The ambidextrous organization
Leadership and the administration paradox of modern
organizations.
2
Student : C.L. (Cornelis) de Kloet
Student number : 4100417
Master : Business Administration
Specialization : Innovation...
3
Management Summary
This summary provides a brief overview on the research presented in this thesis.
Background and objec...
4
theoretical insights into which leadership styles do best support the four types of
organizational ambidexterity. In add...
5
Table of Contents
1. Introduction..........................................................................................
6
4.4 Case results: unit Real Estate (DHV)...................................................................................
7
1. Introduction
1.1 The challenge of balancing exploration and exploitation
In industrial company’s as well as in profes...
8
organization’s ability to perform differing and often competing acts, simultaneously or
sequentially (Simsek et al., 200...
9
1.4 Research model
Theory on organizational ambidexterity and leadership styles will be assessed in order to
determine a...
10
1.5 Research questions
To adequately fulfill the research objective, as described in paragraph 1.3, various research
qu...
11
1.6 Outline research
The structure of this research is outlined in the following graphic figure.
Theoretical framework
...
12
2. Types of organizational ambidexterity and the third leadership dimension
2.1 Introduction
The previous chapter outli...
13
and exploration activities are pursued by the same unit, the pursuit of ambidexterity is viewed
as structurally indepen...
14
2.3.1 Organizational ambidexterity
According to the Oxford English Dictionary the word ambidexterity is derived from th...
15
ability to maintain superior performance in established business, while managing
innovation in targeted areas (Nadler &...
16
‘Several researchers have suggested that firms should temporarily cycle through
periods of exploitation and exploration...
17
As described above, it becomes clear that researchers have diversely defined organizational
ambidexterity based on thei...
18
shape individual level behaviors. Furthermore they argue that due to the fact that
exploitation and exploration activit...
19
exploitation or exploration activities. However, the process of cycling between periods of
exploitation and exploration...
20
being a synergistic fusion of complementary streams of exploitation and exploration activities
that occur across time a...
21
types of leadership behavior are the most prominent in the literature on leadership (Keegan &
Den Hartog, 2004). Howeve...
22
beyond their self-interest and contribute to the achievement of organizational goals. Or as
Vigoda-Gadot (2006) states,...
23
transactional leadership will be ineffective in total absence of a transactional relationship
between leaders and follo...
24
comprehensive model concerning transactional and transformational leadership (Belasen &
Frank, 2007). In addition, Came...
25
enclose a similar sort of tension as described in the organizational ambidexterity model of
Simsek et al. (2009). This ...
26
with the producer style this leadership style tends to be more internally than externally
oriented (Yang & Shao, 1996: ...
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
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Organizational ambidexterity is a theoretical concept on how to manage the tension between exploitation (sales) and exploration (innovation). Following the suggestion of Simsek et al. (2009) to do further research on leadership styles and organizational ambidexterity, this master thesis describes the outcome of a research conducted at Philips and Royal HaskoningDHV on organizational ambidexterity and leadership.

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The ambidextrous organization - Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.

  1. 1. The ambidextrous organization Leadership and the administration paradox of modern organizations.
  2. 2. 2 Student : C.L. (Cornelis) de Kloet Student number : 4100417 Master : Business Administration Specialization : Innovation & Strategy University : Radboud University Nijmegen Faculty : Nijmegen School of Management Supervisor : prof. dr. J.A.C.M. (Hans) Doorewaard Second readers : dr. J.M.I.M. (Jan) Achterbergh : drs. C.J. (Kees) Beuving : ir. R.P. (Rudolf) Mulder Title : The ambidextrous organization: Leadership and the administration : paradox of modern organizations. Version : Final - 17.0 Date : 29th of March 2012
  3. 3. 3 Management Summary This summary provides a brief overview on the research presented in this thesis. Background and objective More than forty years ago Thompson (1967) already emphasized the tension and incompatibility between the exploitation and exploration activities of an organization. Thompson described this tension as the ‘paradox of administration’. This paradox manifests itself by organizations having to manage exploitative activities that are focused on increasing efficiency and stability of the current activities, while also pursuing explorative activities that are focused on realizing innovations and flexibility. Thompson and many other researchers argued that both activities are necessary for an organization in order to survive on the short and long term. Duncan (1976) introduced the term ‘ambidextrous organization’ as a solution for the paradox between exploitation and exploration activities. Nowadays researchers and practitioners are using the notion of ambidexterity to describe firms that are able to exploit and explore. Thereby the concept of ambidextrous organization is referred to as the organizations ability to master two contrary things - exploitation and exploration activities - in order to succeed on the short and long term. Despite an increasing interest in organizational ambidexterity, an examination of the literature reveals that some important research issues remain unexplored, indefinite or conceptually vague. Previous research has shown that the role of leadership is of great importance in fostering organizational ambidexterity. However, there is still relatively little known about what type of leadership is needed in order to realize organizational ambidexterity, since most of the previous research is focusing on structural antecedents. Following the suggestion of Simsek et al. (2009) to do further research on leadership styles and organizational ambidexterity, the following research objective was defined: The objective of this research is to provide theoretically insights into which leadership styles do best support the four types - harmonic, cyclical, partitional, reciprocal – of organizational ambidexterity, defined by Simsek et al. (2009). Theoretical framework The organizational ambidexterity model developed by Simsek et al. (2009), depicted in figure 3 on page 12, was used as the base of this research. By distinguishing a structural and temporal dimension this model delineates four types of organizational ambidexterity – harmonic, cyclical, partitional and reciprocal - that comprehend all prior research on organizational ambidexterity into one construct. In order to determine which leadership styles do best support these four types of organizational ambidexterity, a third leadership dimension was added to the organizational ambidexterity model of Simsek et al. (2009), by using the eight leadership styles of the Competing Values Framework (CVF), developed by Quinn and Rohrbaugh (1983), depicted in figure 8 on page 24. This framework encompasses four transactional and four transformational leadership styles, based on four quadrants that represent ‘ideal models’ of efficient organizations. Both theoretical models were linked to each other after a thorough research into both underlying theoretical assumptions. This resulted in a revised organizational ambidexterity model, depicted in figure 13 on page 32, which was thereafter studied in practice by investigating four cases at two different companies. Research methodology Based on the research objective and the exploratory nature of this research, a case study was performed at two companies. An important reason for choosing the case study strategy can be found in the need to collect in-depth information regarding ‘how’ leadership styles (a social phenomenon) are employed in the organizational ambidexterity context at two companies (natural environment). Four cases are investigated, three cases at engineering and consultancy company DHV and one case at Royal Philips Electronics. These four cases were selected because together they covered all four types of organizational ambidexterity. By investigating four cases this research can be defined as a multiple-case study. Furthermore, this research can be characterized as a theory-oriented research. Since this research intends to contribute to the organizational ambidexterity literature by providing
  4. 4. 4 theoretical insights into which leadership styles do best support the four types of organizational ambidexterity. In addition, due to the fact that this research is aimed at developing a theory, instead of testing pre-defined hypotheses, this research can be labeled as a theory-developing multiple-case study. The empirical data was primarily gathered by conducting semi-structured interviews among employees of the four cases. In total fourteen interviews were held, ten interviews at engineering and consultancy company DHV and the other four at Royal Philips Electronics. Next to the interviews observations took place, as well as document research on (policy) documents and vision plans regarding leadership and exploitation and exploration activities. By combining interviews, document research and observations data triangulation was achieved. Thereby the researcher was able to verify acquired information and facts between multiple resources, which contributed to the internal validity of this research. Results The results of the investigation in practice revealed some very interesting findings regarding (theoretically proposed) combinations of leadership styles and types of organizational ambidexterity. The most significant findings are: • First, the investigation in practice revealed that all cases, except one, pursue a combination of the four types of organizational ambidexterity. Therefore it is argued that units tend to pursue ‘hybrid forms of organizational ambidexterity’ (hereafter named: hybrid ambidexterity), instead of only one of the four individual types of organizational ambidexterity. • Second, the theoretical suggestion that ‘behavioral complexity’ is needed while pursuing organizational ambidexterity is completely confirmed by the investigation in practice. Every interviewee argued that managers need to be able to employ various leadership styles in order to balance contradictory demands. Thus, there is no single best leadership style while pursuing the four types of organizational ambidexterity. • Third, while investigating the types of organizational ambidexterity and leadership styles employed, some additional findings were obtained that can affect the leadership styles that are necessary while pursuing the four types of organizational ambidexterity. These findings are categorized into internal and external factors. Internal factors are the type of activities of a unit, the financial accountability structure of a company, the hierarchical position of a leader and the use of stage- gate models. External factors are the influence of the markets, changing work environments and the influence of shareholders. The organizational ambidexterity continuum model The consequence of these findings is that the theoretical model with combinations of leadership styles and types of organizational ambidexterity, might be too general and too static in order to determine which leadership styles are needed while pursuing organizational ambidexterity. In other words, it is less relevant to determine which leadership styles are most appropriate per type of organizational ambidexterity, because in practice units tend to pursue hybrid forms of organizational ambidexterity. In addition, the specific forms of hybrid ambidexterity and the required leadership styles are influenced by various internal and external factors. Based on these obtained insights it is argued that organizations, departments and units prevail to pursue (over time) hybrid forms of ambidexterity and that this is a form of organizational ambidexterity that can be found on a continuum between two (extreme) types of organizational ambidexterity. Therefore a new model of organizational ambidexterity is developed: ‘The organizational ambidexterity continuum model’, depicted in figure 28 on page 72. By using this model it is better possible to map (hybrid) forms of organizational ambidexterity and the required leadership styles, as well as factors that influence these forms and leadership styles. Finally, based on this new organizational ambidexterity continuum model, four ‘ideal dimensions’ of organizational ambidexterity were defined, together with eight hypotheses for further research on leadership styles and (hybrid) forms of organizational ambidexterity.
  5. 5. 5 Table of Contents 1. Introduction.....................................................................................................................................................................7 1.1 The challenge of balancing exploration and exploitation...................................................................7 1.2 Four types of organizational ambidexterity and the leadership antecedent...........................7 1.3 Research objective......................................................................................................................................................8 1.4 Research model.............................................................................................................................................................9 1.5 Research questions ...................................................................................................................................................10 1.6 Outline research..........................................................................................................................................................11 2. Types of organizational ambidexterity and the third leadership dimension................................. 12 2.1 Introduction ...................................................................................................................................................................12 2.2 Organizational ambidexterity model .............................................................................................................12 2.3 Organizational ambidexterity and the four types...................................................................................13 2.3.1 Organizational ambidexterity....................................................................................................................14 2.3.2 Four types of organizational ambidexterity.......................................................................................17 2.4 Leadership and leadership styles......................................................................................................................20 2.4.1 Transactional and transformational leadership ..............................................................................21 2.4.2 Leadership styles................................................................................................................................................23 2.5 Combinations of leadership styles and the four types of organizational ambidexterity..26 2.5.1 Behavioral complexity ...................................................................................................................................26 2.5.2 Leadership styles and the four types of organizational ambidexterity..............................26 2.6 Three dimensional model of organizational ambidexterity...............................................................32 3. Research methodology.......................................................................................................................................... 34 3.1 Introduction ...................................................................................................................................................................34 3.2 Research strategy......................................................................................................................................................34 3.2.1 Case study research .......................................................................................................................................34 3.2.2 Unit of analysis.....................................................................................................................................................35 3.2.3 Case selection....................................................................................................................................................35 3.3 Data collection............................................................................................................................................................37 3.3.1 Preparation of data collection.................................................................................................................37 3.3.2 Interviews...............................................................................................................................................................37 3.3.3 Document research ........................................................................................................................................38 3.3.4 Observations........................................................................................................................................................38 3.4 Data analyses...............................................................................................................................................................38 3.5 Validity and reliability...............................................................................................................................................39 3.5.1 Validity.....................................................................................................................................................................39 3.5.2 Reliability ................................................................................................................................................................40 4. Case study results...................................................................................................................................................... 41 4.1 Introduction ...................................................................................................................................................................41 4.2 Case results: unit Asset and Information Management (DHV)........................................................41 4.2.1 Types of organizational ambidexterity pursued by case...........................................................41 4.2.2 Leadership styles employed to pursue organizational ambidexterity................................43 4.2.3 Additional findings............................................................................................................................................45 4.3 Case results: unit Urban development, Legal and Finance (DHV)................................................46 4.3.1 Types of organizational ambidexterity pursued by case...........................................................46 4.3.2 Leadership styles employed to pursue organizational ambidexterity................................47 4.3.3 Additional findings............................................................................................................................................50
  6. 6. 6 4.4 Case results: unit Real Estate (DHV).................................................................................................................50 4.4.1 Types of organizational ambidexterity pursued by case...........................................................50 4.4.2 Leadership styles employed to pursue organizational ambidexterity................................51 4.4.3 Additional findings............................................................................................................................................53 4.5 Case results: Philips Incubators ...........................................................................................................................54 4.5.1 Types of organizational ambidexterity pursued by case...........................................................54 4.5.2 Leadership styles employed to pursue organizational ambidexterity................................56 4.5.3 Additional findings............................................................................................................................................59 5. Analyses and hypotheses ..................................................................................................................................... 60 5.1 Introduction ...................................................................................................................................................................60 5.2 Differences and similarities between the four investigated cases ................................................60 5.3 Differences and similarities between theoretical model and investigation in practice...63 5.4 Conclusion on the additional findings ...........................................................................................................66 5.5 Contribution to the organizational ambidexterity theory...................................................................68 5.5.1 Theoretical model as point of departure............................................................................................68 5.5.2 Implications and conclusions.....................................................................................................................69 5.5.3 New theoretical model and hypotheses for further research ................................................71 5.6 Limitations .......................................................................................................................................................................83 5.7 Reflection........................................................................................................................................................................84 5.7.1 Theory ......................................................................................................................................................................84 5.7.2 Research................................................................................................................................................................84 5.7.3 Results ......................................................................................................................................................................85 References......................................................................................................................................................................... 86 Appendix 1 – Interviewees......................................................................................................................................... 91 Appendix 2 – Interview guide................................................................................................................................... 92 Appendix 3 – Studied documents .......................................................................................................................... 93 Appendix 4 – Similarities and differences analysis......................................................................................... 94
  7. 7. 7 1. Introduction 1.1 The challenge of balancing exploration and exploitation In industrial company’s as well as in professional service companies managers struggle with the question how they can manage today’s business in an efficient way, while also being adaptable to changes in the environment so that they are still around tomorrow (Duncan, 1976; Tushman and O’Reilly, 1996). Due to increasing competition within national and international markets, changing legislation, rapid technological change and shortening of product lifecycles this question has become more and more prevalent for organizations (Floyd & Lane, 2000; Grant, 1996a). After all not only the number of changes, but also the intensity of market development, confront organizations with a tension between efficiency and cost reduction on the one hand and flexibility and innovativeness on the other hand (Levinthal & March, 1993; March, 1991). More than forty years ago Thompson (1967) already emphasized the tension and incompatibility between the exploitation and exploration activities of an organization. Thompson described this tension as the ‘paradox of administration’ (p. 15). This paradox manifests itself by organizations having to manage exploitative activities that are focused on increasing efficiency and stability of the current activities, while also pursuing explorative activities that are focused on realizing innovations and flexibility. Duncan (1976) and also Abernathy (1978) noted that both activities are necessary for an organization in order to survive on the short and long term. Duncan introduced the term ‘ambidextrous organization’ as a solution for the paradox between exploitation and exploration activities. The word ambidexterity is derived from the Latin ambos, ‘both’ and dexter, ‘right’ (as opposed to left). Ambidexterity can have three meanings: using both hands with equal ease, being characterized by duplicity or double-dealing, or being unusually skillful or versatile (Merriam- Webster, 2009; Simsek, Heavey, Veiga & Souder, 2009). Increasingly, researchers and practitioners are using the notion of ambidexterity to describe firms that are able to exploit and explore. Thereby the concept of ambidextrous organization is referred to as the organizations ability to master two contrary things - exploitation and exploration activities - in order to succeed on the short and long term (Birkinshaw & Gibson, 2004). Previous research found empirical evidence that organizations that are able to manage exploitation and exploration activities – ambidextrous organizations – perform better than organizations that focus on only one of both activities. Too much focus on exploitation may enhance short-term performance, but it can result in a competence trap (Raisch & Birkinshaw, 2008: p. 392) since firms may not able to respond adequately to environmental changes (Henderson & Clark, 1990; Jansen, Van den Bosch, & Volberda, 2005; Sorenson & Stuart, 2000; Tushman & Anderson, 1986). On the other hand excessive exploration may enhance a firm’s ability to continually renew their knowledge, but can trap organizations in an endless cycle of search and failure and unrewarding change (Birkinshaw & Raisch, 2008: p. 377). Despite an increasing interest in organizational ambidexterity, an examination of the literature reveals that some important research issues remain unexplored, indefinite or conceptually vague. Although near consensus exist on the need to manage the tension between exploitation and exploration activities, there is still relatively little known on how to do this. 1.2 Four types of organizational ambidexterity and the leadership antecedent The last decade a lot of research has been done on the concept of organizational ambidexterity and investigated the antecedents and moderators that influence the tension between exploitation and exploration activities. According to Birkinshaw et al. (2009), ‘the number of studies in leading management journals that explicitly refer to organizational ambidexterity increased from less than 10 in 2004 to more than 80 today (p. 685)’. In addition, as Birkinshaw and Raisch (2008) describe, ‘researchers of various literature streams have contributed to the discussion on organizational ambidexterity. The contradictions between exploitation and exploration, as well as the need to reconcile the two different activities, have been discussed in contexts such as organizational learning, technological innovation, organizational adaption, strategic management and organizational design (p. 377)’. In all this research organizational ambidexterity has been extensively used to broadly refer to an
