To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Ambidexterity of employees: the role of empowerment and knowledge sharing

Marjolein C.J. Caniëls (Department of Management, Science and Technology, Open Universiteit , Heerlen, The Netherlands)
Carmen Neghina (Department of Management, Science and Technology, Open Universiteit , Heerlen, The Netherlands)
Nico Schaetsaert (Department of Management, Science and Technology, Open Universiteit , Heerlen, The Netherlands)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 11 September 2017

Downloads
2791

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study is to empirically test the link between employee ambidexterity and two supportive organizational cultures, namely, a perceived culture of empowerment and a knowledge-sharing culture. Furthermore, the paper addresses the mechanisms through which these supportive organizational cultures work to enable employees to engage in ambidextrous behaviour. Specifically, the role of intrinsic motivation is investigated.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were obtained from 136 managers employed in the five main Belgian service sectors.

Findings

The findings indicate that a perceived culture of empowerment is positively related to intrinsic motivation, which in turn facilitates employee ambidexterity. Also, a moderating effect of extrinsic motivation on employee ambidextrous behaviour is found. At the same time, a perceived knowledge-sharing culture is having no effect on ambidexterity or intrinsic motivation.

Research limitations/implications

Insights into the roles of individuals in achieving ambidexterity help to advance the theoretical understanding of how a supportive organizational context may enhance employee ambidexterity.

Originality/value

Despite the growing body of research on antecedents of ambidexterity, there is still lack of thorough understanding of how a supportive organizational context may enhance employee ambidexterity and the roles of individuals in achieving ambidexterity. This is one of the first studies that investigate these factors in relation to individual level ambidexterity (as opposed to organization level ambidexterity).

Keywords

Citation

Caniëls, M.C.J., Neghina, C. and Schaetsaert, N. (2017), "Ambidexterity of employees: the role of empowerment and knowledge sharing", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 21 No. 5, pp. 1098-1119. https://doi.org/10.1108/JKM-10-2016-0440

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited