Managing Ambidextrous Organizations for corporate transformation: A case study of Fujifilm’s transformation process, Japan
Abstract: Within previous research on innovation management, the concept of ambidextrous organizations that allow the two different activities of exploration and exploitation with their different objectives and characteristics to coexist within an organization while being separated has been presented. Regardless of the fact that the relationship between exploration and exploitation differs depending on situations, existing literature does not consider these differences and therefore has only limited relevance and effectiveness.
Most of the companies involved in the photographic film either withdrew or went bankrupt with the onslaught of digitalization. Konica Minolta quit the film and camera businesses in 2006, and Polaroid went bankrupt in 2001. Then in 2012, Kodak, a company that had made major contributions to the film camera industry, also failed.
2. Theoretical considerations on ambidextrous organizations
2.1 Exploration and exploitation
Sustainable corporate growth requires the two types of activities, exploration, and exploitation, activities which are different in objective and character (March 1991). However, excessive inclination toward either is not desirable. Excess bias toward exploration activities will impact on profitability due to the costs and time involved. Conversely, tendencies toward exploitation can lead to short-sighted profitability but can be detrimental to medium-term competitiveness due to neglecting to foster new business.
2.2 Analytical framework – the relationship between exploration and exploitation
To deepen my understanding of the relationship between exploration and exploitation, I will begin by discussing specific circumstances surrounding exploration activities. Exploration refers to the activities of experiment and trial and error related to learning and the acquisition of new knowledge.
This research has exploratory aspects of extracting details of certain people and organizations involved in corporate innovation activities, gathering data regarding the processes of their activities, and carefully analyzing these. Therefore, the authors have adopted a qualitative survey and case study analysis as their methodology.
3. Case Study: The Fujifilm corporate transformationprocess1
Established in 1934, Fujifilm today has approximately 78,400 consolidated staff worldwide and 272 consolidated companies (as of December 2015). As a group under FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation, Fujifilm has operating companies Fujifilm Corporation and Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd. as well as Toyama Chemical Co., Ltd., acquired in recent years, and Fujifilm Business Expert Corporation, which provides shared services.
Task 1 (CW 2500 words)
Provide an analytical review of the paper outlining the main themes and issues discussed and implications of these for managing organizational change and innovation.
Task 2 (CW2 2500 words)
- Drawing on other journal papers and academic materials critically evaluates the extent to which organizations can develop and maintain a culture of change and innovation.
- Provide some conclusions and recommendations which address the implications you have identified within both tasks.