence of Founding Team Company Affiliations on Firm Behavior, Academy of Management Journal, 49: 741–758.
Birkinshaw, Julian and Cristina Gibson (2004): Building Ambidexterity into an Organization, Sloan Management Review, 45 (4): 47–55.
Benner, Mary J. and Michael L. Tushman (2003): Exploitation, Exploration, and Process Management: The Productivity Dilemma Revisited, Academy of Management Review, 28: 238–256.
Boeker, Warren (1997): Executive Migration and Strategic Change: The Effect of Top Manager Movement on Product-Market Entry, Administrative Science Quarterly, 42: 213–236.
Bonoma, Thomas V. (1984): Making Your Marketing Strategy Work, Harvard Business Review, 62 (2): 69–76.
Bonoma, Thomas V. and Victoria L. Crittendon (1988): Managing Marketing Implementation, Sloan Management Review, 29 (4): 7–14.
Brown, John S. and Paul Dugoid (1991): Organizational Learning and Communities of Practice: Towards a Unified View of Working, Learning, and Innovation, Organization Science, 2: 40–57.
Brown, Shona L. and Kathleen M. Eisenhardt, (1997): The Art of Continuous Change: Linking Complexity Theory and Time-Paced Evolution in Relentlessly Shifting Organizations, Administrative Science Quarterly, 42: 1–34.
Bubert, Renate, Johannes Gadner, and Lyn Richards (2004): Applying Qualitative Methods to Marketing Management Research, Palgrave McMillan: Houndsmill et al.
Burgelman, Richard A. (2002): Strategy as a Vector and the Inertia of Co-evolutionary Lock-in, Administrative Science Quarterly: 47: 325–358.
Burns, James (1978): Leadership, Harper &Row: New York.
Burns, Tom and George M. Stalker (1961): The Management of Innovation, Tavistock: London.
Carlile, Paul R. (2004): Transferring, Translating and Transforming: An Integrated Framework for Managing Knowledge Across Boundaries, Organization Science, 15: 555–568.
Carmeli, Abraham and Meyrav Y. Halevi (2009): How Top Management Teams Behavioral Integration and Behavioral Complexity enable Organizational Ambidexterity. The Moderating Role of Contextual Ambidexteritxy, The Leadership Quarterly, 20: 207–218.
Carson, Stephen (2007): When to Give Up Control of Outsourced New Product Development, Journal of Marketing, 71 (1): 49–66.
Chimhanzi, Jaqueline and Robert E. Morgan (2005): Explanations from the Marketing/Human Resource Dyad for Marketing Strategy Implementation Effectiveness in Service Firms, Journal of Business Research, 58: 87–796.
Cespedes, Frank (1991): Organizing and Implementing the Marketing Effort, Addison-Wesley: Reading, Mass.
Christensen, Clayton M. and Michael Raynor (2003): The Innovator’s Solution, Harvard Business School Press: Boston.
Churchill, Gilbert A. and Dawn Iacobcci (2005): Marketing Research: Methodological Foundations, 9th Edition, Thompson South-Western: Mason, Ohio.
Danneels, Erwin (2002): The Dynamics of Product Innovation and Firm Competencies, Strategic Management Journal, 23: 1095–116.
Day, George S. (1994): The Capabilities of Market-Driven Organizations, Journal of Marketing, 58 (2): 37–52.
Day, George S. (1989): Deciding How to Compete, Planning Review, 17 (5): 18–23.
Deming, W.E. (1981): Management of Statistical Techniques for Quality and Productivity, New York University Graduate School of Business: New York.
Dobni, C. Brooke (2006): Developing an Innovation Orientation in Financial Services Organizations, Journal of Financial Services Marketing, 11: 166–179.
Dodgson, Mark (1991): Technology Learning, Technology Strategy and Competitive Pressures, British Journal of Management, 2: 133–149.
Drazin, Robert and Peter Howard (1984): Strategy Implementation: A Technique for Organizational Design, Columbia Journal of World Business, 19: 40–46.
