In the face of increasing competition, an organization's capacity to acquire knowledge from the outside has become fundamental for new product development. Pertinent extant literature has stressed how an organization should practice social product development, allowing for the inclusion of all types of stakeholders in idea generation, selection, validation, and commercialization. This article investigates how organizations can acquire, maintain, and use different sources of knowledge via ambidextrous habits of exploitation and exploration to sustain social product development. A case study based on 27 semistructured interviews and field observations at a leading, large-size, Dutch food-service company has been carried out. The findings illustrate the organizational processes and mechanisms that the company has adopted to address and combine practice- and research-based knowledge, as well as the main barriers limiting the accumulation and usage of this knowledge inside organizational boundaries.
- Stakeholders , Technological innovation , Standards organizations , Companies , Product development , Knowledge engineering