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Exploitation refers to learning and knowledge development intended to increase organizational performance through the exploitation of old certainties.

Exploitation can be thought of as the refinement of an existing technology.

""The essence of exploitation is the refinement and extension of existing competencies, technologies, and paradigms. Its returns are positive, proximate, and predictable."" (March, 1991, p. 85)

Management considerations --
See exploration for a discussion of exploitation vs. exploration.

Primary Source: March, James G. (1991), Exploration and Exploitation in Organizational Learning, Organizational Science, Vol. 2, No. 1, February 1991