Structuring Innovation

  • Aaron C. T. SmithEmail author
  • Fiona Sutherland
  • David H. Gilbert


This chapter introduces a second case study exposing a complex network of simultaneous explore and exploit activities undertaken by a large firm over a decade. It depicts a response to the explore—exploit paradox where switching emphasis and resources between the two priorities failed, leading to a novel combination of heavy exploitation-driven actions alongside deep exploration projects. The chapter examines how the firm’s success emanated from its fluid organizing forms approach to dealing with the explore—exploit tension. Instead of seeking to constrain the tension, the firm escalated it into a productive and dynamic source of innovation. Fluidity, the chapter concludes, commands a central place in fostering an ambidexterity-friendly environment


Fluid innovation Explore—exploit tension Case study 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aaron C. T. Smith
    • 1
    Email author
  • Fiona Sutherland
    • 2
  • David H. Gilbert
    • 3
  1. 1.RMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.La Trobe UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.RMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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