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Ambidexterity in collaborative new product development processes

Kim Sundtoft Hald (Department of Operations Management, Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark)
Chiara Nordio (Department of Operations Management, Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark)

Business Process Management Journal

ISSN: 1463-7154

Article publication date: 24 November 2020

Issue publication date: 17 May 2021




The objective of the present research is to explore how firms, when engaged in collaborative new product development (NPD) activities, may be understood to be successful or unsuccessful in achieving ambidextrous processes. The study explores the organizational and managerial practices inside the firm and in the supply chain that enable or constrain the firm in reaching a balance between exploitation and exploration when engaged with NPD.


A case study approach was adopted with the ambition to develop new theoretical insight. Insights from multiple NPD projects in a single highly innovative firm were collected and coded.


The analysis shows how the organization of the NPD projects, alignment strategies, approaches to reward structure, supplier integration willingness and absorptive capacity were all formative in the firms' abilities to achieve ambidexterity in the NPD processes.


The presented research expands knowledge of how ambidextrous NPD processes can be reached. It demonstrates how a complex combination of factors and practices internal to the firm and concerning its supplier management strategies and practices enables or constrains ambidexterity in NPD processes. The results allow managers to devise more informed strategies and design decisions to enable NPD processes that reach adequate and simultaneous concerns for exploitation and exploration.



Hald, K.S. and Nordio, C. (2021), "Ambidexterity in collaborative new product development processes", Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 27 No. 3, pp. 987-1008.



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