· The evidence is that either the under- orover-use of ambidexterity comes at a cost (March, 1991).· Theseeffects can be contingent on the firm’s environment, with ambidexterity morebeneficial under conditions of uncertainty and when sufficient resources are available,which is often the case with larger rather than smaller firms. · Ambidexterity is positively associated withfirm performance.
Thesestudies suggest three conclusions: Arecent study by Geerts, Blindenbach-Driessen, and Gemmel (2012) looked at morethan 500 firms over a 4-year period and found that ambidexterity had a positiveeffect on firm growth. Significantly, they also showed variances in howambidexterity varies between manufacturing and service firms. Goosen,Bazzazian, and Phelps (2012) also used a large sample (500 companies) over a10-year period and showed that firms with greater technological capabilitiesbenefitted more from ambidexterity. The study by Caspin-Wagner and hercolleagues looked at 605 technology companies and found an inverted U-shapedrelationship between ambidexterity and firm financial performance(Caspin-Wagner, et al., 2012), a finding corroborated in another large samplestudy by Uotila, Maula, Keil and Shaker (2008).
ii. Though some primary research depended on casestudies, a lot of recent studies use big samples with longitudinal data and filethe effects of ambidexterity over time. i. Despite the use of various measures ofambidexterity, a series of result variables, various stages of analysis, andsamples from different businesses, the results relating ambidexterity toperformance are strong. Thereare numerous remarkable features to this body of research:Themost vital enquiry addressed by empirical research is if organisationalambidexterity is linked to firm performance. Here, a pattern is indicated:ambidexterity is revealed to be absolutely linked to sales growth.
The effectsof ambidexterity at the firm, business unit, project, and individual level havebeen documented. While organisational ambidexterity may, in some circumstances,be duplicative and incompetent, empirical evidence proposes that in circumstancesof market and technological uncertainty, it characteristically has a encouragingeffect on organisations performance.EMPIRICAL REVIEWAmbidexterityis therefore a dynamic ability as the simultaneous quest and reconfiguration ofexploration and exploitation processes allows firms to adapt to dynamicenvironments.Indeduction, dynamic abilities allow an organisation to exploit current capabilitiesand to concurrently discover new capabilities as well as to reconfigure organisationalresources in order to take hold of current and developing opportunities (O’Reillyand Tushman, 2008). O’Reillyand Tushman (2008) defined ambidexterity as an organisation’s essential dynamicability due to the simultaneous integration of exploration and exploitation.
Thisalone does not establish a competitive advantage, but the arrangement ofresources which, in turn, may result in a competitive advantage. The capabilityof senior managers to take hold of opportunities through the instrumentationand integration of both fresh and current assets to overcome inertia and path dependencesis at the central of dynamic abilities (O’Reilly and Tushman, 2008, p. 187).Teeceet al., 1997, p.
516 – dynamic abilities is an organisations ability to integrate,build, and reconfigure internal and external competences to address rapidly changingenvironments. O’Reilly and Tushman (2008) theoretically define the link betweendynamic abilities and ambidexterity based on the results of Teece (2007), who pressures”orchestration processes” which comprise of knowledge, reconfiguration, coordination,and integration. Burgelman(1991) claims that organisational achievement can be attained through a equilibriumamid the two processes of exploration and exploitation. Dynamic abilities of anorganisation are related to the concept of ambidexterity and have origins instrategic management. The autonomous strategic process: Thisincludes the conception of fresh skills and capabilities that can be linked toexploration. Thesecond process is:The induced strategic process:This emphasises on the use of existing information and can be linked toexploitation.
Thereare two processes which can be related to either exploration or exploitation.The first process is:Organisationaladaptation reviews have claimed that for firms to thrive over a long period oftime and face environmental and technological change, they need to change their structural alignments. Burnsand Stalker (1961) stated that organisations functioning in a stableenvironment established what they called a “mechanistic management system” thatwas categorised by hierarchical relationships, distinct responsibilities, andclear job descriptions. Alternatively, firms functioning in more dynamicenvironment established more “organic” systems with a lack of properly defined tasks,more lateral coordination mechanisms, and less dependence on formalisation and specialisation.Accordingto (Bradach, 1997; O’Reilly & Tushman, 2004; Tushman & O’Reilly, 1996).
Ambidextrous organisations are complex organisational forms made up of numerousinternally, unpredictable designs that are jointly capable of functioningsimultaneously for short-term efficiency as well as long-term innovation.Organisationalambidexterity is the ability of an organisation to discover and exploit. tocompete technologies and markets where efficiency, control, and recognisableimprovement are prized and also,to compete in new technologies and markets where flexibility, autonomy, andexperimentation are needed.
