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The effective ambidextrous organization - A model of integrative strategy making processes

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There is general consensus that coordination and integration are needed to achieve efficient outcomes while distributed decision power and autonomous actions are essential to develop innovative responses. These dual requirements for operational optimization and ongoing business innovation capture the essence of organizational ambidexterity as the means to sustain performance over time when environmental conditions change. This paper incorporates strategic management and organization theoretical rationales in a model that combines elements of integration and experimentation in the strategy making process and thereby extends the evolving literature on the ambidextrous organization. The performance relationships of the ambidextrous integrative strategy making model are investigated on the basis of a cross-sectional sample of 185 business entities operating in different manufacturing industries. Results of structural equation analyses indicate that superior performance in the ambidextrous organizations is associated with efficiencies derived from adherence to centralized strategic planning and effectiveness generated by decentralized innovative behavior through participation and autonomous actions. The study enhances our understanding of ambidexterity as the result of combined strategy making processes that balance the needs for economic efficiency and organizational adaptability. Key words: Ambidexterity, Dispersed decision-making, Innovation, Participatory decision-making, Strategic planning

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Torben Juul Andersen, Bo Bernhard Nielsen

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