The contribution of board of directors’ roles to ambidextrous innovation

Wajdi Ben Rejeb (National Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology, University of Carthage, Tunis, Tunisia)
Sarra Berraies (Laboratory ARBRE, Department of Management, Higher Institute of Management of Tunis, University of Tunis, Le Bardo, Tunisia)
Dorra Talbi (Department of Finance, Saudi Electronic University, Ryadh, Saudi Arabia) (Laboratory FCF, Tunis, Tunisia)

European Journal of Innovation Management

ISSN: 1460-1060

Publication date: 8 May 2019



The purpose of this paper is to examine the link between board of directors’ roles namely strategy, service and control roles and ambidextrous innovation. This study also aims to determine whether the independence and gender diversity of boards have mediating effects in this relationship.


On the basis of a quantitative approach, the authors conducted a survey on all Tunisian-listed firms. A partial least square method was used to analyze the quantitative data. The authors also conducted semi-structured interviews with a sample of boards’ members of the surveyed firms followed by a thematic analysis of the discourses to discuss the results.


Results revealed that ambidextrous innovation is negatively linked to board’s control role. The outcomes of this research show also that ambidextrous innovation is positively associated with board’s service role and that the gender diversity moderates positively this link. Findings do not indicate a significant relationship between board’s strategy role and ambidextrous innovation but show evidence that the relationship is negatively moderated by independent directors, while positively moderated by gender diversity.


This research sheds light on the effects of Boards’ roles on ambidextrous innovation and the moderating effect of board’s gender diversity and independence as well. This paper addresses the gap in the literature as this thematic has not been studied, offering key insights with regard to corporate governance of companies looking to achieve ambidextrous innovation.



Ben Rejeb, W., Berraies, S. and Talbi, D. (2019), "The contribution of board of directors’ roles to ambidextrous innovation", European Journal of Innovation Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.

Download as .RIS



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.