  8. 8. 8 organization’s ability to perform differing and often competing acts, simultaneously or sequentially (Simsek et al., 2009). Based on various literature streams and previous studies two distinct overarching dimensions of organizational ambidexterity can be distinguished. The first dimension is the ‘temporal dimension’ and it captures the extent to which organizational ambidexterity is pursued simultaneously or sequentially over time. The second dimension is based on Thompson’s (1967) distinction on structure. This dimension captures whether or not organizational ambidexterity is realized within an independent organizational unit (e.g. a business unit) or within interdependent units (e.g. divisions of a multidivisional corporation or firms engaged in a strategic alliance). By putting together the two dimensions, Simsek et al. (2009) presented a two-by-two typology that delineates four types described as harmonic, cyclical, partitional and reciprocal ambidexterity. Simsek et al. based these four types on previous research. Harmonic ambidexterity is described in prior research as contextual ambidexterity (Birkinshaw & Gibson, 2004; Adler et al., 1999) and is achieved through concurrently pursuing exploitation and exploration harmoniously within a single organizational unit. Cyclical ambidexterity is based on the punctuated ambidexterity theory (Helfat & Raubitschek, 2000; Winter & Szulanski, 2001). Cyclical ambidexterity is a type of ambidexterity in which organizations engage in long periods of exploitation, interspersed by sporadic episodes of exploration (Simsek et al., 2009). Partitional ambidexterity is achieved by creating separate units or divisions for exploitation and exploration activities with each unit embodying distinct strategic and operating logics, cultures, and incentive systems. This type is based on prior research concerning structural and network ambidexterity (Tushman & O’Reilly, 1996, 1997; Lin et al., 2007). Reciprocal ambidexterity occurs when the outputs of exploitation from an organizational unit become the inputs for exploration by a second unit and the outputs of second unit cycle back to become the inputs of the first unit. Previous research has shown that the role of leadership is of great importance in fostering organizational ambidexterity. Whether it is about maintaining tight links between separate units pursuing exploitation and exploration activities, or managing the switch between periods of exploitation and exploration, leadership always plays a vital role (Gibson & Birkinshaw, 2004; Jansen et al., 2009; Tushman & O’Reilly, 2011). However, there is still relatively little known about what type of leadership is needed in order to realize organizational ambidexterity, since most of the previous research is focusing on structural antecedents. Consequently, various researches have indicated that further research is needed regarding leadership and organizational ambidexterity. Following the suggestion of Simsek et al. to do further research on leadership styles and organizational ambidexterity, this research investigates which leadership styles do best support the four types - harmonic, cyclical, partitional, reciprocal - of ambidexterity. In doing so, this research builds upon on the model of organizational ambidexterity from Simsek et al. (2009), as described above. This model elaborates four types of organizational ambidexterity that comprehend all prior research on organizational ambidexterity into one construct. 1.3 Research objective The preceding paragraphs provide some insights that substantiate further investigation. In addition, some gaps in prior research are indentified in brief. Given these relevant insights and observed gaps, this research intends to contribute to the organizational ambidexterity literature in the following way. The objective of this research is to provide theoretically insights into which leadership styles do best support the four types - harmonic, cyclical, partitional, reciprocal - of ambidexterity. These insights will be obtained by adding a third - transformational and transactional - leadership dimension to the organizational ambidexterity model of Simsek et al. (2009). This ‘revised’ model will make it possible to determine which leadership styles do best support harmonic, cyclical, partitional and reciprocal ambidexterity. Subsequently this revised model will be investigated in practice via case studies at two companies, engineering and consultancy company DHV and Royal Philips Electronics. These case studies will be carried out through interviews with unit managers and other relevant persons, document research and observations.
  9. 9. 9 1.4 Research model Theory on organizational ambidexterity and leadership styles will be assessed in order to determine an organizational ambidexterity model with three dimensions (A). This model is based on the organizational ambidexterity model from Simsek et al. (2009). In addition to the temporal and structural dimension, a third - transformational and transactional - leadership dimension will be added to the organizational ambidexterity model of Simsek et al. (2009). By doing so, a three dimensional model is constructed instead of two dimensional model. This revised model will be the point of departure to describe which leadership styles do best support harmonic, cyclical, partitional and reciprocal ambidexterity. Subsequently this three dimensional model will be investigated in practice by four cases, three cases at engineering and consultancy company DHV and one case at Royal Philips Electronics (B). To examine the differences and similarities between the four cases, the results of the cases will be compared to each other (C). Based on the case studies and the comparison of the results, hypotheses will be defined on which leadership styles do best support harmonic, cyclical, partitional and reciprocal ambidexterity (D). Below, in Figure 1, a graphic presentation of the research model is depicted. Figure 1: Graphic presentation of the research model. Theory Leadership styles Three dimensional- model Organizational ambidexterity Hypotheses Theory Organizational ambidexterity Unit Asset and Information Management (DHV) Analyses results (D)(A) (B) (C) Philips Incubators Unit Real Estate (DHV) Unit Urban development, Legal and Finance (DHV) Analyses results Analyses results Analyses results
  10. 10. 10 1.5 Research questions To adequately fulfill the research objective, as described in paragraph 1.3, various research questions have been formulated. This section will set out the theoretical, empirical and analytical core research questions and sub-questions. By the answering of these questions, enough information will be derived as to ultimately reach the research objective and define hypotheses on organizational ambidexterity and leadership styles. Theoretical questions Which transformational and transactional leadership styles, based on prior research, do best support harmonic, cyclical, partitional and reciprocal ambidexterity? • What is transformational and transactional leadership? • Which transformational and transactional leadership styles can be distinguished? • What is an ambidextrous organization? • What is harmonic, cyclical, partitional and reciprocal ambidexterity? • Which transformational and transactional leadership styles do best support harmonic, cyclical, partitional and reciprocal ambidexterity? Empirical questions Which leadership styles are used in practice by the cases at engineering and consultancy company DHV and Royal Philips Electronics in order to carry out harmonic, cyclical, partitional and reciprocal ambidexterity? • Which types - harmonic, cyclical, partitional, reciprocal – of organizational ambidexterity are pursued by the cases at engineering and consultancy company DHV? • Which types - harmonic, cyclical, partitional, reciprocal – of organizational ambidexterity are pursued by the case Philips incubators at Royal Philips Electronics? • Which leadership styles are employed by the cases at engineering and consultancy company DHV in order to pursue harmonic, cyclical, partitional or reciprocal organizational ambidexterity? • Which leadership styles are employed by the case Philips incubators at Royal Philips Electronics in order to pursue harmonic, cyclical, partitional or reciprocal organizational ambidexterity? Analytical questions What are the most important differences and similarities between the theoretical combinations of leadership styles and types of organizational ambidexterity and the combinations used in practice at engineering and consultancy company DHV and Royal Philips Electronics, as well as the most important differences and similarities between the results of the exploratory study at engineering and consultancy company DHV and Royal Philips Electronics? • What are the most important differences and similarities between the results of the four investigated cases at both engineering and consultancy company DHV and Royal Philips Electronics? • To which extent do the proposed theoretical combinations of leadership styles and types of organizational ambidexterity correspond with the combinations in practice at engineering and consultancy company DHV and Royal Philips Electronics? • Which leadership styles do best support the four types - harmonic, cyclical, partitional, reciprocal - of ambidexterity, based on the theoretical research and exploratory study in practice engineering and consultancy company DHV and Royal Philips Electronics?
  11. 11. 11 1.6 Outline research The structure of this research is outlined in the following graphic figure. Theoretical framework Empirical framework Synthesis Figure 2: Graphic presentation of the research structure. After the introduction this research continues with the second chapter, which is completely dedicated to the theoretical exploration of the topics of this research. In this chapter the theoretical questions, as described in paragraph 1.5, are answered by providing a thorough literature overview. Chapter three includes an explanation of the methods used for this research. The results of this research can be found in chapter four, these results provide an answer on the empirical questions as described in paragraph 1.5. Chapter five contains an elaboration on the analytical questions of paragraph 1.5. By answering these questions, conclusions are drawn and hypotheses for further research are defined. This last chapter concludes by reflecting on the applied theories, the empirical data gathering and the obtained results. Ch 1: Introduction Ch 2: Types of organizational ambidexterity and the third leadership dimension Ch 5: Analyses and hypotheses Ch 3: Research methodology Ch 4: Case study results
  12. 12. 12 2. Types of organizational ambidexterity and the third leadership dimension 2.1 Introduction The previous chapter outlined the context of this research and based on this context the theoretical research framework is elaborated in this chapter. This chapter explores the current literature on leadership styles and the four types of organizational ambidexterity. This was done under the guidance of the theoretical research questions as defined in paragraph 1.5. The main question (see below) is answered in paragraph 2.5. Before answering this main question logically the sub-questions need to be dealt with; these questions are answered in paragraph 2.3 and 2.4. Moreover, complementary to these questions the organizational ambidexterity model from Simsek et al. (2009) is presented in paragraph 2.2. In paragraph 2.5 combinations of leadership styles that do best support the four types of organizational ambidexterity are proposed, based on the literature discussed in previous paragraphs. Ultimately this results in a revised organizational ambidexterity model, portrayed in paragraph 2.6. The main and sub theoretical questions that are answered in this chapter are: Which transformational and transactional leadership styles, based on prior research, do best support harmonic, cyclical, partitional and reciprocal ambidexterity? • What is an ambidextrous organization? • What is harmonic, cyclical, partitional and reciprocal ambidexterity? • What is transformational and transactional leadership? • Which transformational and transactional leadership styles can be distinguished? • Which transformational and transactional leadership styles do best support harmonic, cyclical, partitional and reciprocal ambidexterity? 2.2 Organizational ambidexterity model Based on the various literature streams and studies two distinct overarching dimensions of organizational ambidexterity can be distinguished. The first dimension is the ‘temporal dimension’ and it captures the extent to which organizational ambidexterity is pursued simultaneously or sequentially over time. The simultaneously pursuit of organizational ambidexterity is based on organizational context and culture literature (Bartlett & Ghoshal, 1989; Burgelman, 1991). In this case the organization needs to support the simultaneous pursuit of exploitation and exploration activities. The sequentially pursuit of organizational ambidexterity is based on the punctuated equilibrium theory from Gersick (1991, p. 14). As such, organizational ambidexterity is attained via a system of temporal cycling in which the organization alternate between long periods of exploitation (equilibrium) and short bursts of exploration (punctuated) (Gupta et al., 2006).The second dimension is based on Thompson’s (1967) distinction on structure. This dimension captures whether or not organizational ambidexterity is realized within an independent organizational unit (e.g. a business unit) or within interdependent units (e.g. divisions of a multidivisional corporation or firms engaged in a strategic alliance). Put differently, when both exploitation Figure 3: Four types of organizational ambidexterity.
