Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Business Administration

First Advisor

Douglas W. Vorhies

Second Advisor

John P. Bentley

Third Advisor

Hugh Sloan

Relational Format



My dissertation examines how exploitation and exploration capabilities impact organizational performance for competitive advantage. The first essay reviews previous empirical, simulation, and theoretical studies to provide a synopsis and quantitative assessment of previous empirical research. The organizational performance implications of both exploration, exploitation, and their interaction (i.e., an ambidexterity) are evaluated through the substantiation of previous findings. Exploration and exploitation focus are discrete options that require a cognitive choice and are constrained by firm resources. The results show exploitation as having the greater relative impact on performance folloby exploration and ambidexterity. Essay two conceptualizes marketing capabilities as exploitation and exploration. Drawing on longitudinal objective data from publicly-traded manufacturing and service companies, this study examines how marketing exploitation and exploration capabilities impact performance over time. Study one constructs capability measures for marketing exploitation and exploration using stochastic frontier estimation. These measures are validated through a cross-industry survey of marketing executives using previously established scales. The results show a positive relationship between marketing exploitation and current organizational performance, a positive relationship between marketing exploration and forward-looking performance, and evidence that performance is impacted by industry dynamism and firm slack. Study two, examines the mercurial nature of the capability to performance relationship through the examination of industry dynamism and firms slack as moderators. I demonstrate that in times of high dynamism marketing exploration and exploitation each have a positive impact on firm performance.



Included in

Marketing Commons



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