From Library Journal
To avoid long-term failure while focusing on short-term success, business professors Tushman and O'Reilly present their views on the "ambidextrous organization." This is defined as having internally consistent structures and an internal operating culture that provides for excelling today while also planning for the future. This paradoxical state of dealing with incremental changes in the here and now while at the same time emphasizing the revolutionary change necessary in order to be in business tomorrow defines current business reality. Presenting examples from businesses that are doing a successful balancing act, the authors devise a model that can be used by any executive to understand better the dynamics of change necessary for long-term success. Their intriguing work, rooted in academic literature on the management of organizations, merits consideration, especially by larger university libraries.?Dale F. Farris, Groves, Tex.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The authors submit two new entries for admission to the pantheon of management catchphrases: ambidextrous organizations
and innovation streams
. Professors at Columbia University and Stanford University graduate schools of business, respectively, Tushman and O'Reilly stress the imperative that organizations must continuously innovate to thrive. They note the paradox that success often leads to stagnation and offer suggestions not only for winning short-term battles but also for mapping long-term strategy by creating a "culture of innovation." This culture is fostered by recognizing that organizations are "ambidextrous" ; they may have "internally inconsistent competencies, structures, and cultures" and yet share a single vision. Although the concept of ambidextrous organizations is not new (it was first suggested by R. B. Duncan in 1976), the authors make it the cornerstone of their argument. "Innovation streams" are the "patterns by which organizations develop new and better products and services." The use of countless examples from the business world helps turn an academic proposition into a truly "practical guide." David Rouse