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Pursuing ‘Flexible Commitment’ as strategic ambidexterity: an empirical justification in high technology firms

Kouropalatis, Yiannis, Hughes, Paul and Morgan, Robert E. 2012. Pursuing ‘Flexible Commitment’ as strategic ambidexterity: an empirical justification in high technology firms. European Journal of Marketing 46 (10) , pp. 1389-1417. 10.1108/03090561211248099

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Abstract

Purpose - Firms face high velocity conditions today that render product-market strategies increasingly temporal. Strategic flexibility is critical for enabling rapid adaptation to a changing environment. At the same time, managerial commitment to product-market strategy signifies the extent to which a manager comprehends and supports the strategy and reflects a necessary sense of ownership for any chosen product-market strategy. The purpose of this paper, then, is to examine strategically ambidextrous firms through the twin lenses of flexibility and commitment to determine whether performance benefits accrue from such characteristics. Design/methodology/approach - While traditional research streams examine strategic flexibility and commitment to product-market strategy as opposing ends of a continuum, we adopt a broader perspective and examine strategic flexibility and commitment to product-market strategy as elements of strategically ambidextrous firms. Cluster analysis is used to identify groups of high and low strategically ambidextrous firms. Findings - Strategically ambidextrous firms exhibit commitment to product-market strategy which enables the effective realisation of selected strategies through focusing managerial attention and firm resources, and strategic flexibility which enables adaptation of the planned product-market strategy based on feedback received, or abandonment followed by new strategic choices and impetus. We reveal that firms with high strategic ambidexterity exhibit significantly greater levels of strategic resources, decentralisation, product-market strategy process effectiveness, and implementation effectiveness compared with low ambidexterity firms. Thus, strategic ambidexterity is revealed to endow significant performance benefits. Originality/value - This paper addresses the need to examine ambidexterity as ‘flexible commitment’.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ambidexterity; Business performance; Commitment; Corporate strategy; Flexibility; Product-market strategy; Strategic process
Publisher: Emerald
ISSN: 0309-0566
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2017 06:19
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/34084

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