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Article
Publication date: 26 June 2021

Yuzhen Duan, Xiaobao Peng, Qiong Gui, Haibin Zhou, Xuehe Zhang and Wei Song

This paper aims to investigate the effect of transformational leadership (TL), behavioral integration of top management team (TMT) and team conflict on manager…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the effect of transformational leadership (TL), behavioral integration of top management team (TMT) and team conflict on manager ambidexterity behavior.

Design/methodology/approach

Hierarchical linear modeling has been applied to test the degree of influence of TL and behavioral integration of TMT on manager ambidexterity using data collected from 60 chief executive officers (CEOs) and 322 TMT members of small- and medium-sized enterprises in the Chinese electronic commerce industry.

Findings

The results suggest the following: transformational leadership is positively associated with the behavioral integration of TMT and a high level of TMT behavioral integration strengthens the positive relationship between transformational leadership and manager ambidexterity. Also, team conflict moderates the mediating role of TMT behavioral integration in the relationship of transformational leadership to manager ambidexterity.

Research limitations/implications

First, this study does not directly test whether transformational leadership encourages a focus on manager ambidexterity, although the results on behavioral integration draw attention to the usefulness of such leadership. Second, in focusing on manager ambidexterity, this paper omits key variables, especially skills and abilities.

Practical implications

Given that several aspects of leadership can be learned and adjusted, the findings suggest that organizations can improve their individual ambidexterity by helping the CEOs develop and display transformational leadership through training and mentoring. TMTs were found to rely mostly on the behavioral integration approach (collaborative behavior, quality of information exchange and joint decision-making) and team conflict management. Such reliance, in turn, predicts effective team behavioral coordination and subsequent manager ambidexterity.

Originality/value

First, this study goes beyond the current research that focuses primarily on ambidexterity at the inter-organizational alliance, firm and business unit levels. This earlier research lacks a conceptually and empirically validated understanding of ambidexterity at the level of the manager. In contrast, by investigating and examining the antecedents of manager ambidexterity behavior, the study develops an individual perspective to elucidate the ambidextrous mechanisms. Second, the study also contributes by explaining how transformational leadership relates to manager ambidexterity. To date, only limited research has disentangled how transformational leaders enhance managers’ teamwork (e.g. behavioral integration) and how such leaders affect the ambidextrous orientation of managers.

Details

Chinese Management Studies, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-614X

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Article
Publication date: 17 June 2021

Swarup Kumar Dutta and Saurav Snehvrat

The purpose of this paper is to explore the multi-level ambidexterity challenges through the metaroutine lens. Further, while confronting the ambidexterity challenges, it…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the multi-level ambidexterity challenges through the metaroutine lens. Further, while confronting the ambidexterity challenges, it is found that what is paradox at one level can be understood as tradeoffs at another level. This study uses an in-depth multi-level case study of Tata Motors, an Indian automotive giant highlighting the ambidexterity dynamics across strategic, business unit and functional levels to demonstrate that paradoxes at the strategic level are converted to manageable tradeoffs at the business unit/ operational level. Also, metaroutine-enabled ambidexterity explains a possible way through which multi-level ambidexterity can be promoted and managed within organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses a case-based methodology (Eisenhardt, 1989) similar to the approach of Adler et al. (1999). The field research consisted of in-depth interviews, which focus on gathering information from the key involved members in the field, thus enabling us to understand how multi-level ambidexterity is promoted within Tata Motors. A semi-structured interview guide was used to collect data for this study.

Findings

The metaroutine lens offers an alternative route to explain the multi-level ambidexterity dynamics at Tata Motors. The ambidexterity questions at different levels in Tata Motors seem to be a mixture of paradoxes and tradeoffs. However, a key trend emerges. At the strategic and business unit level, the firm wanted to exploit their existing products and explore new customer segments. At the product level, the strategic and NPI core team wanted to best combine the customer centric explorations with exploitations resulting in cost savings. The ambidexterity questions at these two levels seem to be paradoxes. However, as the authors analyze the functional domains, it appears that each individual domain was working under increased constraints. Hence, the ambidexterity questions at the domain level seem to be a tradeoff based on the constraints faced by individual functional domains.

