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Novelty or Familiarity – The Role of Antecedents and Moderators of Organizational Ambidexterity in SMEs: Exemplified by a Global Market Leader
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School.
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This Master thesis is an exploratory study, analyzing potential ways how SMEs can achieve organizational ambidexterity to innovate for the future, while at same time maximize current operations. After framing the reference by giving readers an overview of existing ambidexterity research, we present a case study to answer how SMEs can achieve this oftentimes paradoxical seeming equilibrium.

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate if ambidexterity is a feasible concept for SMEs, given that it has been primarily analyzed in relation to large companies. Further, we aim to propose under which framing conditions of moderators and antecedents it can be achieved.

Design/Methodology/Approach: This work follows an in-depth single case study, guided by a relativistic methodology and constructionist point of view. Following a pragmatist theoretical perspective, we provide a potential pathway to organizational ambidexterity in form of a propositional process model. Through abductive proceedings we aim at building a theoretical contribution, which is grounded in data collected from embedded cases in our primary case. In three rounds of field inquiries, we conducted five semi-structured interviews with topic-important managers and respective departments, to gain rich and multifaceted insights from several layers within the company on the phenomenon.

Findings: Our empirical data depicts that numerous factors influence how our case company achieves ambidexterity, related to both externalities and internal drivers. In our point of view, the strongest contributor and shaping force is distinct leadership, which enables and fosters both sides of ambidexterity throughout the entire company. Leadership has the potential to create a culture and organizational design, specifically supportive and suitable for SME ambidexterity. Since the concept of ambidexterity has not been analyzed coherently in business research on SME levels, our findings represent an exemplary line of action and thus try to lift certain criteria on a broader scale.

Implications/Limitations: Due to being a single case study in a very specialized market and product, generalization intents for SMEs at large have to be excluded due to their varying degrees of nature. However, SME context related leadership might be the fulcrum, which all other ambidextrous activities, antecedents and characteristics arise from. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , 107 p.
Keyword [en]
Ambidexterity, Leadership, Organizational Design, Theory Building, Case Study, Process Model
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-36625ISRN: JU-IHH-FÖA-2-20170510OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-36625DiVA: diva2:1119866
Subject / course
IHH, Business Administration
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-07-06 Created: 2017-07-05 Last updated: 2017-07-06Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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