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Innovation paradox and ambidextrous organization: A case study on development teams of air conditioner in Haier


While knowledge exploration and exploitation represent two distinct activities requiring corresponding organizational arrangements, new product development calls for a dynamic combination of the two. Based on a systematic review of the paradox between knowledge exploration and exploitation and various resolving strategies, this research extends the construct of organizational ambidexterity from dual structure to ambidextrous capabilities, and suggests a dialectical method for reconciling this paradox at lower organizational levels. Based on a case study on the development teams of air conditioner in Haier, we find that ambidexterity is a multi-level construct existing not only at the organization level but also at lower levels such as teams and individuals like model managers.


新产品开发作为企业自主创新活动的一种重要形式, 是知识探索与知识利用有机结合的过程。 在对二者悖论关系及其处理方略进行系统文献综述的基础上, 将 两栖组织的定义从 “二元结构”、 “二面性结构” 伸展到 “两栖能力”, 试图在较低的 组织层次上回答如何辩证地解决二者看似矛盾实则可统一的关系。 在对海尔空调开 发团队的成员构成及异质性知识组合案例分析后, 得出的结论是, “两栖” 不仅是组 织层面的构念, 而且可以是团队乃至像 “型号经理” 这样的个体员工层面的构念。


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Correspondence to Fengbin Wang.

Additional information

Translated and revised from Jingji Guanli 经济管理 (Economic Management), 2008, (11): 44–49 and Jingji Lilun yu Jingji Guanli 经济理论与经济管理 (Economic Theory and Business Management), 2008, (2): 51–57

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About this article


  • new product development
  • innovation
  • ambidextrous organization
  • dual structure
  • knowledge exploration
  • knowledge exploitation


  • 新产品开发
  • 创新
  • 两栖组织
  • 二元结构
  • 知识探索
  • 知识利用