Druckman, Daniel and Terrance Hopmann (2002): Content Analysis, in: Kremenyuk, V.A. (ed.), International Negotiation: Analysis, Approaches, Issues, Jossey-Bass: San Francisco, 288–314.
Duncan, Robert B. (1976): The Ambidextrous Organization: Designing Dual Structures for Innovation, in: Pondy, Lois R. and Dennis P. Slevin (eds.): The Management of Organization Design: Volume, Strategies and Implementation, Elsevier: New York, 167–188.
Evans, Kenneth R., Todd J. Arnold, and John A. Grant (1999), Combining Service and Sales at the Point of Customer Contact: A Retail Banking Example, Journal of Service Research, 2 (1): 34–49.
Fang, Eric and Shaoming Zou (2009): Antecedents and Consequences of Marketing Dynamic Capabilities in International Joint Ventures, Journal of International Business Studies, 40: 742–761.
Fiedler, Fred (1967): A Theory of Leadership Effectiveness, McGraw-Hill: New York.
Floyd, Steven and Peter W. Lane (2000): Strategizing throughout the Organization: Managing Role Conflict in Strategic Renewal, Academy of Management Review, 25: 154–177.
Forman, Janis and Paul A. Argenti (2005), How Corporate Communication Influences Strategy Implementation, Reputation and the Corporate Brand: An Exploratory Qualitative Study, Corporate Reputation Review, 8: 245–264.
Franckwick, Gary, James C. Ward, Michael D. Hutt, and Peter Reingen (1994): Evolving Patterns of Organizational Belief in the Formation of Strategy, Journal of Marketing, 58 (2): 96–110.
Gale, Bradley (1992): Monitoring Customer Satisfaction and Market-perceived Quality, American Marketing Association Worth Repeating Series, Number 022CSO1.
Gersick, Connie (1991): Revolutionary Change Theories: A Multilevel Exploration of the Punctuated Equilibrium Paradigm, Academy of Management Review, 16: 10–36.
Ghoshal Sumantra and Christopher A. Bartlett (1994): Linking Organizational Context and Managerial Action: The Dimensions of Quality of Management, Strategic Management Journal, 15: 91–112.
Gibson, Cristina and Julian Birkinshaw (2004): The Antecedents, Consequences, and Mediating Role of Organizational Ambidexterity, Academy of Management Journal, 47: 209–226.
Govindarajan, Vijay. (1988): A Contingency Approach to Strategy Implementation at the Business Unit Level: Integrating Administrative Mechanisms with Strategy, Academy of Management Journal, 27: 25–41.
Greve, Heinrich R. (2007): Exploration and Exploitation in Product Innovation, Industrial and Corporate Change, 16: 945–975.
Griffin, Abbie and John H. Hauser (1996): Integrating R&D and Marketing: A Review and Analysis of the Literature, Journal of Product Innovation Management, 13: 191–215.
Güttel, Wolfgang H. and Stefan W. Konlechner (2009): Continuously Hanging by a Thread: Managing Contextually Ambidextrous Organizations, Schmalenbach Business Review, 61: 149–171.
Gupta, Anil K., Ken G. Smith, and Christina E. Shalley (2006): The Interplay Between Exploration and Exploitation, Academy of Management Journal, 49: 693–706.
Han, Mary (2007): Achieving Superior Internationalization Through Strategic Ambidexterity, Journal of Enterprising Culture, 15: 43–77.
Hart, Stuart and Catherine Banbury (1994): How Strategy-Making Processes Can Make a Difference, Strategic Management Journal, 15: 251–268.
He Zi-Lin and Poh-Kam Wong (2004): Exploration versus Exploitation: An Empirical Test of the Ambidexterity Hypothesis, Organization Science, 15: 481–494.
Jansen, Justin J. P., Frans A. J. Van den Bosch, and Henk W. Volberda (2005): Exploratory Innovation, Exploitative Innovation, and Ambidexterity: The Impact of Environmental and Organizational Antecedents, Schmalenbach Business Review, 57: 351–363.