Originality/value

This study presents an in-depth multi-level case study of an Indian automotive giant, Tata Motors. The authors present the role of metaroutines in shaping the ambidexterity issues during the development of passenger vehicles. This study builds on the seminal work of Adler et al., 1999, and extends the discussion to the framing of the ambidexterity question as a paradox and/or a tradeoff. The core argument of this paper is that balancing opposite polarities in business models is basically a paradoxical issue in the exploitation/ exploration relationship.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

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Article
Publication date: 23 March 2021

Shabahat Ali, Weiwei Wu and Sadaqat Ali

This study aims to offer and validate an integrated marketing capability-product innovations framework. Particularly, it aims to examine the role of adaptive marketing…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to offer and validate an integrated marketing capability-product innovations framework. Particularly, it aims to examine the role of adaptive marketing capability in enabling market ambidexterity and incremental as well as radical product innovation. Also it intends to investigate the moderating role of transformational leadership between adaptive marketing capability and market ambidexterity.

Design/methodology/approach

Manufacturing firms in Pakistan, an emerging economy, are taken as the context for this study. A designed survey questionnaire is used for data collection. Partial least square technique is employed to empirically validate and test the hypothesized model with a sample of 192 manufacturing firms. Particularly, the two-stage approach in SmartPLS is used to validate measurement models, and structural equation modeling technique is used to test the proposed hypothesis.

Findings

The findings not only confirm that adaptive marketing capability is instrumental to both incremental and radical product innovations but also reveal that adaptive marketing capability serves an important antecedent to market ambidexterity shedding new lights on its mediating role in the relationship of adaptive marketing capability with incremental and radical product innovations. Moreover, the results find that the effectiveness of adaptive marketing capability to support market ambidexterity may involve a possible trade-off between exploitation and exploration when the leaders exhibit a low or high level of transformational leadership behavior.

Originality/value

This study contributes to outside-in strategic perspective and contextual ambidexterity literature by revealing the role of adaptive marketing capability as an important enabler of market ambidexterity which, in turn, allows the firm to simultaneously introduce incremental and radical product innovations. In this way, this study advances the current understanding of the antecedents and consequences of contextual ambidexterity. Also, this study provides insight into the types of capabilities needed for the firm's contextual and employees' behavioral adaptation to simultaneously manage exploitation and exploration within the same business unit which was lacking in the previous literature. Further, this study also offers a novel understanding of the conditional role of transformational leadership between adaptive marketing capability and market ambidexterity.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 January 2021

Carin Lindskog and Monika Magnusson

The purpose of this study is to apply the concept of organizational ambidexterity as a conceptual lens to increase the understanding of tensions between exploitation…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to apply the concept of organizational ambidexterity as a conceptual lens to increase the understanding of tensions between exploitation (continuity) and exploration (change) in Agile software development (ASD) project teams, and particularly the balancing (ambidextrous) strategies utilized.

Design/methodology/approach

A conceptual framework was constructed from interdisciplinary sources on ambidexterity. A literature review of publications on ambidexterity in ASD was then performed, and the results from the selected publications were classified according to an extension of the conceptual framework.

Findings

Contextual ambidexterity in ASD is affected by the four basic coherent concepts: time, task, team and transition. The study found that most ambidextrous factors and strategies were task and team-related. In addition, a mixture of hard (performance) strategies and soft (social) strategies is needed in order for people/teams to (be able to) become ambidextrous.

Practical implications

To provide a better understanding of ASD, it is important to identify a broader set of ambidextrous factors and strategies that can impact ASD project teams. The expanded conceptual framework can serve as a basis for future empirical research and provide insights to practitioners on how to strengthen ambidexterity in ASD projects.

Originality/value

The contribution is of great importance for ASD research and practice, as ASD methods are a popular method for managing projects within ASD and in other nonsoftware organizations. In addition, as more and more organizations struggle to deal with rapidly changing environments, interest in the phenomena of paradoxical tensions and the strategy (ambidexterity) to deal with these tensions increase.