Thisrefers to an organisations ability to be able to handle management of today andbeing able to adapt to the changes of tomorrow.AN AMBIDEXTROUS ORGANISATIONForthe purpose of this study, we shall focus on the Bureaucratic and Organicstructures solely because as Burns and Stalker (1961) have claimed, twoabruptly different organisational designs, a mechanistic and organic structure,are appropriate for either exploitative innovations or exploratory innovations.These innovations exist in an ambidextrous structure/organisation, which is ourfocus of study. · Size:Asmall firm can operate a bureaucratic structure because the CEO can basically standin a place and give instructions while a large firm will require an organicstructure because it will have to delegate authority.· Environment:Adynamic environment will work well with an organic structure because unit headswill have to take charge when change occurs and also, because an organicstructure is flexible and open to change.
A bureaucratic structure would notwork well with a dynamic environment because it is rigid and isn’t open tochange. It will work better in a stable environment where change is less.· Technology:Ahigh-tech company will use an organic structure because it isn’t expected thatthe owner or the CEO will know everything there is to know about technology. So,he will have to delegate authority to those who specialise in technology andare experts in the field.
· Strategy:Anorganisation that wishes to expand cannot possibly choose a bureaucraticstructure because expansion requires delegation of authority, he will thereforehave to choose an organic structureDeterminants of organisationalstructureMatrix structure: astructure in which reporting is done as a grid or matrix instead of in a hierarchicalorder. Employees have dual reporting responsibilities to both functional andproduct manager.Geographic structure: Thisis used by organisations that have branches in various geographical locations.Product structure: Here,the organisation is divided based on the products they produce. Functional structure: Thisis a common type of structure in which the organisation is divided into smallergroups based on their functions such as marketing department, financialdepartment, IT, production department, human resources, etc.Othercommon forms of structures:Anorganic structure is one that is very flexible and is able to adapt to changes (Burnsand Stalker).
Organic structure: authorityin an organic structure is diffused and it is therefore not a commandstructure. Here, departmental heads have the power to make decisions without necessarilyconsulting the CEO. Bureaucraticstructures have many levels of management ranging from top to bottom, andtherefore, decision making has to pass through so many levels before it can beapproved or implemented. Because of the complexity of this type oforganisation, it is quite rigid and not easily adaptable to change.Bureaucratic/ Mechanistic structures:Abureaucratic structure is type of organisational structure that has a pyramidalcommand structure.
They have a certain degree of standardisation and are bettersuited for large companies. Here, centralisation is at its peak, formalisationis very high as well as specialisation.· Matrix structure· Geographic structure· Product structure· Functional structureOther common types of structures are:· Organicstructure· Bureaucratic / Mechanistic structureThere are two basic types of organisational structures:Business managementrefers to the activities involved in running an organisation. Such activitiesinclude controlling, planning, directing, organising and staffing. Everyorganisation should have a formal structure.
This should be decided based on company’s size, industryand aims. Organisational structures are basically communication flowcharts.Ill-conceived organisational structures will lead to slow, inefficientcommunication while well-made organisational structures will yield efficientcommunication networks and inspire fast and clean decisions.CONCEPTUAL REVIEWLITERATURE REVIEW Thebasic assumption of concepts on ambidextrous organisations is the importance ofbalancing and harmonising exploratory and exploitative innovations. Burns andStalker (1961), have claimed that two abruptly different organisational designs,a mechanistic and organic structure, are appropriate for either exploitativeinnovations or exploratory innovations. While there is little empiricalevidence how ambidextrous organizations are able to simultaneously carry outexploratory and exploitative innovations, this is indeed the challenge facingmany organisations (Brown & Eisenhardt, 1997; Bradarch, 1997). Researchershave yet to realise how ambidextrous organizations can be organic as well asmechanistic and pursue both types of innovations simultaneously.
existingcustomers (Benner & Tushman, 2003: 243). Exploratory innovations requirenew knowledge or departure from existing knowledge and are designed foremerging customers or markets while Exploitativeinnovations build upon existing knowledge and meet the needs ofbalancebetween exploration and exploitation activities. In this paper, ‘ambidextrousorganization’ is used to refer to the ability of firms to perform exploratoryand exploitative innovations simultaneously. Some other literatures have statedthe fundamental assumption that firms need to enable both opposing elementssimultaneously. Variousliteratures have increasingly discussed the need for firms to achieve aINTRODUCTION Thispaper identifies, reviews and assesses the structural dilemma in businessmanagement, how they affect business operations in an ambidextrous structure.Structural dilemma in business management could be seen as a situation where anorganisation is faced with the challenges of having to choose between thevarious structures available to be able to practice as an ambidextrousorganisation. This paper seeks to find the implications of an ambidextrousstructure in business management.ABSTRACT