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A Project Portfolio Management Approach to Tackling the Exploration/Exploitation Trade-off

: Linhart, Alexander; Röglinger, Maximilian; Stelzl, Katharina

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Business & information systems engineering 62 (2020), No.2, pp.103-119
ISSN: 1867-0202
ISSN: 0937-6429
ISSN: 2363-7005
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer FIT ()
organizational ambidexterity; exploration; Project Portfolio Management; value-based management; decision model

Organizational ambidexterity (OA) is an essential capability for surviving in dynamic business environments that advocates the simultaneous engagement in exploration and exploitation. Over the last decades, knowledge on OA has substantially matured, covering insights into antecedents, out-comes, and moderators of OA. However, there is little prescriptive knowledge that offers guidance on how to put OA into practice and to tackle the trade-off between exploration and exploitation. To address this gap, we adopted the design science research paradigm and proposed an economic decision model as artefact. The decision model assists organizations in selecting and scheduling exploration and exploitation projects to become ambidextrous in an economically reasonable manner. As for justificatory knowledge, the decision model draws from prescriptive knowledge on project portfolio management and value-based management, and from descriptive knowledge related to OA to structure the field of action. To evaluate the decision model, we discussed its design specification against theory-backed de-sign objectives and with industry experts. We also instantiated the decision model as a software proto-type and applied the prototype to a case based on real-world data.