Impact and Innovation: How Can NGOs Manage Both? A Single-Case Study on Ambidexterity in a Dynamic Environment
Sammanfattning: Organizational ambidexterity is a concept that captures an organization's ability to manage business efficiently by exploiting existing solutions, and to cope with future demand by exploring new opportunities. Scarce resources amplify the need for efficiency, while a dynamic environment demands adaptation and innovation. Resource-constrained organizations operating in dynamic environments are, thus, especially interesting subjects to study within the field of ambidexterity. This thesis constitutes a single-case study that explores to which extent an NGO operating in Kenya incorporates exploitation and exploration to maximize impact and ensure long-term relevance. NGOs rely primarily on financial resources from donors that demand tangible results, typically requiring the exploitation of proven concepts. Simultaneously, Kenya's dynamic environment requires the exploration of new concepts for the NGO to adapt and remain relevant in the long term. The study explores this contradiction and concludes that despite the pressure experienced by the NGO to be resource efficient, it incorporates both exploitation and exploration and is, hence, ambidextrous. The study finds that exploitation is more prominent than exploration, although both are present in the organization. The identified reasons for this allocation toward exploitation are the dependency on resources from donors and norms in the charity industry, while exploration is driven by a dynamic environment and excitement about innovation within and around the organization. The study contributes to the literature on organizational ambidexterity and the field of NGOs and organizations in similar contexts.
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