Creative Firms Need to Exhibit Ambidexterity: A Case Study of Working From an Ambidextrous Business Model

Jens-Ulrik Helmbæk

Student thesis: Master thesis


Purpose: ​The grand challenge investigated in this report is what central ability to a creative firm makes it successful in exploiting existing assets in a profit producing way while simultaneously explore new ways of doing things in order to ensure its future viability? In other words what processes and dynamic capabilities makes a company able to stay creative and financially viable when working from an ambidextrous business model in the cultural industries? The cultural industries are known for being dynamic and volatile so the responsibility is often on managers to find the firm specific answers to solve the issues and meet the dual hurdles of exploration and exploitation.
Methodology: ​The thesis investigate the research topic by conducting a case study of ‘​mellow’, a creative production company that focus on both explorative and exploitative projects. A comparative analysis is made of two projects in mellow that each represent explorative and exploitative processes. The thesis data is derived from qualitative interviews with the owners of the company. The thesis uses both deductive and inductive methods by comparing results from the case study with the theoretical assumptions in order to both test the theories and to establish new knowledge on the research subject.
Results: In terms of the findings from the case study and the theoretical framework, it revealed that the main processes that contribute to a company's creativity and financial viability is exploration and exploitation. The results showed that the two processes each represent different dynamic capabilities in terms of competencies, resources, learning and trade­off The dynamic capabilities that enable a company to stay creative and financially viable can be generalized as the ability of the managers to configure the organization to both explore and exploit. It requires a clear formulated strategy and a vision from the senior team, and it requires integrative mechanisms like an open culture with focus on collaboration and a strong focus on exploiting the benefits of the simultaneous pursuit of exploration and exploitation.
Originality: ​The knowledge created via the research is strongly influenced by the actors constructing it. The reliability of the interviews answers will of course be influenced by each interviewee's own subjective experiences. Also the fact that the writer of the report is an owner of the case company should be considered in relation to the validity of the report.

EducationsMSocSc in Management of Creative Business Processes , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages145