Outstreaming for ambidexterity: Evolving a firm's core business from components to systems by serving internal and external customers

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This study reveals the process behind the growth and emergence of an entrepreneurial firm's outstreaming business units, and the consequences for the wider corporation. It appears that outstreaming involves four steps: (1) exploration in the form of vertical integration to make an input for internal supply that was previously being purchased from external suppliers; (2) exploitation by selling the input to external customers; (3) exploration by catering to the idiosyncratic needs of external customers; and (4) exploitation of the new resources and capabilities by improving the firm's products and services. Uncovering this process contributes to a growing literature identifying how changes in vertical architecture can enable a firm to explore and exploit within and across domains, and evolve its core business from supplying components to delivering integrated products.

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© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Publisher’s version of record: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lrp.2014.03.002

Publication Title

Long Range Planning