Article | Academy of Management Annals

Exploration and Exploitation within and across Organizations

by Dovev Lavie, Uriel Stettner and Michael Tushman


Jim March's framework of exploration and exploitation has drawn substantial interest from scholars studying phenomena such as organizational learning, knowledge management, innovation, organizational design, and strategic alliances. This framework has become an essential lens for interpreting various behaviors and outcomes within and across organizations. Despite its straightforwardness, this framework has generated debates concerning the definition of exploration and exploitation and their measurement, antecedents, and consequences. We critically review the growing literature on exploration and exploitation discuss various perspectives, raise conceptual and empirical concerns, underscore challenges for further development of this literature, and provide directions for future research.

Keywords: Learning; Framework; Innovation and Invention; Knowledge Management; Organizational Design; Outcome or Result; Alliances; Behavior;


Lavie, Dovev, Uriel Stettner, and Michael Tushman. "Exploration and Exploitation within and across Organizations." Academy of Management Annals 4 (2010): 109–155.