Details

Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2051-6614

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Book part
Publication date: 21 October 2019

Joanna Radomska, Przemysław Wołczek and Susana Costa e Silva

The manager of the 21st century is expected to succeed in an environment strongly characterized by unprecedented volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA)…

Abstract

The manager of the 21st century is expected to succeed in an environment strongly characterized by unprecedented volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA). In fact, today’s business environment consists of contradictory pressure and tensions, where competitive advantage could be gained by ambidextrous activities. The concept of ambidexterity has already been discussed by many scholars, but still little is known about managerial practice and actions that are useful for finding the balance between the paradoxes that have been identified at that level. Although there are different tensions, dynamic and evolving according to the changes observed in the environment: more volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous, the pressure to remain flexible and simultaneously maintain the plan of development, seems to be essential. In recent research studies, networking perspective is mentioned as one of areas worth exploring while analyzing the concept of ambidexterity. For that reason, the main goal of this chapter is to investigate if networking is one of the factors useful for managing ambidexterity. To gain deeper insight, we investigated further, searching for the factors essential for managing ambidexterity: we compared the research results between companies of different sizes to identify any regularities. We focused on ambidexterity reflected by managerial practice where stability/plans and flexibility are implemented simultaneously. We investigated 150 managers using paper-and-pencil interviewing. Our research results confirmed that networking could be one of the main approaches having an impact on ambidextrous activities. However, we cannot conclude that companies are obliged to apply a networking perspective to be ambidextrous, although it could be recommended. Further analysis of companies of different sizes revealed the relationship between ambidexterity and networking in case of small and large companies, and no relation in medium-sized enterprises.

Details

International Business in a VUCA World: The Changing Role of States and Firms
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-256-0

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Book part
Publication date: 4 August 2014

Blake D. Mathias

Since March (1991) presented his ideas on organizational learning, hundreds of empirical tests have been conducted on relationships among the activities of exploration…

Abstract

Since March (1991) presented his ideas on organizational learning, hundreds of empirical tests have been conducted on relationships among the activities of exploration, exploitation, ambidexterity, and firm performance. Despite continued interest in his ideas, there has not been a systematic assessment of extant research to reveal whether, and to what extent, these activities relate to firm performance. This study uses meta-analysis to take a next step by aggregating results of 117 studies from more than 21,000 firms. I find strong performance effects for exploration and exploitation, but contrary to received theory, I discover ambidexterity yields weaker effects than a focus on either exploration or exploitation. Thus, I leverage these findings to offer future research opportunities.

Details

Exploration and Exploitation in Early Stage Ventures and SMEs
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-655-2

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Book part
Publication date: 1 January 2013

Paula Jarzabkowski, Michael Smets, Rebecca Bednarek, Gary Burke and Paul Spee

This paper develops a practice approach to institutional ambidexterity. In doing so, it first explores the ‘promise’ of institutional ambidexterity as a concept to address…

Abstract

This paper develops a practice approach to institutional ambidexterity. In doing so, it first explores the ‘promise’ of institutional ambidexterity as a concept to address shortcomings with the treatment of complexity in institutional theory. However, we argue that this is an empty promise because ambidexterity remains an organizational level construct that neither connects to the institutional level, or to the practical actions and interactions within which individuals enact institutions. We therefore suggest a practice approach that we develop into a conceptual framework for fulfilling the promise of institutional ambidexterity. The second part of the paper outlines what a practice approach is and the variation in practice-based insights into institutional ambidexterity that we might expect in contexts of novel or routine institutional complexity. Finally, the paper concludes with a research agenda that highlights the potential of practice to extend institutional theory through new research approaches to well-established institutional theory questions, interests and established-understandings.

Details

Institutional Logics in Action, Part B
Type: Book
ISBN:

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Book part
Publication date: 22 November 2018

Younggeun Lee and Patrick M. Kreiser

In this chapter, the authors examine the main effect of entrepreneurial orientation (EO) – a firm’s strategic entrepreneurial posture – on balancing exploration and…

Abstract

In this chapter, the authors examine the main effect of entrepreneurial orientation (EO) – a firm’s strategic entrepreneurial posture – on balancing exploration and exploitation in the form of organizational ambidexterity. Resource-constrained firms face an imperative to conduct innovative activities, survive hostile environments, and compete with larger and more resource-rich firms. The authors contend that firms can address these potential impediments through achieving ambidexterity via dynamic capabilities, firm-specific resources, and institutional factors. Specifically, The authors review the EO and ambidexterity literatures and summarize extant arguments related to the relationship between EO, exploration, and exploitation. The authors also discuss the most prominent scales and measures of EO, exploration, and exploitation. Moreover, the authors discuss operationalizational challenges that should be considered when conducting EO–ambidexterity research and suggest future research directions by specifying an agenda outlining useful theoretical perspectives and various contingencies that may influence the EO–ambidexterity relationship.

