Transformation towards an ambidextrous organization - A micro-level comparison of different business units fostering exploration and exploitation
Organizational ambidexterity, i.e. balancing the processes of exploitation of existing competencies and exploration of new competencies, is seen as a competitive advantage. Established companies often face the challenge to transform towards an ambidextrous organization by implementing either explorative or exploitative processes. Contextual, sequential and structural ambidexterity are modes of managing both processes at the same time in the same unit. However, it is not clear whether these modes are also means to transform established companies into ambidextrous organizations. The pressing issue is how this process actually takes place. To answer this research question, we conducted 14 interviews and observations and analyzed internal documents in a well-established company from the energy sector that felt the pressure to innovate in the renewable energy area. By using GABEK WinRelan, we are able to offer some first insights of distinct patterns for the process of organizational transformation towards ambidexterity. In doing so we contribute to the literature emphasizing the need for a process- rather than static-oriented perspective on ambidexterity.