Learning to Create Value Under Conditions of Uncertainty

Can organizations learn to create value under conditions of uncertainty? This paper seeks to provide an empirical answer to this question by drawing on two theoretical literatures that provide different answers. The organizational learning literature suggests that organizational efforts to learn from uncertain experiences are not likely to improve future performance. On the other hand, the opportunity creation literature suggests that organizations can learn under conditions of uncertainty and that learning is an important determinant of success. Using the Google Play App Store as an empirical setting, the paper finds that within- opportunity learning is important to the creation of value under conditions of uncertainty – but that many organizations fail to learn this lesson as a result of their past value creating experiences. Past value creating experience may be a poor substitute for within-opportunity learning when seeking to create value under conditions of uncertainty – especially when that past experience resulted in failure.

Journal or Publication:
Academy of Management Proceedings
Ryan W Angus
Matthew A Barlow
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