  13. 13. 13 and exploration activities are pursued by the same unit, the pursuit of ambidexterity is viewed as structurally independent. Conversely when these pursuits involve two or more separate units, for example an R&D unit for exploration activities and a Sales unit for exploitation activities, ambidexterity is viewed as structurally interdependent. If the latter one is the case, although each unit may operate independently of the other, they are purposefully interdependent in their pursuit of organizational ambidexterity (Simsek et al., 2009). Birkinshaw & Gibson (2004, 2008) make a similar distinction, they use the terms ‘structural ambidexterity’ (across various units) and ‘contextual ambidexterity’ (within one unit). By putting together the two dimensions, Simsek et al. (2009), a two-by-two typology is presented that delineates four types described as harmonic, cyclical, partitional and reciprocal ambidexterity (figure 3). Simsek et al. based these four types on previous research. Harmonic ambidexterity is described in prior research as contextual ambidexterity (Birkinshaw & Gibson, 2004; Adler, 1999) and is achieved through concurrently pursuing exploitation and exploration harmoniously within a single organizational unit. Cyclical ambidexterity is based on the punctuated ambidexterity theory (Helfat & Raubitschek, 2000; Winter & Szulanski, 2001). Cyclical ambidexterity is a type of ambidexterity in which organizations engage in long periods of exploitation (or relative stability), interspersed by sporadic episodes of exploration (or change). Partitional ambidexterity is achieved by creating separate units or divisions for exploitation and exploration activities, with each unit embodying distinct strategic and operating logics, cultures, and incentive systems. This type is based on prior research concerning structural and network ambidexterity (Tushman & O’Reilly, 1996, 1997; Lin et al., 2007). Reciprocal ambidexterity occurs when the outputs of exploitation from an organizational unit become the inputs for exploration by a second unit and the outputs of second unit cycle back to become the inputs of the first unit. Both Birkinshaw and Gibson (2008) and Simsek et al. (2009) did an extensive review on the various literature streams and developed a comprehensive overview that covers research into the antecedents, moderators, and outcomes of organizational ambidexterity. According to Birkinshaw & Gibson (2008) and Simsek et al. (2009) organizational structures, behavioral contexts, and leadership processes are the main promoters (antecedents) of organizational ambidexterity. However, both meta-analyses indicate that most of the reviewed studies focus on structural antecedents and that more research is needed concerning organizational ambidexterity and context and leadership antecedents. Following the suggestion of Simsek et al. (2009) to do further research on leadership style and organizational ambidexterity, this research will investigate which leadership styles do best support the four types - harmonic, cyclical, partitional, reciprocal - of ambidexterity. In doing so, this research will build upon on the model of organizational ambidexterity from by Simsek et al. (2009) as described and depicted above. After some further investigation in the literature on leadership theories, the theory regarding transformational and transactional leadership of Bass and Avolio’s (1991, 1994, 1998, 1999, 2002) will be used to add the third dimension to the model of Simsek et al. (2009). The choice for the distinction between transformational and transactional leadership is based on earlier research from Jansen et al. (2009). This research proved a significant relation between transformational leadership and exploration activities and transactional leadership and exploitation activities. A more specific justification for this choice is given in paragraph 2.4. In this same paragraph it is described which transformational and transactional leadership styles can be distinguished. Preceding these paragraphs, the next paragraph describes the four types of organizational ambidexterity in detail. 2.3 Organizational ambidexterity and the four types This paragraph answers the first two theoretical sub-question as presented in paragraph 2.1. The first question is: ‘what is an ambidextrous organization’? The second is: ‘what is harmonic, cyclical, partitional and reciprocal ambidexterity’? In the next section general principles related to organizational ambidexterity are assessed, as well as the four types of organizational ambidexterity and the determinants of these types.
  14. 14. 14 2.3.1 Organizational ambidexterity According to the Oxford English Dictionary the word ambidexterity is derived from the Latin ambos, ‘both’ and dexter, ‘right’ (as opposed to left). Ambidexterity can have three meanings: using both hands with equal ease, being characterized by duplicity or double- dealing, or being unusually skillful or versatile (Merriam-Webster, 2009). The most common used explanation is ambidextrous as the ability to be equally skilled with each hand rather than being either ‘right-handed’ or ‘left handed’. Organization theorists have adopted this characteristic as a metaphor to describe a type of organization. In 1976 Duncan was the first who used the word ambidexterity to work out the term ‘organizational ambidexterity’, which Duncan defined as the firm’s ability to design dual structures (i.e. mechanic versus organic) that facilitates the initiating and implementation stages of innovation. Duncan argued that the use of dual structures allows organizations to manage the tension between exploitation activities and exploration activities. Long before Duncan introduced the term ‘organizational ambidexterity’ researchers like Schumpeter (1934), Cyert and March (1963), Winter (1971), Holland (1975), Hedberg, Nystrom and Starbuck (1976) and Weick (1976) where already working on the tension between exploitation and exploration activities of organizations. From this early research up to now, a growing body of research studies how organizations can manage both exploitation and exploration - ambidextrous organizations – in a successful manner. The contradictions between exploitation and exploration, as well as the need to reconcile the two different activities, have been discussed in various literature streams such as organizational learning, technological innovation, organizational adaption, strategic management and organizational design (Birkinshaw & Raisch, 2008: p. 377). In order to get a clear understanding of the term organizational ambidexterity, the next section describes the different use of the concept of organizational ambidexterity in the various literature streams. • Organizational learning. ‘In the learning literature there is some discussion about whether exploitation and exploration activities should both be associated with learning activities. One group of researchers defined exploitation as the reuse of existing knowledge and thus assigned all instances of learning to exploration (Argyris & Schon, 1978; March, 1991; Levinthal & March, 1993; Baum, Li & Usher, 2000; He& Wong, 2004; Gupta et al., 2006). Another group of researchers differentiated between exploitation and exploration by focusing on the type or degree of learning rather than the presence or absence of learning. For instance Baum, Li, and Usher (2000, p. 768) suggest that ‘exploitation refers to learning gained via local search, experiential refinement, and selection and reuse of existing routines. Exploration refers to learning gained through processes of concerted variation, planned experimentation, and play’. However, despite the differences between the two views, researchers have agreed that a well-balanced combination of two types of learning is essential for long-term organizational success (Raisch & Birkinshaw, 2008: p. 377)’. Cegarra-Navarro and Dewhurst (2007) define organizational ambidexterity as an organizations ability to achieve alignment and adaptability simultaneously within the organization learning processes. March (1991) also noted organizational ambidexterity as the simultaneous pursuit of exploitation of existing competencies and exploration of new competencies. Thereby in context of the learning literature organizational ambidexterity can be defined as achieving a well-balanced combination of two fundamentally different learning activities. • Technological innovation. This literature stream defines the tension between exploitation and exploration activities by the distinction between incremental and radical innovation (Abernathy & Clark, 1985; Dewar & Dutton, 1986; Dougherty, 1992; Tushman & O’Reilly, 1996; Acona et al, 2001; Holmqvist, 2004; Smith & Tushman, 2005). ‘Incremental innovations are relatively minor adaptations of existing products and business concepts. In contrast, radical innovations refer to fundamental changes leading to a switch from existing products or concepts to completely new ones (Raisch & Birkinshaw, 2008: p. 378)’. Smith and Tushman (2005) describe incremental innovations as exploitative activities and radical innovations as explorative activities. Tushman and O’Reilly define organizational ambidexterity as ‘the ability to simultaneously pursue both incremental and discontinuous innovation’ (1996, p. 24). Other definitions of organizational ambidexterity within this literature stream are: ‘the
  15. 15. 15 ability to maintain superior performance in established business, while managing innovation in targeted areas (Nadler & Tushman, 1999)’ and ‘organizations achieving both high levels of exploratory and exploitative innovations simultaneously (Gibson & Birkinshaw, 2004)’. • Organizational adaption. Raisch and Birkinshaw (2008) described, ‘that researchers of this literature stream have suggested that long-term success requires an organizational balance between continuity and change (Tushman & Romanelli, 1985; Volberba, 1996; Brown & Eisenhardt, 1997; Leana & Barry, 2000; Probst & Raisch; Meyer & Stensaker, 2006). ‘The need for balance between continuity and change is also reflected by related constructs for example organizational identity (Dutton & Dukerich, 1991; Schultz, & Corley, 2000), absorptive capacity (Jansen, Van den Bosch, & Volberda, 2005b; Zahra & George, 2002) and organizational routines (Feldman & Pentland, 2003) (p. 379)’. He and Wong (2004) defined organizational ambidexterity as being aligned and efficient in managing today’s demands, while also being adaptable to changes in the environment. In the context of these theories organizational ambidexterity can be defined as the ability of organizations to balance the need to implement changes and the need to maintain daily operations (Meyer & Stensaker, 2006). • Strategic management. Various researchers on this literature stream have described the concept of organizational ambidexterity. ‘Foremost Burgelman (1991, 2002), he makes a distinction between induced strategic processes and autonomous strategic processes. The induced processes concerns initiatives that are within the scope of the organizations current strategy and build on existing knowledge, whereas the autonomous processes concerns initiatives that emerge