This study contributes to current theoretical developments in strategic management as well as organizational behavior. These developments are characterized by LEKER as a shift from “strategy as control” to “strategy as a set of adaptation practices” and implicitly hint at the increasing importance of more dynamic approaches to explain sustainable competitive advantage. One of the most recognized research phenomena in today’s literature in this connection is organizational ambidexterity. Several authors have started to shed light on this promising concept that potentially leads to sustainable competitive advantage. While some have tried to clarify how organizational ambidexterity is affected by particular antecedents, others have started to analyze the mechanisms that are at the core of the simultaneous pursuit of paradoxical activities. Notwithstanding, the status quo of research does not provide a satisfying theory of organizational ambidexterity. GIBSON AND BIRKINSHAW, in this respect, emphasize that “studies to date have not generated an overarching theory explaining ambidexterity”. SIMSEK supports this insight and states that although research on organizational ambidexterity is rapidly increasing, it “remains an undertheorized, underconceptualized, and, therefore, poorly understood phenomenon”. Thereby, SIMSEK especially criticizes the lack of theoretical consistency and underlines that a “comparison, aggregation, and replication of findings have been difficult because of diverse conceptualizations”.


Strategic Management Manufacturing Firm Dynamic Capability Service Firm Organizational Unit 


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Copyright information

© Gabler Verlag | Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sebastian Kortmann
    • 1
  1. 1.MünsterGermany

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