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Organizational diversity and shared vision: Resolving the paradox of exploratory and exploitative learning

Catherine L. Wang (School of Management, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, UK)
Mohammed Rafiq (The Business School, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)

European Journal of Innovation Management

ISSN: 1460-1060

Article publication date: 23 January 2009

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Abstract

Purpose

The aims of this paper are: to address the tensions pertinent to exploration and exploitation from the organizational learning perspective; to conceptualize how organizational diversity and shared vision, as two core components of organizational culture, help resolve these tensions; and to discuss the organizational configurations necessary for instilling organizational diversity and shared vision.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a conceptual paper that focuses on the role of organizational culture in promoting corporate entrepreneurship from the organizational learning perspective.

Findings

Organizational diversity and shared vision are important for a balanced approach to exploratory and exploitative learning. Organizational parameters must be aligned to instil the two types of organizational culture to achieve either simultaneous or sequential ambidexterity.

Research limitations/implications

The key theoretical arguments regarding the role of organizational diversity and shared vision in entrepreneurial learning may be adopted for empirical testing in future research.

Practical implications

The arguments of the paper caution that organizations must not only focus on entrepreneurial values in terms of diversity and creativity, but also promote goal‐oriented behavior through instilling a shared vision to integrate individual learning in organizational learning and to balance the need for different types of learning in the corporate entrepreneurship process.

Originality/value

The paper articulates the different learning styles and mechanisms involved in the exploratory and exploitative learning and then elaborates on the role of organizational diversity and shared vision in resolving the paradox of exploration and exploitation.

Keywords

Citation

Wang, C.L. and Rafiq, M. (2009), "Organizational diversity and shared vision: Resolving the paradox of exploratory and exploitative learning", European Journal of Innovation Management, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 86-101. https://doi.org/10.1108/14601060910928184

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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