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Article

Andrés Salas Vallina, Maria D. Moreno-Luzon and Anna Ferrer-Franco

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to examine whether inspirational leadership of heads of specialized medical units is related to individual ambidexterity of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to examine whether inspirational leadership of heads of specialized medical units is related to individual ambidexterity of their dependent physicians; and second, to study the possible mediating role of organizational learning capability (OLC) in the relationship between inspirational leadership and individual ambidexterity.

Design/methodology/approach

Structural equation modeling was used on a sample of 194 medical specialists from Spanish public hospitals.

Findings

Results show that inspirational leadership is positively related to individual ambidexterity among healthcare physicians. In addition, the results of the study revealed that the relationship between inspirational leadership and individual ambidexterity is mediated by conditions that facilitate learning, namely, OLC.

Research limitations/implications

This study uses cross-sectional data, which do not guarantee causality relationships among the examined variables.

Practical implications

The results of this paper suggest first that heads of healthcare units should inspire followers to achieve both exploration and exploitation. Second, it is also necessary to consider that inspirational leaders promote those conditions that facilitate learning, which should be particularly taken into account to enhance both physician’s exploration and exploitation.

Originality/value

In stressing an evident gap in the relationship between leadership and ambidexterity at the individual level, this paper attempts to advance in the leadership literature by revealing how the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions, and enhancing enthusiasm and confidence, empowers physicians to both explore and exploit knowledge. The results also indicate that the inspiration transmitted by the heads of medical services, facilitate physician’s perceived learning conditions which, in turn, fosters their individual ambidexterity.

Details

Employee Relations: The International Journal, vol. 41 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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