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Complex Business Models: Managing Strategic Paradoxes Simultaneously

In: Business and Management

Submitted By cherrysheng
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ARTICLE IN PRESS

Long Range Planning

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(2010)

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http://www.elsevier.com/locate/lrp

Complex Business Models: Managing Strategic Paradoxes Simultaneously
Wendy K. Smith, Andy Binns and Michael L. Tushman

As our world becomes more global, fast paced and hypercompetitive, competitive advantage may increasingly depend on success in managing paradoxical strategies strategies associated with contradictory, yet integrated tensions. We identify several types of complex business models organizations will need to adopt if they are to host such paradoxical strategies. Managing complex business models effectively depends on leadership that can make dynamic decisions, build commitment to both overarching visions and agenda specific goals, learn actively at multiple levels, and engage conflict. Leaders can engage these functions through team-centric or leader-centric structures.
Ó 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Introduction
By the late 1990’s, USA Today was the highest circulating national newspaper in the United States.1 CEO Tom Curley and his senior executive team had created a new category of newspapers by negotiating distribution deals with hotels and businesses to provide national news to educated and high-income business travelers, a demographic that yielded excellent advertising revenues. When widening access to the Internet and the emergence of novel news content channels such as Yahoo! and AOL promised to put the newspaper’s position under threat, USA Today moved quickly to enter this new online market by creating USAToday.com. Although sharing the same brand, this online ‘paper’ differed significantly from the print version, and involved competencies, practices and structures that challenged many of the existing newspaper industry’s fundamental assumptions. In the print paper, journalists found news stories, wrote them up and...

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