The purpose of this paper is to test a multilevel model, supported by an ambidexterity perspective, to examine the process linking high-performance work systems (HPWS) and organizational ambidexterity using both unit- and firm-level analyses.
The author collected multisource and multilevel data from 346 employees and 184 managers of 33 electronic engineering firms.
The results revealed that unit HPWS were positively related to unit organizational ambidexterity. The author considers that the role of firm-level transformational leadership (TFL) is to create a climate of autonomy that can be delegated to promote organizational ambidexterity within units. Furthermore, a firm-level empowerment climate moderates the effect of unit-level HPWS on a unit’s organizational ambidexterity. The author contributes to the research on leadership and ambidexterity by revealing the impact of HPWS as experienced in the unit- and of firm-level TFL. The author also identify boundary conditions for pursuing unit organizational ambidexterity.
Responding to the call for more research into the effects of the empowerment climate on employees’ behaviors and the behavioral outcomes of employees, this research reveals that not only is the macro perspective of HPWS at the organizational level useful to promote ambidextrous activities at lower levels, but also that the unit experience of HPWS more directly affects employees’ behaviors in engaging in the search for new opportunities for new products/services and refining current products simultaneously at the unit level. The broader implication is that the effectiveness of HPWS as an antecedent for organizational ambidexterity (Gibson and Birkinshaw, 2004; Kang and Snell, 2009) depends on the unit experience of HPWS being used to influence autonomous employees to actively undertake ambidextrous activities at the unit level.
Chang, Y. (2016), "High-performance work systems, joint impact of transformational leadership, an empowerment climate and organizational ambidexterity: Cross level evidence", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 29 No. 3, pp. 424-444. https://doi.org/10.1108/JOCM-09-2015-0150Download as .RIS
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