Jansen, Justin J. P., Michiel P. Tempelaar, Frans A. J. Van den Bosch, and Henk W. Volberda (2009): Structural Differentiation and Ambidexterity: The Mediating Role of Integration Mechanisms, Organization Science, 20: 797–811.
Jaworski, Bernard and Deborah J. McInnis (1989): Marketing Jobs and Management Control: Towards a Framework, Journal of Marketing Research, 26: 406–19.
Jaworski, Bernard., Ajay K. Kohli, and Arvind Sahay (2000): Market-driven versus driving-markets, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 28: 45–54.
Jick, Todd D. (1979): Mixing Qualitative and Quantitative Methods, Triangulation in Action, Administrative Science Quarterly, 24: 602–611.
Juran Joseph M. and Frank M. Gryna (1988): Juran’s Quality Control Handbook, McGraw Hill, Inc.: New York.
Katila Riita and Gautam Ahuja (2000): Something Old, Something New: A Longitudinal Study of Search Behavior and New Product Introductions, Academy of Management Journal, 45: 1183–1194.
Klein, Katherine J., Fred Dansereau, and Rosalie I. Hall (1994): Levels Issues in Theory Development, Data Collection, and Analysis, Academy of Management Review, 19: 195–229.
Kraatz Matthew S. and James H. Moore (2002): Executive Migration and Institutional Change, Academy of Management Journal, 45: 120–143.
Kumar, Nirmalya (1997): The Revolution in Retailing: from Market Driven to Market Driving, Long Range Planning, 30: 830–836.
Kyriakopoulos, Kyriakos and Christine Moorman, C. (2004): Tradeoffs in Marketing Exploitation and Exploration Strategies: The Overlooked Role of Market Orientation, International Journal of Research in Marketing, 21: 219–240.
Lavie Dovev and Lori Rosenkopf (2006): Balancing Exploration and Exploitation in Alliance Formation, Academy of Management Journal, 49: 791–818.
Lee, Jeho and Young U. Ryu (2002): Exploration, Exploitation, and Adaptive Rationality: The Neo-Schumperian Perspective, Simulation Modeling Practice and Theory, 10 (5–7): 297–320.
Leonard-Barton, Dorothy (1992): Core Capabilities and Core Rigidities: A Paradox in Managing New Product Development, Strategic Management Journal, 13 (S1): 111–125.
Lewis, Marianne W. (2000): Exploring Paradox: Toward a More Comprehensive Guide, Academy of Management Review, 25: 760–776.
Levinthal Daniel A. and James G. March (1993): The Myopia of Learning, Strategic Management Journal, 14: 95–112.
Li, Yang, Sun Guohui, and Martin J. Eppler (2008): Making Strategy Work: A Literature Review on the Factors Influencing Strategy Implementation, ICA Lugano, Working Paper 2/2008: 1–46.
Lubatkin, Michael H., Zeki Simek, Yan Lin, and John F. Veiga (2006): Ambidexterity and Performance in Small-to Medium-Sized Firms: The Pivotal Role of Top Management Team Behavioral Integration, Journal of Management, 32: 646–672.
March, James G. (1991): Exploration and Exploitation in Organizational Learning, Organization Science, 2: 71–87.
Mayr, Ernst (1942): Systematics and the Origin of Species, Columbia University Press: New York.
McDonough Edward F. and Richard Leifer (1983): Using Simultaneous Structures to Cope with Uncertainty, Academy of Management Journal, 26: 727–735.
McEwen, William (2008): The Chief Marketing Officer’s Dilemma, Gallup Management Journal, March 13, 2008, http://gmj.gallup.com/content/104704/Chief-Marketing-Officers-Dilemma.aspx (Access Date: 5 April, 2009)
McGrath, Rita G. (2001): Exploratory Learning, Innovative Capacity and Managerial Oversight, Academy of Management Journal, 44: 118–131.
