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The emergent-strategy process of initiating organizational ambidexterity

The emergent-strategy process of initiating organizational ambidexterity Firm ambidexterity usually has been discussed as a top-down planned strategic choice. The purpose of this paper is to showcase it is not always so; it may also be emergent as well – but how?Design/methodology/approachThe author used an in-depth, qualitative, multiple case research method for this study, and chose four cases from different industry domains for this study.FindingsThe author identified that being ambidextrous is not always planned – it may also be emergent. The emergent-strategy process of organizational ambidexterity gets initiated through ambidextrous orientation and abilities of the top management team (TMT), and their actions and behaviors influence the evolution of supporting context that promotes exploration and exploitation behavior of employees at multiple levels of hierarchy, and across different units and functions of the organization.Research limitations/implicationsThis study contributes to the discussions in organizational ambidexterity, deliberate-emergent strategy debate and the role of TMTs in setting the strategic path of the organization.Practical implicationsAttaining and sustaining firm ambidexterity is a managerial challenge. This challenge is addressable, by having ambidextrous TMTs – team members with complementary competencies of exploration and exploitation, with proper coordination within team members, and relatively balanced power sharing among the team members. Such a team at the top of the organization and their signaling builds the context to support increased exploration and exploitation activities at multiple levels of the organization.Originality/valueThis study showcases the emergent process of firm ambidexterity. Very few studies so far have discussed this process of becoming ambidextrous. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Strategy and Management Emerald Publishing

The emergent-strategy process of initiating organizational ambidexterity

Journal of Strategy and Management , Volume 12 (3): 15 – Aug 8, 2019

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1755-425X
DOI
10.1108/jsma-12-2018-0140
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Firm ambidexterity usually has been discussed as a top-down planned strategic choice. The purpose of this paper is to showcase it is not always so; it may also be emergent as well – but how?Design/methodology/approachThe author used an in-depth, qualitative, multiple case research method for this study, and chose four cases from different industry domains for this study.FindingsThe author identified that being ambidextrous is not always planned – it may also be emergent. The emergent-strategy process of organizational ambidexterity gets initiated through ambidextrous orientation and abilities of the top management team (TMT), and their actions and behaviors influence the evolution of supporting context that promotes exploration and exploitation behavior of employees at multiple levels of hierarchy, and across different units and functions of the organization.Research limitations/implicationsThis study contributes to the discussions in organizational ambidexterity, deliberate-emergent strategy debate and the role of TMTs in setting the strategic path of the organization.Practical implicationsAttaining and sustaining firm ambidexterity is a managerial challenge. This challenge is addressable, by having ambidextrous TMTs – team members with complementary competencies of exploration and exploitation, with proper coordination within team members, and relatively balanced power sharing among the team members. Such a team at the top of the organization and their signaling builds the context to support increased exploration and exploitation activities at multiple levels of the organization.Originality/valueThis study showcases the emergent process of firm ambidexterity. Very few studies so far have discussed this process of becoming ambidextrous.

Journal

Journal of Strategy and ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 8, 2019

Keywords: Exploration-exploitation; Organizational ambidexterity; Top management teams; Contextual ambidexterity; Emergent strategy

References