Dynamic client portfolios as sources of ambidexterity: exploration and exploitation within and across client relationships

Rebecca Bednarek, Gary Burke, Paula Jarzabkowski, Michael Smets

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper explains how dynamic client portfolios can be a source of ambidexterity (i.e., exploration and exploitation) for knowledge-intensive firms (KIFs). Drawing from a unique qualitative dataset of firms in the global reinsurance market, we show how different types of client relationships underpin a dynamic client portfolio and become a source of ambidexterity for a KIF. We develop a process model to show how KIFs attain knowledge by segmenting their client portfolios, use that knowledge to explore and exploit within and across their client relationships, and dynamically adjust their client portfolios over time. Our study contributes to the literature on external sources of ambidexterity and dynamic management of client knowledge within KIFs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324–341
Number of pages8
JournalLong Range Planning
Volume49
Issue number3
Early online date24 Dec 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016

Bibliographical note

© 2015, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Funding: ESRC (ES/K00926/1; RES-186-27-0020; RES-173-27-0163); British Academy of Management (SG091192) Insurance Intellectual Capital Initiative, Worshipful Company of Insurers, and Lloyd's Tercentennary Foundation.

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