Solving the Paradox of Exploitation and Exploration: Leveraging Organizational Levels to Achieve Ambidexterity
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The objective of the current thesis is to contract the gap previous literature has left around the issue of deploying multiple modes of balancing the exploitation/exploration paradox simultaneously, and help mature corporations maximize profit by leveraging organizational levels to achieve ambidexterity. For the theoretical part, snowballing is the primary research method. An article by March (1991) served as the starting point, and further theory was found by identifying articles where that particular work had been cited. For the empirical part, an embedded case study on Finn.no through interviews is the primary research method. A total of three frameworks have been constructed to understand, structure and solve the paradox on multiple levels. The Pathway Framework suggests that exploitation and exploration are two explicit pathways to profit, the Ambidexterity Framework is a way of structuring the internal and external modes for balancing the paradox and the Hierarchical Ambidexterity Framework links these balancing modes directly to the locus of implementation and decomposes the strategies into a structure of four organizational levels. Several balancing modes from the Ambidexterity Framework have been recognized in Finn, including contextual ambidexterity, structural ambidexterity, punctuated equilibrium, and domain separation. The efforts flow according to the Hierarchical Ambidexterity Framework, at the individual, business, corporate and network levels of strategy, respectively. Thus, Finn has solved the paradox of exploitation and exploration operates ambidextrously. Further, and most important for this thesis – Finn have even succeeded in balancing exploitative and exploratory ideas on multiple organizational levels simultaneously.