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Strategic entrepreneurship behaviour and the innovation ambidexterity of young technology-based firms in incubators

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  • M. Hughes
  • P. Hughes
  • R.E. Morgan
  • I.R. Hodgkinson
  • Y. Lee
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/05/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>International Small Business Journal
Issue number3
Number of pages26
Pages (from-to)202-227
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Innovation ambidexterity is especially complex for young technology-based firms because they are resource-challenged and knowledge deficient in strategic terms; but they possess considerable scope for entrepreneurship. Strategic entrepreneurship may provide a solution. Incubators emerged as a policy solution precisely due to this dilemma. We conceptualise that strategic entrepreneurship, as a synthesis of opportunity-seeking and advantage-seeking behaviours of young technology-based firms, can affect both explorative and exploitative innovation activities in these firms and expect that subsequent innovation ambidexterity affects profitability. Our empirical analyses reveal complex and competing interrelationships that both ease and exacerbate the tensions associated with innovation ambidexterity. We contribute to theory by testing strategic entrepreneurship as it applies to innovation ambidexterity and evidence behaviours that contribute to its foundations. To entrepreneurs and managers, we offer a set of prescriptions for innovation ambidexterity in young firms that accounts for the complementarities between complex and theoretically opposing constructs.