Achieving Organizational Ambidexterity : Understanding and explaining ambidextrous organizations

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Institutionen för ekonomisk och industriell utveckling; Linköpings universitet/Institutionen för ekonomisk och industriell utveckling


Background: Responding to fast technological and environmental changes brings about challenges and paradoxes for companies that should be resolved in order to survive long-term and to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. Ambidexterity is considered a solution to organizational paradoxes.

Aim: The purpose of this research is to explore how firms can achieve ambidexterity to handle organizational paradoxes in different market conditions using their dynamic capabilities.

  • Definitions: Ambidexterity: The ability of organizations to handle adaptability and alignment, exploration and exploitation at the same time
  • Dynamic capabilities: The firm’s ability to integrate, build and reconfigure internal and external competencies to address rapidly changing environments
  • Exploration: Activities such as innovation, discovering new opportunities, variation
  • Exploitation: Activities that concern efficiency, implementation and execution

Results: There are possible options that companies can follow to achieveambidexterity. These sets of options are distinguished as external vs.internal, sequential vs. parallel, structural vs. contextual and the role ofsenior management behaviour. Depending on market dynamism andenvironmental conditions, a different set of options could be suitable fordifferent companies. In addition, companies can enhance the likelihoodof achieving ambidexterity using their dynamic capabilities.

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