outside the current strategies scope and involve the creation of new competencies. Burgelman explicitly relates induced strategic processes to exploitation activities and autonomous strategy processes to exploration activities Raisch & Birkinshaw, 2008: p. 379)’. Burgelman also suggested that a combination of the two strategic processes may be the most beneficial: ‘organizations may have to keep both processes in play at all times, even though this means that the organization never completely maximizes its efforts in the current domain’ (p. 256). Other researches within this literature stream make a similar distinction between strategic processes. As described by Raisch and Birkinshaw (2008), ‘Ricart i Costa (1993) makes an distinction between static efficiency and dynamic efficiency, with the former concerned about the refinement of existing products, processes, and capabilities and the latter concerned about the development of new ones (p. 380)’. From this strategic management perspective organizational ambidexterity can be described as the ability of an organization to keep both induced strategic processes and autonomous strategy processes in play at all times (Burgelman, 1991, 2002; Hamel & Prahald, 1993; Volberba et al, 2001;). • Organizational design. Researchers on this literature stream define the tension between exploitation and exploration activities by the distinction between efficiency and flexibility (Thompson 1967; Duncan, 1976; Tushman & O’Reilly, 1996; Adler et al, 1999; Gibson & Birkinshaw, 2004; Jansen et al, 2005; Hill & Birkinshaw; O’Reilly & Tushman, 2007; Jansen et al, 2008). Burns and Stalker (1961) and later on Duncan (1976) argued that organizations require two types of structures in order to manage both efficiency and flexibility. ‘The organic structure to create innovations and mechanistic structure to implement and deploy innovations’. Several researchers argue that mechanistic and organic features are difficult to reconcile within a single business unit (Birkinshaw & Raisch, 2008: p. 380)’. On the other hand researches also claim that firms can resolve the tension between efficiency and flexibility by combining mechanistic and organic features within one unit (Adler et al., 1999; Jansen et al., 2005; Sheremata, 2000) or developing a collective organizational context (Gibson & Birkinshaw, 2004). In an attempt to describe the differences between the two views Gibson & Birkinshaw (2004) distinguished structural ambidexterity as creating different units for exploitation and exploration activities and contextual ambidexterity as the concept of combining exploration and exploitation activities within one unit. Besides, the different perspective on structure there is also a discussion between researchers of this literature stream (and other streams) on whether organizational ambidexterity is pursued simultaneously or sequentially.
  16. 16. 16 ‘Several researchers have suggested that firms should temporarily cycle through periods of exploitation and exploration (e.g., Brown and Eisenhardt 1998, Nickerson & Zenger 2002, Siggelkow & Levinthal 2003) (Birkinshaw & Raisch, 2008: p. 389)’. This perspective is based on the punctuated equilibrium theory from Gersick (1991, p. 14) and is in the context of organizational ambidexterity further elaborated as the punctuated ambidexterity theory (Helfat & Raubitschek, 2000; Winter & Szulanski, 2001). From this perspective, organizational ambidexterity is achieved by alternating between long periods of exploitation (equilibrium) and short bursts of exploration (punctuated). Conversely, researchers define organizational ambidexterity as the simultaneous pursuit of exploitation and exploration (Gupta et al., 2006; Birkinshaw & Raisch, 2008). From this perspective an organization is pursuing exploitation and exploration activities at the same time, within or across units. Despite the different perspectives practically all researchers agree that an organization should pursue both exploitation and exploration activities in order to ensure future viability. Table 1 recites the most prevalent definitions of organizational ambidexterity used in the various literature streams as described above. Literature stream Definition organizational ambidexterity Organizational learning ‘The ability to achieve alignment and adaptability simultaneously within the organization learning processes (Cegarra-Navarro & Dewhurst, 2007).’ ‘Organizational ambidexterity is the simultaneous pursuit of exploitation of existing competencies and exploration of new competencies (March, 1991).’ Technological innovation ‘The ability to simultaneously pursue both incremental innovations and discontinuous innovations’ (Tushman & O’Reilly, 1996).’ ‘The ability to maintain superior performance in established business, while managing innovation in targeted areas (Nadler & Tushman, 1999)’. ‘Organizations achieving both high levels of exploratory and exploitative innovations simultaneously (Gibson & Birkinshaw, 2004).’ Organizational adaption ‘Organizational ambidexterity is being aligned and efficient in managing today’s demands, while also being adaptable to changes in the environment (He & Wong, 2004).’ ‘The ability of organizations to balance the need to implement changes and the need to maintain daily operations (Meyer & Stensaker, 2006).’ Strategic management ‘The ability of an organization to keep both induced strategic processes and autonomous strategy processes in play at all times’ (Burgelman, 1991)’. Organizational design ‘The simultaneous pursuit of exploitation and exploration (Gupta et al., 2006; Raisch & Birkinshaw, 2008)’. ‘The ability to alternate between periods of exploitation (equilibrium) and short bursts of exploration (punctuated) (Brown & Eisenhardt, 1998)’. ‘The firm’s ability to design dual structures (i.e. mechanic versus organic) that facilitates the initiating and implementation stages of innovation (Duncan, 1976; Burns & Stalker, 1961)’ Table 1: Definitions of organizational ambidexterity.
  17. 17. 17 As described above, it becomes clear that researchers have diversely defined organizational ambidexterity based on their perspective and theoretical background. In these studies, organizational ambidexterity was related as the organizations ability to pursue induced and autonomous strategic processes, stability and transformation in organizational adaptation, induced and autonomous strategic processes, incremental and radical innovation and efficiency and flexibility in organizational design. However, while these studies have focused on different elements of organizational ambidexterity they refer to the same underlying construct. In all this research the term organizational ambidexterity has been used to broadly refer to an organizations ability to perform differing and often competing activities, simultaneously or sequentially. Although there is a wide consensus on this description of organizational ambidexterity it is still very general. Moreover it is not specific enough concerning the ongoing discussion on whether organizational ambidexterity is the concept of pursuing exploration and exploitation activities simultaneously or sequentially. Some researchers define the difference between simultaneously or sequentially as two completely different mechanisms. They describe the simultaneous pursuit of exploration and exploitation activities as ‘organizational ambidexterity’ and the sequential pursuit as ‘punctuated equilibrium’ (Levinthal & March, 1993; Vermeulen & Barkema, 2001). Additionally, as Gupta et al. argued, ‘theories about the ease or difficulty with which an organization can pursue both exploration and exploitation activities depend crucially on whether these two activities are treated as competing or complementary aspects (2006, p 693)’. Based on these prior studies and discussions Simsek et al. (2009) have synthesized the various insights in order to minimize the confusion and create a more holistic understanding of the term organizational ambidexterity. Thereby, they defined two distinct overarching dimensions of organizational ambidexterity, a temporal dimension and a structural dimension, which results in four types of organizational ambidexterity (see paragraph 2.2). Based on this further elaboration by Simsek et al. (2009), organizational ambidexterity in this research is defined as: ‘The ability of an organization to pursue both exploitation and exploration activities simultaneously or sequentially, within the same unit or across units’. By discussing the various literature streams and perspectives a well-reasoned definition is given of the term organizational ambidexterity. By doing so it is now possible to answer the first theoretical sub-question: ‘what is an ambidextrous organization?’ The answer to this question is that the ambidextrous organization is an organization that is able to manage the tension between exploitation and exploration activities by pursuing these activities simultaneously or sequentially within the same unit or across units. The next paragraph describes the four types of organizational ambidexterity - harmonic, cyclical, partitional and reciprocal – as presented by Simsek et al. (2009). These four types help to further unify the various conceptualizations of the term organizational ambidexterity and make it possible to recognize the different pursuits of organizational ambidexterity in practice. 2.3.2 Four types of organizational ambidexterity As mentioned in the previous section this section further specify the four types of organizational ambidexterity as presented by Simsek et al. (2009) and thereby answers the second theoretical sub-question. Harmonic ambidexterity This type of organizational ambidexterity is in prior research described as contextual ambidexterity (Birkinshaw & Gibson, 2004; Adler, 1999) and is achieved through concurrently pursuing exploitation and exploration harmoniously within a single organizational unit. Harmonic ambidexterity is based on organizational context and culture literature (Bartlett & Ghoshal, 1989; Burgelman, 1991; Ghoshal & Bartlett, 1994). Gibson and Birkinshaw (2004) described organizational context as the surface level, ‘artifactual’ manifestation of culture that define the systems, processes, and beliefs that
