Business model innovation and digitalization: Could ambidexterity be the solution to manage both? – A conceptual framework with propositions

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Patrick Ulrich ORCID logo, Alexandra Fibitz

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The current economic situation is in constant flux. Progress in technology and especially the advancement of digital transformation have influenced business endeavors. In this realm, digitalization is closely linked to a high degree of digital disruption and the development of new products, services, and business models. In this paper, we aim to investigate how enterprises simultaneously handle digitalization and business model innovation. We employ an ambidexterity perspective to gain new knowledge and get the traction that is needed to make a conceptual contribution. Thus, a theoretical framing that includes the relationship between business model innovation and digitalization and propositions congruent with our general gestalt of the inquiry will be developed. The results indicate, despite some structural and processual commonalities that digitalization and business model innovation share, the mission to manage both phenomena remains challenging. In particular, some peculiarities inherent in the ambidexterity perspective need to be taken into account. Particularly under the constraints of a high degree of resource scarcity, it is important to strive for sustainable actions that lead to increased value creation and competitive advantage. Thus, this study implements an ambidexterity perspective on the two distinct areas of technology and innovation and provide groundings for further research avenues on ambidexterity and firm performance.

Keywords: Digitalization, Business Model Innovation, Ambidexterity, Conceptual Framework, Resource Scarcity

Authors’ individual contributions: Conceptualization – P.U. and A.F.; Methodology – A.F.; Formal Analysis – A.F.; Writing – Original Draft – A.F.; Writing – Review & Editing – P.U. and A.F.; Visualization – P.U. and A.F.; Supervision – P.U.

Declaration of conflicting interests: The Authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

JEL Classification: O33, O39, O52

Received: 26.03.2020
Accepted: 01.06.2020
Published online: 11.06.2020

How to cite this paper: Ulrich, P., & Fibitz, A. (2020). Business model innovation and digitalization: Could ambidexterity be the solution to manage both? – A conceptual framework with propositions. Corporate & Business Strategy Review, 1(2), 8-25.