- The mediating role of strategic orientations on the relationship between ambidexterity-oriented decisions and innovative ambidexterity
- Journal of Product Innovation Management
- Volume | Issue number
- 32 | 5
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB)
- Amsterdam Business School Research Institute (ABS-RI)
Building on upper echelon theory and strategic process theory, this article analyzes the relationship between ambidexterity-oriented decisions and innovative ambidexterity. While ambidexterity-oriented decisions embrace the capability of top management teams to manage contradictory strategic directions, namely adaptability and alignment, innovative ambidexterity captures the ability of firms to simultaneously develop discontinuous and incremental innovations. In addition to the direct relationship between ambidexterity-oriented decisions and innovative ambidexterity, it is argued that innovation orientation and cost orientation denote two cultural implementation mechanisms that mediate this effect. Using two top-executive data sets collected in the United States (n = 83) and India (n = 78), the empirical analysis shows that innovation orientation and cost orientation partially mediate the direct influence of ambidexterity-oriented decisions on innovative ambidexterity, thus further explaining how formulated decisions made by the top management team nurture ambidextrous innovation behavior. Hence, this article extends prior literature that emphasizes a positive influence of top managers on innovation through incorporating an organizational ambidexterity perspective. Second, this study contributes to ambidexterity literature through integrating strategic process theory. While ambidexterity-oriented decisions primarily relate to strategy formulation, innovation orientation and cost orientation are associated with strategy implementation. The results show that both strategic subprocesses are vital in enabling ambidextrous innovation behavior. Third, an operationalization for the ability of top management to balance adaptability- and alignment-oriented decisions is provided based on prior literature.
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