"Barry and Hansen have gathered an impressive array of contributors to speculate where the management and organization field might be headed. The Handbook offers refreshing and proactive insights that confront our assumptions about organizations and challenge us to expand our thinking and inquiry. It it must reading for anyone who seeks to understand how we look at, live in, and act on organizations."—Thomas G. Cummings, Marshall School of Business, University of Southern CaliforniaTen years ago critical theory and postmodernism were considered new and emerging theories in Business and Management. What will be the next new important theories to shape the field? In one edited volume, David Barry and Hans Hansen have commissioned new chapters that will allow readers to stay one step ahead of the latest thinking. Contributors draw on research and practice to introduce ideas that are considered 'fringe' and controversial today, but may be key theoretical contributions tomorrow. Each chapter sets these ideas in their historical context, lays out the key theoretical positions taken by each new approach and makes it clear why these approaches are different to more mainstream concepts. Throughout contributors refer to existing studies that show how these developing themes will change the Business and Management arena.Researchers, teachers and advanced students who are interested in the future of Business and Management scholarship will want to read this Handbook.
Chapter 53: ‘Enriching Research on Exploration and Exploitation’
‘Enriching Research on Exploration and Exploitation’
Much of the recent research on organization learning makes use of the well-known constructs of exploration and exploitation. The seminal March (1991) paper on these issues has been heavily cited, yet this plethora of research has yielded conflicting theory and results on the antecedents and outcomes of these activities. At the heart of this confusion is the great variety of operationalizations employed by researchers in service of the exploration versus exploitation construct.
March (1991: 71) offers a veritable playground of opportunities for observing these activities:
Exploration includes things captured by terms such as search, variation, risk taking, experimentation, play, flexibility, discovery, innovation. Exploitation includes such things as refinement, choice, production, efficiency, selection, implementation, execution.
While these terms ...