Open Access

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

Frontiers of Business Research in ChinaSelected Publications from Chinese Universities20093:14

Published: 23 May 2009


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.


new product developmentinnovationambidextrous organizationdual structureknowledge explorationknowledge exploitation