WHAT IS AMBIDEXTERITY?
When people are equally skillful with their left and their right hand;
The art of simultaneously orchestrating exploitation and exploration, when companies improve their present core business and simultaneously unlock radically new (digital) business opportunities for the future.
Ambidexterity as Mental Model for Digital Transformation
The concept of organizational ambidexterity provides an excellent mental model for the process of digital transformation. It uncovers the tension or trade-off between activities for exploitation and for exploration - for todays business and the future of digital solutions.
Types of Organizational Ambidexterity
Over the years different types of organizational ambidexterity have appeared.
Temporal sequence of exploration and exploitation (e.g. one follows the other)
Local or organizational separation of exploration and exploitation (e.g. different business units)
Contextual balancing of exploration and exploitation (e.g. simultaneous activities in one organizational unit)
Intellectual cross-over capacity or talent of single persons (For further information read the interview with the American neuroscientist Nancy Andreasen at NPR.org)
Literature to start with:
Duncan, Robert B. (1976): The Ambidextrous Organization: Designing Dual Structures for Innovation. In: Ralph H. Kilmann, Louis R. Pondy und Dennis P. Slevin (Hrsg.): The Management of Organization Design. New York [u.a.]: North-Holland, p. 167–188.
Gibson, C. B.; Birkinshaw, J. (2004): The Antecedents, Consequences, and Mediating Role of Organizational Ambidexterity. In: Academy of Management Journal 47 (2), p. 209–226.
March, James G. (1991): Exploration and Exploitation in Organizational Learning.In: Organization Science, 2 (1), p. 71–87.
O’Reilly, Charles A.; Tushman, Michael (2013): Organizational Ambidexterity: Past, Present and Future. In: Academy of Management Perspectives 27 (4), p. 324–338.
Raisch, S.; Birkinshaw, J. (2008): Organizational Ambidexterity: Antecedents, Outcomes, and Moderators. In: Journal of Management 34 (3), p. 375–409.