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Multi-level ambidexterity in new product introduction at Tata Motors, India: The role of metaroutines

Saurav Snehvrat (Department of Strategic Management, Indian Institute of Management Ranchi, Ranchi, India)
Swarup Dutta (Department of Strategic Management, Indian Institute of Management Ranchi, Ranchi, India)

Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance

ISSN: 2051-6614

Article publication date: 13 April 2018

Issue publication date: 14 September 2018

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the multi-faceted role of metaroutines in dealing with nested ambidexterity challenges experienced during new product introductions (NPIs) at Tata Motors, an Indian automotive giant.

Design/methodology/approach

This study utilizes an in-depth multi-level case study highlighting the ambidexterity dynamics across strategic, business unit and functional levels.

Findings

The authors visualize the NPI system found in the firm, including the interactions between structure, process and governance, as a metaroutine. Based on this visualization, the authors argue that certain ostensive (like voice of customer, commonality) and performative (role of leadership and creative recombination) aspects of the metaroutine aid exploratory and exploitative learning across levels at Tata Motors. Further, the authors argue that the role of embedded NPI metaroutine aspects in promoting multi-level ambidexterity offers a distinct form when compared with other academically established forms of structural, contextual and temporal ambidexterity.

Practical implications

This study focuses on the aspects of the NPI metaroutine that enable ambidexterity within the studied firm. The authors argue that apart from the structural, temporal and contextual mechanisms, managers also need to focus on the nuances of NPI metaroutines and their potential to promote ambidexterity across levels.

Originality/value

The authors visualize the interactions between the process, structure and governance mechanisms, related to NPI, as a metaroutine. The authors argue that metaroutine enabled approaches to ambidexterity offer a distinct form when compared with other academically established forms of structural, contextual and temporal ambidexterity. Also, metaroutine enabled ambidexterity explains a possible way through which multi-level ambidexterity can be promoted and managed within organizations.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Paul Adler for his comments and encouragement for the study.

Citation

Snehvrat, S. and Dutta, S. (2018), "Multi-level ambidexterity in new product introduction at Tata Motors, India: The role of metaroutines", Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance, Vol. 5 No. 3, pp. 211-235. https://doi.org/10.1108/JOEPP-07-2017-0062

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited