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The effects of lean management on the tension between exploration and exploitation in SMEs

Borrèl, C.A. (2013) The effects of lean management on the tension between exploration and exploitation in SMEs.

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Abstract:The tension between exploitative innovation and explorative innovation is a result of a firm’s need to be efficient on the short-term and flexible on the long-term. It has become increasingly important that a firm needs to pursue both innovation types to create sustainably superior performance. A lot of research has already been done on how larger firms can deal with this tension. However, still little is known on how SMEs, which are relatively constrained by its resources efforts and attention, can best deal with this tension. Moreover, this research did not focus on randomly selected SMEs but on SMEs engaged in lean management. This, because it is suggested that SMEs engaged in lean management will focus on increasing efficiency within the organization and along the value stream of its products by pursuing exploitative innovations. The aim of this research was therefore to find out what the effects of lean management are on an SMEs behavior in relation to the tension, and how an SME engaged in lean management can best achieve sustainably superior performance. This research conducted questionnaires and interviews at five SMEs engaged in lean management to test hypotheses derived from the current literature. The findings of this research suggest that the current literature is incomplete in the constraints that an SME faces in its decision on how to deal with this tension. In addition, the findings suggest that current literature is incorrect in generalizing entire SMEs engaged in lean management by exploitative characteristics. Furthermore, this research suggests how SMEs engaged in lean management can best achieve sustainably superior performance.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration BSc (56834)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/63732
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