  18. 18. 18 shape individual level behaviors. Furthermore they argue that due to the fact that exploitation and exploration activities are competing for the same resources, organizations are required to ‘build a set of processes or systems that enable and encourage individuals to make their own judgments about how to divide their time between the conflicting exploitation and exploration activities (2004, p. 210)’. In the absence of such a set of processes or systems this type of organizational ambidexterity will result in conflicts, contradictions, and inconsistencies (Adler et al., 1999; Corso & Pellegrini, 2007; Gibson & Birkinshaw, 2004). In addition, Gibson and Birkinshaw (2004) argue that the context that is created by processes or systems should involve a joint emphasis on performance (discipline and trust) and social support (support and trust). This will enhance the simultaneous pursuit of exploitation and exploration activities by encouraging individuals to make the right decision how to divide their time between the two competing activities. Besides creating a supportive context Adler et al. (1999) reasoned that there are also some practices and routines that support the simultaneous pursuit of exploitation and exploration activities within the same unit. He mentioned the use of meta-routines, job enrichment and task partitioning. Job enrichment programmes for example can provide employees with training and experience in both exploitation and exploration, enabling them to perform and contribute to both sets of activities, whereas meta-routines enable the coordination, synchronization, and integration of exploitive and exploratory activities. Routines that emphasize systematic reflection, conflict regulation, and integration are also useful for harmonizing exploitation and exploration activities within a single domain (Guttel & Konlechner, 2007). Moreover, certain organizational systems, such as team-based structures, and human resource practices have been shown to support the simultaneous pursuit of exploitation and exploration (Bierly & Daly, 2007). Cyclical ambidexterity Based on the punctuated ambidexterity theory (Helfat & Raubitschek, 2000; Winter & Szulanski, 2001) cyclical ambidexterity is a type of ambidexterity in which organizations engage in long periods of exploitation, alternated with sporadic episodes of exploration. As such, organizational ambidexterity is achieved by sequential pursuing exploitation or exploration activities. Resources are not divided between the two activities. Instead, all resources are focused on one activity, either exploitation or exploration, at the time. As a result, this type of ambidexterity involves a system of temporal cycling, in which organizations alternate between periods of exploitation and periods of exploration (Gupta et al., 2006). Previous research suggests that cyclical ambidexterity primarily occurs within highly technologically-oriented organizations. Most of these organizations follow the S-shaped curve, the beginning of the curve reflects the significant early-stage effort and investment required until a dominant design is established (exploration) (Chen, 2005). Subsequently, a dramatic increase in production results as the innovation is exploited. Eventually, at the top of the curve, the influence of exploitation becomes marginal and this cycle repeats anew. Pursuing exploitation and exploration activities sequentially will minimize the resource and administrative constraints of a simultaneous approach. Furthermore a temporal separation may as well facilitate efficient specialization of Figure 5: Cyclical ambidexterity. Figure 4: Harmonic ambidexterity.
  19. 19. 19 exploitation or exploration activities. However, the process of cycling between periods of exploitation and exploration involves also changes in the formal structure and routines, practices and procedures, styles and systems of reward and control, and resource allocation. In addition, the cycling between the two periods can produce role and change conflicts at the level of the group and individual. Nevertheless, human resource practices that emphasize innovation, teamwork, and flexibility can be the underpinning for an adaptive organizational culture that enables these sequential shifts. Partitional ambidexterity This type of organizational ambidexterity is achieved by creating separate units or divisions for exploitation and exploration activities, with each unit embodying distinct strategic and operating logics, cultures, and incentive systems. This type is based on prior research concerning structural and network ambidexterity (Tushman & O’Reilly, 1996, 1997; Lin et al., 2007; Gibson & Birkinshaw, 2004). While each unit operates independently, all units are organizationally interdependent in order to achieve ambidexterity. However, each unit has its own distinct management team, organization structure, culture, control systems, and incentive structures (Benner & Tushman, 2003). In order to realize organizational ambidexterity O’Reilly and Tushman (2007) argue that units should be linked together through a shared vision or management team integration (Simsek et al., 2009). This integration of the two separate units is a major challenge for achieving this type of ambidexterity. After all, separation of exploration and exploitation activities across units can lead to isolation of one of the activities. Prior studies have indicated that many R&D and business- development groups (exploration units) have failed to get their ideas accepted because of their lack of linkages to the core businesses (Gibson & Birkinshaw, 2004). Achieving integration through a shared vision begins with acknowledging the importance of both exploitation and exploration, with neither one being perceived as more important (O’Reilly & Tushman, 2007). Beyond this, the organization must be able to both embrace the paradoxes associated with jointly pursuing exploitation and exploration activities (Smith & Tushman, 2005), as well as manage the information processing and coordination of demands (Lubatkin et al., 2006). Tushman et al. (2004) argued that companies, which aim to achieve partitional ambidexterity, are successful in launching breakthrough products/services and in ensuring the continuous high performance of existing products/services (Simsek et al., 2009). In addition, recent research suggests that partitional ambidexterity can be pursued across, as well as within, organizations (Lavie & Rosenkopf, 2006; Lin et al., 2007; Tiwana, 2008). Pursuing partitional ambidexterity across organizations can be achieved by using interorganizational networks. In a study of almost 20,000 alliances over a period of ten years, Lavie and Rosenkopf (2006) observed that exploitation and exploration can be pursued both within and across three domains of strategic alliances including the value chain function of alliances, the attributes of alliance partners, and the network position of alliance partners. Reciprocal ambidexterity This type of organizational ambidexterity occurs when the outputs of exploration from unit A become the inputs for exploitation by unit B and the outputs of unit B cycle back to become the inputs of unit A (Thompson, 1967). This type is based on prior research concerning entrainment and social network theories, however up to now relatively few studies have examined this type of ambidexterity. Unlike cyclical ambidexterity which involves a shift between exploitation and exploration activities at a certain point in time, this type requires relationships characterized by ongoing information exchange, collaborative problem solving, joint decision making and resource flows between the different units responsible for exploitation and exploration activities. Thereby reciprocal ambidexterity can be defined as Figure 6: Partitional ambidexterity.
  20. 20. 20 being a synergistic fusion of complementary streams of exploitation and exploration activities that occur across time and units (Simsek et al., 2009, p. 887). In order to establish such a ‘synergistic fusion’ the organization must be capable of spreading information across as well as within organizations, thereby facilitating the reciprocal information flows between exploitive and exploratory units (Mom et al., 2007). In addition, Lavie and Rosenkopf (2006) suggest that alliances and interfirm-networks are important factors in achieving reciprocal ambidexterity. Also, researchers working on social network theories have emphasized the role of interfirm-networks for achieving this type of ambidexterity (Lin et al., 2007; Tiwana, 2008). From this perspective, reciprocal ambidexterity is achieved through alliances and inter-organizational networks as mechanisms for combining exploitation and exploration activities across time and units. Similar to cyclical ambidexterity this type of organizational ambidexterity primarily occurs within highly technologically-oriented organizations, as described previous most of these organizations follow the S-shaped curve. 2.4 Leadership and leadership styles Whether it is about maintaining tight links between separate units pursuing exploitation and exploration activities, or managing the switch between periods of exploitation and exploration, leadership always plays a vital role (Gibson & Birkinshaw, 2004; Jansen et al., 2009; Tushman & O’Reilly, 2011). Prior research on leadership styles proved that leadership styles fulfill an important role in realizing an effective management in ambiguous situations Edmondson et al., 2003; Eisenhardt et al., 1997). Researchers also argue that leadership styles will positively or negatively influence the tension between exploitation and exploration activities of an organization. Thereby, executive management may assign different senior team members to exploitative or exploratory activities based on the available leadership attributes (Smith & Tushman, 2005). In addition, Simsek et al. (2009) argue that the role of leadership is very important in the attainment of the four types of organizational ambidexterity. However, the term leadership means different things to different people. Some researchers argue that leadership is a subset of managerial activities, other see leading and managing as overlapping roles, yet other describe them as different processes. Nevertheless, Kotter (1990) argued that leaders and managers are not necessarily different persons, but rather different roles. Furthermore, prior research on leadership has taken different perspectives, leader traits, behaviors, and the influence of situational characteristics on leader effectiveness, for example, have all been studied. Although no ultimate definition of leadership exists (Yukl, 2002), the majority of definitions of leadership reflect some basic elements, including ‘group’ ‘influence’ and ‘goal’ (Bryman, 1992). In this research leadership is considered as the behavioral process of influencing a group of people towards achieving harmonic, cyclical, partitional and reciprocal ambidexterity. Also in this research, management and leadership are considered as roles that are not mutually exclusive. Following the suggestion of Simsek et al. (2009) to do further research on leadership style and organizational ambidexterity, this research will investigate which leadership styles do best support the four types - harmonic, cyclical, partitional, reciprocal - of ambidexterity. In doing so, the organizational ambidexterity model of Simsek et al. (2009) will be extended with a third leadership dimension that captures transformational and transactional leadership. Among the various leadership theories, researchers particularly studied transformational and transactional leadership with regard to organizational ambidexterity (Dutton & Heaphy, 2003; Verra & Crossan, 2004; Berson et al., 2006; Nemanich & Vera, 2009; Jansen et al., 2008, 2009). Therefore the ‘full-range leadership theory’ is used, as conceptualized by Bass (1985) and developed by Avolio and Bass (1991). In this theory three major types of leadership behavior are distinguished: laissez-faire, transactional, and transformational leadership. These three Figure 7: Reciprocal ambidexterity.
