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Achieving ambidexterity across multiple organisational levels and functional areas : synchronising the development and marketing of firms' new and established products

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Heirati, N (2012) Achieving ambidexterity across multiple organisational levels and functional areas : synchronising the development and marketing of firms' new and established products. PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

In the increasingly dynamic and turbulent world, synchronising exploration and exploitation is an important driver of the firm’s success and survival. The examination of exploration, exploitation and their synchronicity has often been couched in the notion of organizational ambidexterity. While many benefits of ambidexterity have been identified, there exists a lack of clarity regarding the extent that a firm in practice becomes ambidextrous. Achieving organizational ambidexterity is a challenging task for managers, as they need to formulate appropriate strategies that support the pursuit of ambidexterity (or ambidextrous strategies), as well as deploy distinctive operational capabilities to successfully implement ambidextrous strategies. Without proper implementation at the operational level, the translation of ambidextrous strategies into superior performance-outcomes can be lost.
The primary objective of this study is to explore the extent that firms become ambidextrous when they have the capacity to pursue exploration and exploitation across multiple hierarchical levels, multiple functional areas, and multiple product development projects. The current study seeks to offer four important contributions to the current literature. First, this study contributes to the literature by arguing that organisational ambidexterity is not limited to a specific organisational level. This study shows that true ambidexterity transcends the interactions between corporate-level exploratory and exploitative strategies and business-unit level exploratory and exploitative capabilities. Second, this study contributes to the literature by arguing that organisational ambidexterity is not limited to a single product development project. This study shows that organisational ambidexterity can drive the firm’s survival and success, when it provides the capacity to synchronise the development and marketing of new and established products. Such synchronicity represents another important aspect of organisational ambidexterity, and explains how organisational ambidexterity drives the firm’s survival and success.
Third, this study contributes to the literature by arguing that the deployment of exploratory and exploitative capabilities within a single functional area is not enough to implement corporate-level exploratory and exploitative strategies. This study shows that the exploration of new R&D and market routines and the exploitation of existing R&D and marketing routines in an integrative fashion provide the capacity to implement exploratory and exploitative strategies. Fourth, this study contributes to the literature by examining the role of organisational ambidexterity in the context of a Middle-Eastern emerging economy. Given the growing importance of the Middle-East in the global economy, scant attention has been paid to the role of ambidexterity in the Middle-East. Therefore, understanding the role of organisational ambidexterity in the Middle-East region and extending theory to new contexts is worthy of investigation.
Overall, the findings of this study reveal that organisational ambidexterity represents the paradox of synchronising exploration and exploitation across multiple hierarchical levels, multiple functional areas, and product development projects. This paradox can turn into synergy and secure the firm’s success and survival, when senior managers, mid-level managers, and operational employees collaborate to resolve tensions created from the synchronicity of exploration and exploitation. The findings of this study contribute to the organisational ambidexterity literature providing a fuller understanding of the extent that firms truly become ambidextrous and delineation of the synchronicity required to resolve the innovator’s dilemma.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: organisational ambidexterity, strategy implementation, R&D capability, product development, innovator's dilemma
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2012 the author

Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2013 00:44
Last Modified: 30 May 2017 00:20
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