Details

The Challenges of Corporate Entrepreneurship in the Disruptive Age
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-443-7

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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2020

Younggeun Lee, Andres Felipe Cortes, Yiming Zhuang and Pol Herrmann

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of social capital on organizational ambidexterity in the context of emerging economies. Moreover, this paper aims to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of social capital on organizational ambidexterity in the context of emerging economies. Moreover, this paper aims to study the moderating influence of absorptive capacity on the relationship between social capital and organizational ambidexterity.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted two studies using survey data collected from 97 Ecuadorian and 100 Chinese small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Findings

The authors found that social capital, the extent to which organizational members interact, collaborate and share knowledge with one another and with external actors, has a positive effect on the simultaneous implementation of exploratory and exploitative innovations (i.e. organizational ambidexterity). Moreover, the authors found that absorptive capacity positively strengthens the impact of social capital on organizational ambidexterity.

Originality/value

Drawing on the knowledge-based view and the innovation literature, the authors theoretically argue the importance of social capital and absorptive capacity for SMEs to develop and manage exploratory and exploitative innovations simultaneously in emerging economies of different cultures. The authors empirically test proposed hypotheses in Ecuador and China, two emerging markets with important cultural differences, and show the relevance of social capital in multiple settings.

Details

International Journal of Emerging Markets, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-8809

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Article
Publication date: 2 September 2020

Marie-Laure Buisson, Lise Gastaldi, Bénédicte Geffroy, Romain Lonceint and Cathy Krohmer

Innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are key economic actors, but they are fragile. Their innovation trajectory requires an evolution in their competencies…

Abstract

Purpose

Innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are key economic actors, but they are fragile. Their innovation trajectory requires an evolution in their competencies as their strategy evolves, and this is a particularly critical concern when they are engaged in both exploration and exploitation activities and want to develop organisational ambidexterity. In turn, this brings challenges for human resource management (HRM): some research studies have identified “mobilising” practices for innovation, but few authors have taken a dynamic approach. This study aims to fill this double-theoretical gap by answering the following two questions: how does HRM respond to the challenges associated with the search for ambidexterity in an innovative SME's trajectory? What HRM practices are mobilised in the innovation trajectory of SMEs?

Design/methodology/approach

The authors carried out two longitudinal case studies concerning innovative SMEs in the medical equipment sector, which are now over 10 years old and seeking to stabilise an ambidextrous way of operating. The authors conducted 37 semi-structured interviews in 2018–2019 and collected public and internal documents. For each case, the authors identified sequences (Bidart et al., 2013) displaying a certain homogeneity in terms of innovation strategy. The authors then performed a cross-case analysis.

Findings

These case studies produced two main results. First, the trajectory of innovative SMEs consisted of sequences during which competency needs and HRM practices evolved. Despite their similar modes of ambidexterity, the two SMEs have mobilised different human resource (HR) practices. Second, the HRM practices implemented struggle to support the firm at key turning points in the innovation trajectories and can even hinder such changes in direction.

Originality/value

The originality of this work lies in two major dimensions. First, the authors choose to explore innovation and the search for ambidexterity, two themes that are traditionally studied in large firms, in the setting of SMEs. Second, the authors choose a longitudinal method to explore the evolution over time in modes of ambidexterity and HRM, along these SMEs' innovation trajectory. This is a departure from more traditional approaches seeking to identify which HR practices, or configurations of practices, are best able to foster ambidexterity and innovation. It leads the authors to show, in a contingent, dynamic perspective, the importance of the Human Resources Foundation’s (HRF's) positioning and attitude in supporting diversified SMEs’ innovation trajectories. This requires allocation of the necessary resources to the function, which needs time and resources to reflect on how to build the ambidextrous HRM that is essential for the firm's survival.

Details

Employee Relations: The International Journal, vol. 43 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

1 – 10 of over 2000