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EXPLORATION VS. EXPLOITATION AND HOW VIDEO GAME DEVELOPERS ARE ABLE TO COMBINE THE TWO

Björn Remneland Wikhamn, A. Styhre, Jan Ljungberg, A. Szczepanska
Published 2016 · Computer Science

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This paper reports an in-depth qualitative study about innovation work in the Swedish video game industry. More specifically, it focuses on how video game developers are building ambidextrous capabilities to simultaneously addressing explorative and exploitative activities. The Swedish video game industry is a particularly suitable case to analyze ambidexterity, due to it’s extreme market success and continuous ability to adapt to shifts in technologies and demands. Based on the empirical data, three ambidextrous capabilities are pointed out as particularly valuable for video game developers; (1) the ability to separate between a creative work climate and the effectiveness in project organizing; (2) the balancing of inward and outward ideation influences, and (3) the diversity in operational means and knowledge paired with shared goals and motivations, derived from the love of video games and video game development.
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