Enacting individual ambidexterity in design entrepreneurship

Kaygan, Pinar
Wasti Pamuksuz, Syeda Nazlı
Alptekin, Irem Dilek
Design demands achieving a balance between creative and routine activities. This balance is vital to ensure the survival and prosperity of design entrepreneurs' businesses. This paper examines how design entrepreneurs enact individual ambidexterity to carry out both creative (exploration) and routine (exploitation) activities in their own businesses. Empirically, it draws on interviews with 23 designers who founded micro businesses, where they carry out design, production, marketing, and sales activities. Our findings show that individual ambidexterity was smoothly enacted to handle design and production tasks in an intertwined fashion, thus reaching a compromise between exploration and exploitation, while it was hindered by the contradiction between 'the sales mindset' and 'the creative mindset' designers encountered when faced with marketing activities. On the other hand, 'the business mindset', which primarily belongs to the non-creatives' world, was considered as valuable and essential for a creative professional choosing an entrepreneurial career path.


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Citation Formats
P. Kaygan, S. N. Wasti Pamuksuz, and I. D. Alptekin, “Enacting individual ambidexterity in design entrepreneurship,” DESIGN JOURNAL, pp. 0–0, 2023, Accessed: 00, 2023. [Online]. Available: https://hdl.handle.net/11511/102416.