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Can you balance the gaps? Ambidexterity in service firms

PublikationArtikel (med peer review)
Ambidexterity, Christina Öberg, Service firms

Sammanfattning

Purpose
Ambidexterity refers to the ability to balance contradictory items and has been extensively described in relation to technological advancement in large-sized manufacturing firms. Few studies on hospitality and tourism firms have described the balancing of innovative developments, often focusing on the operational level of firms. Ambidexterity could though be understood also in dimensions of customer/market development and collaborative interaction. This paper describes and discusses ambidexterity in the dimensions of technological advancement, customer/market development and collaborative interaction in service firms to inspire this debate and bridge the gap between strategy and the service field.

Design/methodology/approach
A case study describing a service firm’s 25-year development functions as the empirical source of inspiration to understand how service firms also in tourism and hospitality sectors would work with strategies and their developments related to technology, customers and collaboration. The case study is analysed using an activity-based time schedule to capture dimensions of ambidexterity and how they are linked to one another.

Findings
The findings indicate how the service firm balanced exploitation and exploration over time, rather than allowing such activities to occur simultaneously and in parallel. Generally, the firm only managed to explore in one dimension at the time.

Originality/value
The paper broadens the lens on ambidexterity to include collaboration and customer involvement and the link among the various dimensions of ambidexterity. It also discusses how ambidexterity in these dimensions may be handled by service firms so as to inspire strategic developments among tourism and hospitality firms.

Öberg, C. & Kollberg, B. (2021). Can you balance the gaps? Ambidexterity in service firms. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights, 4(3), 245-262.


Liknande innehåll

Open marketing – Conceptualizing external parties’ strategic marketing activities
Artikel (med peer review)Publikation
Öberg, C.
Publiceringsår

2020

Sammanfattning

Open marketing as conceptualized in this paper refers to how external parties take part in strategic, integrative marketing activities. To distinguish this more recent trend in marketing from traditional meanings of marketing, the paper provides a typology on roles and role keepers in marketing. Four types of roles and role keepers are outlined: marketing as 1) solely being performed by actors in the supplier company communicating offerings, 2) an activity shared among functions of the supplier company, 3) external parties communicating offerings, and 4) external parties contributing to strategic marketing. Using the concept of ‘roles’ in marketing helps to structure activities and actors – or roles and role keepers – and provides a basis for understanding that marketing results from what is done, not merely from who performs it. The paper underlines how new ways of conducting business also have implications for a company’s marketing beyond its borders.

Disruptive and paradoxical roles in the sharing economies
Artikel (med peer review)Publikation
Öberg, C.
Publiceringsår

2021

Sammanfattning

The sharing economy could be said to disrupt who does what in exchanges. This paper categorises the roles played by users, providers, and platforms in different interpretations of the sharing economy. It asks: What different roles do the users, providers, and platforms play in the sharing economy? And: How do the roles differ in various interpretations of the sharing economy? The paper classifies the different interpretations based on their market/non-market logic and concludes that roles are more extensive for users and providers in non-market logic interpretations, while market logic suggests that the platform acts more roles. The user is, despite the peer-to-peer connotation of the sharing economy, often quite passive. Contributions are made to the emerging literature on the sharing economy through highlighting its many different interpretations, where roles help to systematise these. The paper furthermore contributes to the literature on roles through highlighting them as transitory and expanding beyond expectations related to digitalisation. Practically, the systematisation of roles helps to navigate among various business model designs and makes informed decisions when launching platforms in the sharing economy. Additionally, the focus on roles raises important questions on risk sharing, resource provisions, and the creation of value for each participating party.

Inside the incubator – business relationship creations among incubated firms
Artikel (med peer review)Publikation
Öberg, C., Klinton, M. & Stockhult, H.
Publiceringsår

2020

Sammanfattning

Purpose
Incubators, as providers of advice and resources, suggest fostering the development of early-idea firms. Literature and practice seem to suggest an ever-increasing amount of incubator support. The creation of business relationships is at the heart of any business development, and this paper addresses whether a laissez-faire incubator fosters the creation of business relationships. The purpose of this paper is to explore the creation of business relationships among incubated firms during and after their time in the incubator along with the roles that these relationships play for the incubated firms.

Design/methodology/approach
Empirically, the paper is based on retrospective interviews with representatives of all incubated firms in a university incubator. A total of fifteen interviews were conducted with representatives of the incubated firms, the incubator and its owners, complemented by secondary data sources.

Findings
The paper points out three antecedents for business relationship creation: the lack of experience and connections; convenience; and trust based on the interactions with others in the incubator. These antecedents are connected to the roles of transforming businesses and of adaptation in the dyadic relationships. The laissez-faire incubator helped through the learning-by-doing among the incubated firms, which made them focus on business relationship creation from early on.

Originality/value
Most incubator research portrays the unilateral transfer of knowledge from the incubator to the incubated firm, with the latter being a service taker rather than a co-producer. The paper adds knowledge about business relationships among firms in incubators and the roles that these business relationships could play for the firms. The focus on an incubator providing limited support is of high practical relevance, given the trend of incubators facilitating more and more services.

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