  21. 21. 21 types of leadership behavior are the most prominent in the literature on leadership (Keegan & Den Hartog, 2004). However, the laissez-faire leadership is also described as non-leadership. This type of leadership is inactive and is often referred to as a lack of leadership (Avolio & Bass, 1995). These leaders may assign tasks but provide no additional leadership such as support or management oversight. Decisions are left to others in the organization and these laissez-faire leaders often quickly lose power in the organization due to their lack of action. Of these three leadership styles, laissez-faire leadership has been found to be the least effective (Avolio & Bass, 1995). Therefore only transactional and transformational leadership is used in this research. These leadership types are based on classic studies of leadership that found two key dimensions of leadership behavior, person-focused leadership and task-focused leadership (Bass & Stogdill, 1990). Besides, both types of leadership are found on prior classifications, such as relations-oriented versus task-oriented (Fielder, 1967) and directive versus participative leadership (Heller & Yukl, 1969). 2.4.1 Transactional and transformational leadership Understanding the difference between transactional and transformational leadership is crucial before adding the leadership dimension to the organizational ambidexterity model. Therefore, this section further examines transactional and transformational leadership. In doing so, it eventually become possible to determine which transformational and transactional leadership styles do best support harmonic, cyclical, partitional and reciprocal ambidexterity. Transactional leadership This kind of leadership behavior occurs when there is an exchange relation between leaders and followers, Bass (1990) states that transactional leadership is built on reciprocity. Yukl (1999) noted that transactional leadership represents those exchanges in which both the leader and the followers influence one another reciprocally so that each derives something of value. Simply stated, transactional leaders give followers something they want in exchange for something the leaders want. Thereby the relationship between leaders and their followers is based on the concept that a leader has to give something to his followers in exchange for the followers performing certain tasks. In this style, a leader may offer something valuable like increased salary, incentives, and promotion to his followers, who in turn are expected to fulfil their duties well. Otherwise, the leader provides his followers less future opportunity and incentive or may use a demotion as a form of punishment for not projecting a good performance (Burns, 1978; Bass, 1997). Summarized, transactional leadership can be defined as setting goals, monitoring progress towards the goal achievement and rewarding people according to their performance towards the goal achievement. In addition, Vera and Crossan (2004, p. 230) argue that transactional leadership is aimed at incremental change, efficiency, and continuity. As described by the full-range leadership theory transactional leadership comprises three sub-components. ‘First, contingent reward (i.e., constructive transactions) this refers to leader behaviors focused on clarifying role and task requirements and providing followers with material or psychological rewards contingent on the fulfillment of contractual obligations. Second, management-by-exception active (i.e., active corrective transactions) refers to the active attentiveness of a leader whose goal is to ensure that standards are met. Third, management-by-exception passive (i.e., passive corrective transactions) occurs when the leader waits to take action until mistakes are brought to his or her attention, the leader will only intervene when problems become serious (Antonakis, Avolio et al., 2003: p. 265)’. Transformational leadership According to Bass (1985), transformational leadership originates in the personal values of leaders, not in an exchange of ‘commodities’ between leaders and followers. By expressing their values (e.g. justice, integrity), transformational leaders are able both to unite followers and to change followers goals and beliefs. Transformational leadership behavior is charismatic, inspirational, intellectually stimulating, and individually considerate (Avolio et al., 1999). Transformational leaders help individuals to go beyond their self-interest for the sake of the larger vision of the organization. These leaders inspire others with their vision, create excitement through their enthusiasm and question the tried-and-true (Bass & Avolio, 1990). Thus, transformational leadership can be defined as the ability to stimulate followers to go
  22. 22. 22 beyond their self-interest and contribute to the achievement of organizational goals. Or as Vigoda-Gadot (2006) states, the essence of transformational leadership is the ability of leaders to motivate their followers to do more than what is initially expected of them. Thereby, rather than analyzing and controlling specific transactions with the followers by using rules, directions and incentives, transformational leadership focuses on intangible qualities such as vision, shared values, and ideas in order to achieve the organizational goals. Moreover, whereas transactional leadership is aimed at incremental change, efficiency, and continuity, transformational leadership emphasizes experimentation, risk taking, punctuated change, and multiple alternatives, (Vera & Crossan, 2004, p. 230). As well as transactional leadership, transformational leadership also embodies sub- components. Based on the full-range leadership theory the following four components can be distinguished: idealized influence (attributed) idealized influence (behavior), inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation and individualized consideration. ‘Idealized influence (attributed) refers to the socialized charisma of the leader, whether the leader is perceived as being confident and powerful, and whether the leader is viewed as focusing on higher-order ideals and ethics. Idealized influence (behavior) refers to charismatic actions of the leader that are centered on values, beliefs, and a sense of mission that causes followers to identify with the leader. Inspirational motivation refers to the ways leaders energize their followers by viewing the future with optimism, stressing ambitious goals, projecting an idealized vision, and communicating to followers that the vision is achievable. Intellectual stimulation refers to the degree to which leaders stimulate their followers efforts to be innovative and creative by questioning assumptions, reframing problems, and approaching old situations in new ways (Antonakis, Avolio et al., 2003: p. 264-265)’. Individualized consideration captures the degree to which leaders pay attention to each individuals need for achievement and growth by acting as a coach or mentor (Avolio, Bass, & Jung, 1999; Bass et al, 2003). Table 2, lists the most prevalent characteristics of transactional and transformational leadership. Transactional Leadership Transformational Leadership Leaders are aware of the link between the effort and reward. Leaders arouse emotions in their followers which motivates them to act beyond the framework of what may be described as exchange relations. Leadership is responsive and its basic orientation is dealing with present issues. Leadership is proactive and forms new expectations in followers. Leaders rely on standard forms of inducement, reward, punishment and sanction to control followers. Leaders are distinguished by their capacity to inspire and provide individualized consideration, intellectual stimulation and idealized influence to their followers. Leaders motivate followers by setting goals and promising rewards for desired performance. Leaders create opportunities for their followers and stimulate followers to solve problems. Leadership depends on the leader’s power to reinforce subordinates for their successful completion of the bargain. Leaders possess good visioning, rhetorical and management skills, to develop strong emotional bonds with followers. Leaders motivate followers to work for goals that go beyond self-interest. Table 2: Characteristic of transactional leadership and transformational leadership (source: Bass, 1985). Whereas Burns (1978) represents transformational leadership and transactional leadership as opposite ends of a continuum. Bass (1985, 1998), on the contrary, views them as distinct dimensions, which allows a leader to be transactional, transformational or both. Bass argued that transformational leadership is complementary to transactional leadership, because
  23. 23. 23 transactional leadership will be ineffective in total absence of a transactional relationship between leaders and followers (Bass & Avolio, 1990). In addition, Bass noted that both types are separate concepts and that good leaders demonstrate characteristics of both (Judge & Piccolo, 2004, p. 755). Therefore in this research transactional leadership and transformational leadership are considered as distinct dimensions instead of two opposite ends of a continuum. However, various studies proved that leaders of exploitative units are expected to behave transactional, while leaders of exploratory units are expected to behave transformational (Vera & Crossan, 2004; Jansen et al., 2008, 2009). Accordingly, in this research it is assumed that organizations usually may employ transactional leadership to pursue exploitative activities and transformational leadership styles to pursue exploratory activities. 2.4.2 Leadership styles The previous section described transactional and transformational leadership in more detail and revealed that the two types of leadership contain various sub-components in terms of behavior. Thereby the third theoretical question is answered, ‘what is transformational and transactional leadership?’ The next theoretical question - ‘which transformational and transactional leadership styles can be distinguished?’ – will be answered in this section. In this research transactional and transformational leadership are considered as overarching types of leadership and not as specific leadership styles as such. Therefore further research is carried out, to determine which leadership styles do best represent the behaviors of transactional and transformational leadership as recount in table 3. Sub-components per leadership type Description of leadership behavior Transactional Contingent reward Provides rewards for satisfactory performance by followers. Management by exception (active) Attends to followers mistakes and failures to meet standards. Management by exception (passive) Waits until problems become severe before attending to them and intervening. Transformational Idealized influence (attribute) Demonstrates qualities that motivate respect and pride from association with him or her. Idealized influence (behavior) Communicates values, purpose, and importance of organizations mission. Inspirational motivation Exhibits optimism and excitement about goals and future states. Intellectual stimulation Examines new perspectives for solving problems and completing tasks. Individualized consideration Focuses on development and mentoring of followers and attends to their individual needs. Table 3: Sub-components & behaviours of transactional and transformational leadership (source: Eagly et al., 2003). Based on the Competing Values Framework (CVF) developed by Quinn and Rohrbaugh (1983), Verra and Crossan (2004) argue that transformational leadership behaviors reflect the leadership styles of the open system model and the human relation model, while transactional leadership behaviors reflect the leadership styles of the internal process model and the rational goal model. Moreover, this is also reasoned by Belasen et al. (1996, 2000) and Egri & Herman (2002), they state that the upper part of Quinn’s and Rohrbaugh’s framework (open systems & human relation) contains transformational behavior while the lower part (internal processes & rational goal) includes transactional behavior. Although other research also suggests roles and styles that represent transactional and transformational leadership, the CVF model of Quinn and Rohrbaugh is the most complete and
  24. 24. 24 comprehensive model concerning transactional and transformational leadership (Belasen & Frank, 2007). In addition, Cameron and Quinn (2006) argue that the CVF model makes it possible to understand an ambiguous environment in a consistent and effective manner and helps leaders to interpret the various leadership styles. The CVF model is based on various research studies to identify indicators of organizational effectiveness (Quinn & Rohrbaugh, 1983, p. 363). These studies were an attempt to make sense of effectiveness criteria. Quinn and Rohrbaugh (1983) discovered two dimensions that express the tension that exists in organizations in relation to effectiveness. The first dimension differentiates an organizational focus towards flexibility and dynamism from a focus towards stability and control. The second dimension represents the contrast between an internal focus and an external focus. The resulting CVF model is set out in the Figure 8 in a two-by-two framework with four quadrants. Each of these four quadrants represents an ‘ideal model’ of efficient organizations (Quinn, et al., 2003). These four models are the open systems model, human relations model, internal process model and rational goal model. Cameron and Quinn (2006) state that these four models represent competing or paradoxical assumptions. ‘Each continuum highlights value creation and key performance criteria that are opposite from the value creation and performance criteria on the other end of the continuum, i.e., flexibility versus stability, internal focus versus external focus. The dimensions, therefore, produce quadrants that are also contradictory or competing on the diagonal (p. 10)’. The model indentifies organizations that emphasize flexibility with a transformational focus and organizations that emphasize control with a transactional focus. For example, some organizations are viewed as effective if they are changing, adaptable and organic. Other organizations are viewed as effective if they are stable, predictable and mechanistic (Cameron & Quinn, 2006, p. 8). Comparable, the other dimension of the CVF model makes a distinction between an organization that is internally focused and an organization that is externally focused. That is, some organizations are focused on internal productivity and efficiency enhancement and the improvement of human capital. Other organizations are focused on market development, takeovers, outsourcing, innovative product-line extensions and radical breakthroughs (Cameron & Quinn, 2006, p. 8, 36). However, Quinn argued, ‘the four quadrants of the CVF model do not contain organizations, but organizations do more or less contain the four quadrants (Quinn, 1988, p 42.)’. Consequently it can be argued that the two dimensions and four quadrants Figure 8: The Competing Values Framework.
