Vulnerability in Exploration - A case study
Perustieteiden korkeakoulu | Master's thesis
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Master’s Programme in Industrial Engineering and Management
67 + 8
AbstractExploration activities are weaker than exploitation in the competition of scarce organizational resource. The weakness or the vulnerability in exploration has an impact on the survival of the exploration activity. These vulnerabilities in exploration activities also causes organizational tensions. This thesis explores a) various vulnerabilities of an exploration activity in a technology company and how these vulnerabilities are interlinked b) how organizational tensions caused by these vulnerabilities are perceived at different levels of organization. Building on the current literature of organizational theory and strategic management, the thesis puts forward a causal relationship of different vulnerabilities in exploration activities. The thesis also proposes a model which shows how organizational tensions percolate the walls of organizational hierarchy. To study the phenomena empirically, a qualitative explorative approach is undertaken. In the case study company, 25 semi-structured interviews were conducted. Gioia’s methodology is used to analyze the data. The main findings of the thesis are a) Identifying the main vulnerabilities of the exploration activity and finding a causal relationship among them b) Identifying how various tensions flow through organizational hierarchy and how their intensity changes at different organizational hierarchy. In terms of theoretical significance, the thesis provides a new insight into relationship between various vulnerabilities of exploration activities and how these vulnerabilities accentuate each other. This study can also be used by top management team, in their quest to improve the survival of exploration activities, by analyzing what vulnerabilities of exploration activities are not by design and hence can be corrected.
Thesis advisorRissanen, Jaakko
exploration, paradox, organizational tension, resource dependence, neo-institutional theory, group relations