November 2013
Academy of Management Perspectives;Nov2013, Vol. 27 Issue 4, p299
Academic Journal
A growing number of studies argue that organizational ambidexterity is increasingly important for the sustained competitive advantage of firms. However, organizational ambidexterity studies have been conducted in a wide variety of industries and methodological settings, and the empirical results have been mixed. The purpose of this article is to systematically examine the organizational ambidexterity-performance relationship to reconcile the mixed results of prior research. By conducting a meta-analysis of prior studies on organizational ambidexterity and performance, we find that positive and significant Organizational ambidexterity-performance relationships are to a large extent moderated by contextual factors and methodological choices: Organizational ambidexterity is particularly important for performance in nonmanufacturing industries and at higher levels of analysis. Also, the performance effects are stronger when "combined" measures of organizational ambidexterity and perceptual performance are used and when a cross-sectional or multimethod research design is applied. Our meta-analysis findings advance the field of organizational ambidexterity by revealing some of the moderators in the organizational ambidexterity-performance relationship, thereby providing a more fine-grained understanding of the effects of organizational ambidexterity on firm performance in prior studies. Our findings point to the gaps and methodological weaknesses in prior organizational ambidexterity research and propose avenues for future research.


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