Ambidexterity, external knowledge and performance in knowledge-intensive firms
The paper investigates the relationship between organizational ambidexterity and firm performance in knowledge-intensive firms. In particular, using a quantitative methodology involving a structural equation model, the research investigates whether external knowledge sourcing enhances the impact of ambidexterity on firm performance. The results show that organizational ambidexterity in knowledge-intensive firms does not, in fact, have a significant impact on firm performance, but it does have a positive and significant mediating effect considering external knowledge sourcing. The findings are presented along with interesting and significant implications for both theory and practice, largely stemming from the still much neglected relationship between organizational ambidexterity and external knowledge sourcing in the open innovation context.
KeywordsKnowledge-intensive firms Ambidexterity External knowledge sourcing Performance Open innovation
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Research involving human participants
The authors declare that the surveyed have been correctly informed about the purpose of this study. The authors also declare that data have been collected in an anonymous way and in aggregated form.
- Ahn, J. M., Minshall, T., & Mortara, L. (2015). Open innovation: A new classification and its impact on firm performance in innovative SMEs. Journal of Innovation Management, 3(2), 33–54.Google Scholar
- Blackler, F. (1995). Knowledge, knowledge work and organizations: An overview and interpretation. Organization Studies, 16(6), 1021–1046.Google Scholar
- Chesbrough, H. W. (2006). The era of open innovation. Managing Innovation and Change, 127(3), 34–41.Google Scholar
- Chesbrough, H., & Bogers, M. (2014). Explicating open innovation: Clarifying an emerging paradigm for understanding innovation. In H. Chesbrough, W. Vanhaverbeke, & J. West (Eds.), New Frontiers in open innovation (pp. 3–28).Google Scholar
- Chesbrough, H., Vanhaverbeke, W., & West, J. (Eds.). (2006). Open innovation: Researching a new paradigm. Oxford: OUP Oxford.Google Scholar
- Cohen, W. M., & Levinthal, D. A. (1990). Absorptive capacity: A new perspective on learning and innovation. Administrative Science Quarterly, 35, 128–152.Google Scholar
- Coviello, N. E. (1994). Internationalizing the entrepreneurial high technology, knowledge-intensive firm, Ph.D. thesis, Department of Marketing, University of Auckland, New Zealand.Google Scholar
- Del Giudice, M., & Straub, D. (2011). Editor’s comments: IT and entrepreneurism: An on-again, off-again love affair or a marriage? MIS Quarterly, 35(4), iii–viii.Google Scholar
- Drucker, P. (2014). Innovation and entrepreneurship. Abingdon-on-Thames: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Duncan, R. B. (1976). The ambidextrous organization: Designing dual structures for innovation. The Management of Organization, 1, 167–188.Google Scholar
- Ferraris, A., & Santoro, G. (2014). Come dovrebbero essere sviluppati i progetti di social innovation nelle smart city? Un’analisi comparativa. Impresa Progetto-Electronic Journal of Management, 4, 1–15.Google Scholar
- Floyd, S. W., & Lane, P. J. (2000). Strategizing throughout the organization: Managing role conflict in strategic renewal. Academy of Management Review, 25(1), 154–177.Google Scholar
- Gassmann, O., & Enkel, E. (2004). Towards a theory of open innovation: Three core process archetypes. In R&D management conference (Vol. 6, No. 0, pp. 1–18).Google Scholar
- Gerbing, D. W., & Anderson, J. C. (1988). An updated paradigm for scale development incorporating unidimensionality and its assessment. Journal of Marketing Research, 25, 186–192.Google Scholar
- Hair, J., Anderson, R., Tatham, R., & Black, W. (2001). Análisis multivariante (5a ed.). Madrid: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
- Harry, M., & Schroeder, R. (2000). Six sigma: The breakthrough management strategy revolutionizing the world’s top corporations. New York: Currency.Google Scholar
- Mintzberg, H. (1983). Structures in fives. Engelwood-Cliffs, CA: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
- Nelson, R. R., & Winter, S. G. (1982). The schumpeterian tradeoff revisited. The American Economic Review, 72(1), 114–132.Google Scholar
- O Reilly, C. A., & Tushman, M. L. (2004). The ambidextrous organization. Harvard Business Review, 82(4), 74–83.Google Scholar
- Porter, M. E. (1996). What is strategy? Harvard Business Review, 74(6), 61–81.Google Scholar
- Raisch, S., & Birkinshaw, J. (2008). Organizational ambidexterity: Antecedents, outcomes, and moderators. Journal of Management, 34(3), 375–409.Google Scholar
- Rosenzweig, S. (2016). The effects of diversified technology and country knowledge on the impact of technological innovation. The Journal of Technology Transfer. doi: 10.1007/s10961-016-9492-5.
- Santoro, G., Ferraris, A., Giacosa, E., & Giovando, G. (2016). How SMEs engage in open innovation: A survey. Journal of the Knowledge Economy. doi: 10.1007/s13132-015-0350-8.
- Sheremata, W. A. (2000). Centrifugal and centripetal forces in radical new product development under time pressure. Academy of Management Review, 25(2), 389–408.Google Scholar
- Thrassou, A. (2007). Doing business in the industrialised countries, Chapter 13. In M. Katsioloudes & S. Hadjidakis (Eds.), International business—a global perspective. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann. ISBN 978-0-7506-7983-1.Google Scholar
- Tidd, J., Bessant, J., & Pavitt, K. L. R. (2000). Managing innovation: Integrating technological, market and organizational change (2nd ed.). Wiley: Chichester.Google Scholar
- Venkatraman, N., Lee, C. H., & Iyer, B. (2007). Strategic ambidexterity and sales growth: A longitudinal test in the software sector. In Unpublished manuscript (earlier version presented at the Academy of Management Meetings, 2005).Google Scholar
- Vrontis, D., & Thrassou, A. (Eds.). (2013). Innovative business practices: Prevailing a Turbulent Era. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.Google Scholar
- Williamson, O. E. (1985). The economic intstitutions of capitalism. NewYork: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar