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Ambisinisterity, success traps and the base of the pyramid

Millington, Nadia (2015) Ambisinisterity, success traps and the base of the pyramid. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Abstract

The failure to simultaneously explore and exploit (i.e. achieve ambidexterity) continues to present an ongoing challenge for Multinational Corporations (MNCs). Here, exploration involves “experimentation with new alternatives” and exploitation, “refinement and extension of existing competencies, technologies and paradigms”. This problem is particularly acute for MNCs exploring disenfranchised/poverty prone segments (such as the Base of the Pyramid), whilst exploiting existing strongholds in wealthier segments of emerging market contexts. Yet there continues to be a dearth of academic scholarship on this phenomenon. This thesis aims to address this gap. It comprises two sections - The first section presents a systematic review of ambidexterity failure literature (referred to as ambisinisterity), which is then paired with insights from institutional theory to examine factors that account for MNC failure, specifically within low munificence emerging market contexts. The second section investigates one theoretical perspective within the ambisinisterity tradition, viz. a success trap. Fundamentally, a success trap refers to the tendency of an organisation to overspecialise in exploitation at the expense of exploration. This thesis examines this theory from the countervailing perspective of exploration under-adaptation and draws on a longitudinal inductive qualitative single case study of XXX India’s Healthcare Division to develop theoretical insights. My findings illustrate that exploration under-adaptation in emerging markets results from the dynamic interplay of accelerated learning and divergence mechanisms. Should these processes not be constrained and monitored with like rigour, MNC failure to explore in resource-constrained environments will continue to confound Top Management Teams.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2015 Nadia Miranda Millington
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Sets: Departments > Management
Supervisor: Barkema, Harry
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/3380

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