Research on firm search stresses the need for firms to adapt and align concurrently with their environment to optimize the ability to sense and seize opportunities for sustained performance. We postulate resource scarcity as an important contingency factor for the search-performance relationship, and assess its joint influence with high and low dynamism. Using a dataset spanning 23 years, we examine the performance implications of combinations of internal and external exploratory and exploitative search in resource-scarce environments, under conditions of high and low dynamism. We find that resource scarcity is an important condition for performance stemming from exploratory and exploitative search: even under conditions that involve low dynamism, but joined with resource scarcity, firms may benefit from pursuing exploratory and exploitative knowledge simultaneously.
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