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Managing the exploitation-exploration tradeoff: how leaders balance incremental and discontinuous innovation

Saša Baškarada (Defence Science and Technology Group, Melbourne, Australia)
Jamie Watson (Defence Science and Technology Group, Canberra, Australia)

Development and Learning in Organizations

ISSN: 1477-7282

Article publication date: 3 July 2017

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explain how leaders balance exploitation (incremental innovation) and exploration (discontinuous innovation).

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative study with 11 senior leaders in Australian Defence Force.

Findings

The study identifies a number of factors that leaders take into account when deciding whether to focus on exploitation or on exploration.

Originality/value

The study concludes that transactional leadership is appropriate in the context of exploitation, while transformational leadership is appropriate in the context of exploration.

Keywords

Citation

Baškarada, S. and Watson, J. (2017), "Managing the exploitation-exploration tradeoff: how leaders balance incremental and discontinuous innovation", Development and Learning in Organizations, Vol. 31 No. 4, pp. 13-16. https://doi.org/10.1108/DLO-10-2016-0096

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Commonwealth of Australia.

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