Structural Differentiation and Ambidexterity: The Mediating Role of Integration Mechanisms

42 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2008

See all articles by Justin J. P. Jansen

Justin J. P. Jansen

Rotterdam School of Management

Michiel Tempelaar

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship

Frans A. J. Van Den Bosch

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship; Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

H. W. Volberda

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM); Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

Date Written: May 2008, 11

Abstract

Prior studies have emphasized that structural attributes are crucial to simultaneously pursuing exploration and exploitation, yet our understanding of antecedents of ambidexterity is still limited. Structural differentiation can help ambidextrous organizations to maintain multiple inconsistent and conflicting demands; however, differentiated exploratory and exploitative activities need to mobilized, coordinated, integrated, and applied. Based on this idea, we delineate formal and informal senior team integration mechanisms (i.e. contingency rewards and social integration) and formal and informal organizational integration mechanisms (i.e. cross-functional interfaces and connectedness) and examine how they mediate the relationship between structural differentiation and ambidexterity. Overall, our findings suggest that the previously asserted direct effect of structural differentiation on ambidexterity operates through informal senior team (i.e. senior team social integration) and formal organizational (i.e. cross-functional interfaces) integration mechanisms. Through this richer explanation and empirical assessment, we contribute to a greater clarity and better understanding of how organizations may effectively pursue exploration and exploitation simultaneously to achieve ambidexterity.

Keywords: ambidexterity, dynamic capabilities, structural differentiation, formal and informal integration mechanisms, exploration and exploitation, L22, HD58.9

JEL Classification: D21, L20, M

Suggested Citation

Jansen, Justin J. P. and Tempelaar, Michiel and Van Den Bosch, Frans A. J. and Volberda, Henk W., Structural Differentiation and Ambidexterity: The Mediating Role of Integration Mechanisms (May 2008, 11). ERIM Report Series Reference No. ERS-2008-072-STR. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1303881

Justin J. P. Jansen (Contact Author)

Rotterdam School of Management ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
Room T08-21
3000 DR Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands
+31 10 408 97 82 (Phone)
+31 10 408 90 13 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.rsm.nl/jjansen

Michiel Tempelaar

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship ( email )

RSM Erasmus University
Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands

Frans A. J. Van Den Bosch

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship ( email )

RSM Erasmus University
Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands
+31 10 408 1955/2005 (Phone)
+31 10 453 0137 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.rsm.nl/fvandenbosch

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

Henk W. Volberda

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
Room T08-21
3000 DR Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands
+31 10 408 2761 (Phone)
+31 10 408 9013 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.eur.nl/fbk/dep/dep4/faculty_members/Henk_Volberda

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

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