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Ambidexterity and total quality management: towards a research agenda

Maria D. Moreno Luzon (Department of Management, Faculty of Economics, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain)
Jaume Valls Pasola (Department of Management, Faculty of Economics and Management, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 28 June 2011




The purpose of the paper is to expand on the existing theory of ambidexterity by analysing its implications for organisations that employ total quality management.


The analysis of relevant theoretical and empirical studies on ambidexterity and total quality management enables us to reflect on the common elements, facilitating factors and synergy that exists between both fields.


Thanks to the synergy between its principles and practices, total quality management can act as a platform in creating an ambidextrous context, in addition to generating ambidextrous management capabilities and ambidextrous organisational skills. However, no relationship has been found between the application of TQM and structural ambidexterity.

Research limitations/implications

An analysis of existing studies has enabled the extraction of some proposals which could be used in future research.

Practical implications

The synergy between TQM principles and practices, their disparate influence on ambidexterity, the range and depth of applying TQM principles and practices – above all those that are included in a human context and the opening of new markets – means that these factors are key elements to bear in mind for those organisations that wish to maximise the potential of TQM in order to foster ambidexterity.

Social implications

Given the extent to which this type of management has been applied over the last 20 years the social impact of this study is relevant.


This study opens up a new line of research into ambidexterity and, despite the subject having been analysed extensively in conceptual and empirical terms, until now its relationship with total quality management has yet remained unexplored.



Moreno Luzon, M.D. and Valls Pasola, J. (2011), "Ambidexterity and total quality management: towards a research agenda", Management Decision, Vol. 49 No. 6, pp. 927-947.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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