McNamara, Peter and Charles Baden-Fuller, C. (1999): Lessons from the Celltech Case: Balancing Knowledge Exploration and Exploitation in Organizational Renewal, British Journal of Management, 10: 291–307.
McNamara, Peter, Charles Baden-Fuller, and James Howell (1999): The Rejuvenation of Celltech in the 1990s: Laying the Foundations of a FTSE 100 Company, ECCH Case Study No. 300-072-1.
Menguc, Bulent and Seigyoung Auh (2008): The Asymmetric Moderating Role of Market Orientation on the Ambidexterity — Firm Performance Relationship for Prospectors and Defenders, Industrial Marketing Management, 37: 455–470.
Miles, Matthew, B. and A. Michael Huberman (1984), Qualitative Data Analysis, 2nd ed., Sage Publications: London.
Miller, Danny and Peter H. Friesen (1984): Organizations: A Quantum View, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.
Miller, Danny and Peter H. Friesen (1986): Porter’s Generic Strategies and Performance, Organization Studies, 7: 37–56.
Mom, Tom J.M. (2007): Managers’ Exploration and Exploitation Activities: The Influence of Organizational Factors and Knowledge Inflows, Dissertation, Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Morris, Betsy (2008): What Makes Apple Golden, Fortune, March 17, 2008, 157 (5): 68–71.
Nemanich, Loise A. and Vera Duysa (2009): Transformational Leadership and Ambidexterity in the Context of an Acquisition, The Leadership Quarterly, 20: 19–33.
Noble, Charles H. (1999): Building the Strategy Implementation Network, Business Horizons, 42 (6): 19–28.
Noble, Charles H. and Michael P. Mokwa (1999): Implementing Marketing Strategies: Developing and Testing a Managerial Strategy, Journal of Marketing, 63 (4): 57–73.
O’Reilly Charles A. and Michael L. Tushman (2004): The Ambidextrous Organization, Harvard Business Review, 82 (4): 74–81.
O’Reilly Charles A. and Michael L. Tushman (2007): Ambidexterity as a Dynamic Capability: Resolving the Innovator’s Dilemma, Research Paper No. 1963, Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Osborn, Richard N., James G. Hunt, and Lawrence R. Jauch (2002): Toward a contextual theory of leadership, The Leadership Quarterly, 13: 707–837.
Peirce, John and Richard Robinson (2005): Formulation, Implementation, and Control of Competitive Strategy, New York: McGraw Hill
Porter, Michael E. (1980): Competitive Strategy, The Free Press: New York.
Porter, Michal E. (1996): What is Strategy?, Harvard Business Review, 74 (6): 61–78.
Puranam, Pranish, Harbir Singh, and Maurizio Zollo (2006): Organizing for Innovation: Managing the Coordination- Autonomy Dilemma in Technology Acquisitions, Academy of Management Journal, 49: 263–280.
Quelch, John A. (2005): Ambidextrous Marketing, The Wall Street Journal, October 11, B2.
Raisch, Sebastian (2008): Balanced Structures: Designing Organizations for Profitable Growth, Long Range Planning, 41: 483–508.
Raisch, Sebastian and Julian Birkinshaw (2008): Organizational Ambidexterity: Antecedents, Outcomes, and Moderators, Journal of Management, 34: 375–409.
Rapert, Molly I., Anne Velliquette, and Judith A. Garretson (2002): The Strategic Implementation Process Evoking Strategic Consensus through Communication, Journal of Business Research, 55: 301–310.
Roethaermel Frank T. and David L. Deeds (2004): Exploration and Exploitation Alliances in Biotechnology: A System of New Product Development, Strategic Management Journal, 25: 201–221.
Shashittal, Hemant C. and David Whilemon (1996): Marketing Implementation in Small and Midsized Industrial Firms, Industrial Marketing Management, 25: 67–78.
Schneider, Benjamin and David E. Bowen (1995): Winning the Service Game, Harvard University Press: Boston.
Sculley John and David Byrne (1987): Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple, A Journey of Adventure. Ideas and the Future, Harper Collins: New York, 147.
