Examining process management via the lens of exploitation and exploration: Reconceptualization and scale development

Stephen Ng (First Author), Johnny Rungtusanatham (Participant Author), Xiande Zhao, T.S. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal


Does process management encompass both process exploitation and exploration? Conventional thought long has suggested that exploitation is the very nature of process management, but recent literature suggests a perspective broader in scope. Our review highlights three problems that plague process management research based on conventional thought, which also has suffered from insufficient theory building and empirical validation. Here, we emphasize the duality of change and re-conceptualize process management to provide a comprehensive definition via capability lens. Our view of process management illuminates that the two routes organizations can take to a glean process knowledge: process exploitation and process exploration, both of which are not only essential but complementary. Basing upon scale development using 330 responses from Chinese manufacturers in the Pearl River Delta, this hypothesis is supported. We find that the inclusion of process exploration provides process management a better prediction of different business performances. Our study also reveals that prevailing theories predicting the relationship between process exploitation and exploration find little support from the results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
JournalInternational Journal of Production Economics
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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  • Duality of change
  • Exploitation
  • Exploration
  • Process management
  • Scale development

Indexed by

  • ABDC-A*
  • SCIE
  • Scopus


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