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Knowledge inflows effects on middle managers’ ambidexterity and performance

Juan Pablo Torres (Department of Business Administration, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile)
Camilo Drago (Business School, Diego Portales University, Santiago, Chile)
Claudio Aqueveque (Business School, Adolfo Ibañez University, Santiago, Chile)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 16 November 2015




The purpose of this paper is to report on lab experiments conducted to determine what impact managerial top-down knowledge transfer has on a middle manager’s individual ambidexterity and decision performance.


The authors designed an experimental approach using a business simulator to test the hypotheses with middle managers. The methodological approach provides the authors with a framework to enhance the middle manager’s understanding of how to attain superior short-term financial results by exploiting current resources, in addition to mastering new strategies to avoid a potential business bankruptcy.


The results suggest that top-down managerial knowledge inflow benefits middle manager strategic decision making, as well as his/her short- and long-term performance. Nonetheless, the best short-term results were achieved by those middle managers that mastered both exploitation and exploration activities simultaneously.


The contribution of this paper is to identify and test a control mechanism called top-down inflows that enhance middle manager’s ability to exploit current resources to increase financial performance, and exploring new strategies to avoid a business bankruptcy.



Torres, J.P., Drago, C. and Aqueveque, C. (2015), "Knowledge inflows effects on middle managers’ ambidexterity and performance", Management Decision, Vol. 53 No. 10, pp. 2303-2320.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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