Siggelkow Nicolai and Daniel A. Levinthal (2003): Temporarily Divide to Conquer: Centralized, Decentralized, and Reintegrated Organizational Approaches to Exploration and Adaptation, Organization Science, 14: 650–669.
Simek, Zeki (2009): Organizational Ambidexterity: Towards a Multilevel Understanding, Journal of Management Studies, 46: 597–624.
Sirmon, David G., Michael Hitt, and R. Duane Ireland (2007): Managing firm-resources in dynamic environments to create value: Looking inside the black box, Academy of Management Review, 32: 273–292.
Smith, Wendy and Michael L. Tushman (2005): Managing Strategic Contradictions: A Top Management Model for Managing Innovation Streams, Organization Science, 16: 522–536.
Souder, William E. and Alok C. Chakrabarti, (1978): The R&D/Marketing Interface: Results from an Empirical Study on Innovation Projects, IEEE Transaction on Engineering, 25 (4): 88–93.
Sproull, Lee S. and Kay R. Hofmeister (1986): Thinking about Implementation, Journal of Management, 12: 43–60.
Srnka, Katharina J. and Sabine T. Koeszegi (2007): From Words to Numbers: How to Transform Qualitative Data into Meaningful Quantitative Results, Schmalenbach Business Review, 59: 29–57.
Teece, David, Gary Pisano, and Amy Shuen (1997): Dynamic Capabilities and Strategic Management, Strategic Management Journal, 18: 509–533.
Thompson James D. (1967): Organizations in Action: Social Sciences Bases of Administrative Theory, McGraw Hill: New York.
Tsai, Wenpin (2002): Social structure of ‘coopetition’ within a multiunit organization: Coordination, competition, and intraorganizational knowledge sharing, Organization Science, 13: 179–190.
Tushman, Michael L. and Elaine Romanelli (1994): Organizational Transformation as Punctuated Equilibrium: An Empirical Test, Academy of Management Journal, 37: 1141–1166.
Tushman Michael L. and Charles A. O’Reilly (1996): Ambidextrous Organizations: Managing Evolutionary and Revolutionary Change, California Management Review, 38 (4): 8–30.
Tushman Michael L. and Charles A. O’Reilly (1997): Winning Through Innovation: A Practical Guide to Leading Organizational Change and Renewal, Harvard University Press: Boston.
Virany, Beverly, Michael Tushman, and Elaine Romanelli (1992): Executive Succession and Organizational Outcomes in Turbulent Environments: An Organizational Learning Approach, Organization Science, 3: 72–92.
Volberda, Henk W. (1998): Building the Flexible Firm, Oxford University Press: Oxford.
Walker, Orville C. and Robert Rueckert (1987): Marketing’s Role in the Implementation of Business Strategy: A Critical Review and Conceptual Framework, Journal of Marketing, 51 (3): 15–33.
Walker, Orville C., Gilbert A. Churchill, and Neil M. Ford (1977): Motivation and Performance in Industrial Selling: Present Knowledge and Needed Research, Journal of Marketing Research, 14: 156–168.
Webb, James (1992): Understanding and Designing Marketing Research, Academic Press: London.
Westley, Frances (1990): Middle Managers and Strategy: Micro- dynamics and Inclusion, Strategic Management Journal, 11: 337–51.
White, J. Chris, Jeffrey S. Conant, and Raj Echambadi (2003): Marketing Strategy Development Styles, Implementation Capability, and Firm Performance: Investigating the Curvilinear Impact on Multiple Strategy-Making Styles, Marketing Letters, 14: 111–124.
Woolridge, Bill and Steven W. Floyd (1989): Research Notes and Communications: Strategic Process Effects on Consensus, Strategic Management Journal, 10: 295–302.
About this article
Cite this article
Prange, C., Schlegelmilch, B.B. The Role of Ambidexterity in Marketing Strategy Implementation: Resolving the Exploration-Exploitation Dilemma. Bus Res 2, 215–240 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03342712
- marketing dilemmas
- marketing strategy implementation