[en] Generally considered at an intra-organisational level, ambidexterity can also be found at inter-organisational level where organisations decide to collaborate by sharing between them activities of exploration and exploitation, according to their core competence. In this paper, we examine these collaborations, which are often presented as win-win solutions. In two case studies of R&D partnerships receiving public financing, we show the tensions that run through these alliances and the controversies that set the partners against each other. Our analysis, based on the actor-network theory, indicates that the conditions for successful inter-organisational ambidexterity do not exist a priori. The success of a partnership rather relies on a continuous translation process creating the convergence between the parties involved.
Laboratoire d'Etudes sur les Nouvelles Technologies de l'Information, la Communication, l'Innovation et le Changement - LENTIC