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Embracing the unplanned: Organizational ambidexterity within manufacturing SMEs
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Supply Chain and Operations Management. Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Lifelong learning/Encell.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8993-4306
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Industrial Product Development, Production and Design.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1613-2636
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Supply Chain and Operations Management.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4394-4939
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Supply Chain and Operations Management.
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2019 (English)In: Academy of Management Proceedings, Academy of Management , 2019, article id 14906Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Organizational Ambidexterity (OA)–the ability to simultaneously pursue exploration and exploitation–is increasingly being advocated as a way to gain competitive advantage. Most of the work on OA has focused on large, multi-divisional organizations, resulting in frameworks and prescriptions that have little utility for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). With this in mind, we report on the first year of an exploratory, quasi-experimental study of ambidexterity within six small-to-medium manufacturing enterprises in Sweden. The research is characterized by an emic, ‘invented here’ approach, where companies closely examine their current exploration and exploitation practices, use their findings to formulate more advanced OA approaches uniquely suited to their values and circumstances, and iteratively apply and refine these over a four year period. It appears that the construct of ‘unplanned’ and associated sub-constructs such as ‘disturbance, crashes, and interruption’ could be an important key to framing and improving OA within these SMEs and perhaps more generally.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Academy of Management , 2019. article id 14906
Series
Academy of Management Proceedings, ISSN 0065-0668, E-ISSN 2151-6561 ; 1
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-45623DOI: 10.5465/AMBPP.2019.14906abstractOAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-45623DiVA, id: diva2:1344002
Conference
79th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management (AOM) 2019, August 9-13, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Available from: 2019-08-20 Created: 2019-08-20 Last updated: 2023-06-02Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Organisational ambidexterity in practice: a study of managerial work in manufacturing SMEs
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Organisational ambidexterity in practice: a study of managerial work in manufacturing SMEs
2020 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Jönköping: Jönköping University, School of Engineering, 2020. p. 57
Series
JTH Dissertation Series ; 051
Keywords
Organisational ambidexterity, Manufacturing SMEs, Managerial work, Organisatorisk ambidexteritet, Tillverkande små till medelstora företag, Ledningsarbete
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-47360 (URN)978-91-87289-54-5 (ISBN)
Presentation
2020-01-23, E1405, Tekniska Högskolan, Jönköping University, Jönköping, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2020-01-13 Created: 2020-01-13 Last updated: 2020-01-13Bibliographically approved
2. Unplanned managerial work: A driver for knowledge creation and innovation capabilities in manufacturing SMEs
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Unplanned managerial work: A driver for knowledge creation and innovation capabilities in manufacturing SMEs
2023 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Manufacturing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are important as they contribute to economic growth, employment opportunities and social integration. Their innovation capability is central to strengthening competitiveness, adaptability, and developing new sustainable solutions. However, these organisations often lack the resources to have separate research and development departments. As a result, the same employees are often responsible for both keeping operations running and developing the organisation’s innovation capabilities. This dissertation adopts an intra-organisational perspective on knowledge creation to strengthen innovation capabilities and for this, managerial work is key. Therefore, the purpose of this dissertation is to investigate managerial work in the context of manufacturing SMEs to understand innovation capabilities through a knowledge creation perspective.

This research involved a collaborative and interactive approach, as the researcher worked closely with six manufacturing SMEs. Studies were conducted using a variety of in-depth, qualitative research methods, including workshops, focus groups, diaries, interviews, shadowing and feedback sessions. These methods allowed for a comprehensive understanding of SMEs’ managerial work from different perspectives.

Three key characteristics of managerial work in manufacturing SMEs were identified. First, managerial work is initiated externally or internally. Second, managerial work is planned or unplanned where the former supports the explicit and the latter supports the implicit dimensions of managerial work processes. Third, it results in both matched and mismatched activities. For knowledge creation to take place, both planned and unplanned managerial work are important. The findings suggest that by embracing the multidimensional managerial work and providing opportunities for both planned and unplanned work, including individual and joint reflection, manufacturing SMEs can enhance their innovation capabilities to thrive in a rapidly changing business environment.

Abstract [sv]

Små och medelstora tillverkande företag (SMF) är viktiga då de bidrar till ekonomisk tillväxt, arbetstillfällen och social integration. Deras innovationsförmåga är central för att stärka konkurrenskraften, anpassningsbarheten och utveckla nya hållbara lösningar. Dessa organisationer saknar emellertid ofta resurser för att ha separata forsknings- och utvecklingsavdelningar, vilket innebär att de behöver driva verksamheten samtidigt som de utvecklar den. Denna avhandling antar ett intraorganisatoriskt perspektiv där kunskapsveckling, det vill säga lärande, anses stärka innovationsförmågan, och för detta är ledningsarbetet avgörande. Syftet med denna avhandling är att undersöka ledningsarbetet i kontexten av tillverkande SMF för att förstå innovationsförmågan genom ett lärande perspektiv.

Denna forskning genomfördes i nära samarbete med sex tillverkande SMF. Med en interaktiv ansats utfördes tre studier med hjälp av djupgående kvalitativa forskningsmetoder, såsom workshops, fokusgrupper, dagböcker, intervjuer, skuggning och feedbacksessioner. Dessa studier möjliggjorde en bred förståelse för SMFs ledningsarbete från olika perspektiv.

Tre karaktärsdrag för ledningsarbetet i de medverkande SMFs identifierades. För det första initieras ledningsarbetet antingen externt eller internt. För det andra kan ledningsarbetet vara planerat eller oplanerat, där det planerade stödjer de explicita dimensionerna och det oplanerade stödjer de implicita dimensionerna av ledningsarbetets processer. För det tredje resulterar ledningsarbetet i både matchade och omatchade aktiviteter. För att lärande ska äga rum är både planerat och oplanerat ledningsarbete viktigt. Resultaten visar att genom att omfamna det mångdimensionella ledningsarbetet och öppna upp för och värdesätta både planerat och oplanerat arbete, inklusive individuell och gemensam reflektion, kan tillverkande SMF stärka sin innovationsförmåga för att bättre klara sig i en snabbt föränderlig affärsmiljö.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Jönköping: Jönköping University, School of Engineering, 2023. p. 75
Series
JTH Dissertation Series ; 079
Keywords
Managerial Work, Manufacturing SMEs, Knowledge Creation, Innovation Capabilities, Ledningsarbete, Tillverkande SMF, Lärande, Innovationsförmåga
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-60640 (URN)978-91-87289-90-3 (ISBN)978-91-87289-91-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2023-08-18, E1405 (Gjuterisalen), School of Engineering, Jönköping, 09:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2023-06-02 Created: 2023-06-02 Last updated: 2023-06-02Bibliographically approved

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Engström, AnnikaBarry, DavedSollander, KristinaEdh Mirzaei, NinaJohansson, Anette

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