  25. 25. 25 enclose a similar sort of tension as described in the organizational ambidexterity model of Simsek et al. (2009). This parallel manifests itself in the tension between exploration and exploitation. As described in the previous paragraphs, exploitation activities are focused on efficiency and stability, which corresponds with the internal and control axis of the CVF model. Conversely, exploration activities correspond with the flexibility and external axis, because exploration activities are aimed at innovations and radical breakthroughs. Therefore in this research transactional and transformational leadership styles are distinguished based on the CVF model of Quinn and Rohrbaugh (1983). Quinn and Rohrbaugh (1983) conclude that each of the quadrants of the CVF model represents basic assumptions, orientations, and values. They also distinguished per quadrant two leadership roles in order to define the behavior that leaders in those quadrants might exhibit. Although Quinn and Rohrbaugh (1983) initially used the term leadership ‘role’ they also use the term leadership ‘style’ in later studies. Other researchers also use the terms leadership role and leadership style interchangeably. In this research the term leadership style is used instead of leadership role, in order to avoid confusion with respect to the various roles of a manager as described in paragraph 2.4. By distinguishing two styles per quadrant Quinn and Rohrbaugh disclosed eight leadership styles in total as depicted in figure 8: the mentor style, facilitator style (human relations model), innovator style, broker style (open system model), monitor style, coordinator style (internal process model) and the producer style, director style (rational goal model). 1. The mentor style is supportive, empathic, approachable and fair. This leader is aware of others and encourages the needs of individuals through training opportunities and helps people to plan their self-development. Its influence is based on mutual respect and trust. Morale, commitment and fairness are actively pursued (Yang & Shao, 1996: p. 526; Cameron & Quinn 1999: p.114). 2. On the other hand, the facilitator style is people and process oriented. This leader builds cohesion and teamwork. Its influence is based on getting people involved in the decision-making and problem-solving process. Participation and openness are actively pursued (Yang & Shao, 1996: p. 526; Cameron & Quinn 1999: p.114). 3. The innovator leadership style is smart and creative. This leadership style is expected to be a person who can see the future and convince others that changes are necessary. The influence of this leader is based on anticipation of a better future and indentifying trends and new ideas. Innovation and adaptation are actively pursued and implemented (Yang & Shao, 1996: p. 526; Cameron & Quinn 1999: p.114). 4. The broker style is persuasive, influential and future oriented. This leader focuses on where the organization is going to and emphasises possibilities as well as probabilities. Defining strategic direction, spanning boundaries, maintaining (external) legitimacy, disseminating knowledge and obtaining (external) resources are hallmarks of this style, as well as, the continuous improvement of current activities (Yang & Shao, 1996: p. 526; Cameron & Quinn 1999: p.114). 5. The monitor style is well informed and ensures that people follow the rules and procedures. This leader keeps track of all details by carrying out inspections and tours and the review of all relevant documents. The influence of this leader is based on information control. Documentation and information management is actively pursued and this leader is good in analyzing all the facts and details. Stability and control are actively pursued and crisis’s are handled (Yang & Shao, 1996: p. 526; Cameron & Quinn 1999: p.114). 6. The coordinator leadership style is dependable and reliable. This leader is expected to maintain the structure and flow of the work. His or her influence is based on coordinating staff efforts, managing schedules, giving assignments, providing physical layout, reallocating resources and disseminate information by setting up communication channels. (Yang & Shao, 1996: p. 526; Cameron & Quinn 1999: p.114). 7. The director style is focused on governance and process in the sense that this leader defines shared goals and provides direction. This leader is expected to clarify expectations through planning and goal setting. Furthermore this leader is supposed to be a decisive initiator who defines and communicates problems and generate solutions, as well as clarifying tasks and establishing rules and procedures. Compared
  26. 26. 26 with the producer style this leadership style tends to be more internally than externally oriented (Yang & Shao, 1996: p. 526; Cameron & Quinn 1999: p.114). 8. The producer leadership style is goal-oriented and focused on the work. This leader is expected to increase production and facilitate goal accomplishment and is primarily externally focused. Its influence is based on motivating people, rational arguments around accomplishing things and being responsible. This leader is managing time and stress and motivates people to complete the work as required by building relationships through working hard and creating high performance expectation in others (Yang & Shao, 1996: p. 526; Cameron & Quinn 1999: p.114). Thus, by distinguishing four transactional and four transformational leadership styles Quinn’s CVF model is used to answer the third theoretical sub-question: ‘which transformational and transactional leadership styles can be distinguished?’ Based on the description of these transactional and transformational leadership styles it is now possible to determine which styles do best support harmonic, cyclical, partitional and reciprocal ambidexterity. 2.5 Combinations of leadership styles and the four types of organizational ambidexterity The previous paragraph described the eight leadership styles of the CVF model from Quinn and Rohrbaugh (1983). Four transformational leadership styles: mentor, facilitator, innovator and broker style and four transactional leadership styles: monitor, coordinator, producer and director style. By defining this four transactional and transformational leadership styles the last theoretical question can now be answered in this paragraph: ‘which transformational and transactional leadership styles do best support harmonic, cyclical, partitional and reciprocal ambidexterity?’ Before answering this question, section 2.5.1 briefly expound the significant relation between transactional and transformational leadership behaviors and the implications of this relation with respect to managing the four types of organizational ambidexterity. 2.5.1 Behavioral complexity Empirical studies concerning transformational and transactional leadership have indicated a significant correlation between behaviors of transformational leadership and those of transactional leadership (e.g., Avolio et al., 1999; Bass & Avolio, 1993b), indicating that both sets of behaviors are likely to exist in the same individuals in different amounts and intensities (Bass,1998). This is also confirmed by other researchers, for example ‘Quinn’s concept of master managers (leaders adept seemingly contradictory capabilities) is close to Bass’s proposition, that the best leaders are those who display both transformational and transactional leadership behaviors (Verra & Crossan, 2004, p. 224)’. In addition, Belasen et al. (2007, p. 129) argues that ‘successful leaders know how to navigate across the eight leadership roles of the CVF model in order to balance contradictory demands’. Denison et al. (1995) state that effective leaders are perceived by others as displaying combinations of the eight CVF styles more often than less effective leaders (Belasen et al., 2007, p.129). Furthermore, Cameron et al. (2006) argues that high performing leaders display ‘behavioral complexity’. That is, ‘the capacity of a leader to respond appropriately to a wide range of situations that may in fact require seemingly contradictory and opposing behaviors manifested in different leadership styles (Smart, 2003, p. 679)’. Moreover Carmeli and Halevi (2009) claim that ‘the capacity of leaders to engage in a wide repertoire of behaviors, and the ability to exhibit contrary or opposing behaviors are the key enablers of organizational ambidexterity (p. 208)’. Based on these previous studies, that indicate that a leader should be able to display several behavioral repertoires (e.g. stability, control, risk-taking and creativity), more than one leadership style is suggested per organizational ambidexterity type. 2.5.2 Leadership styles and the four types of organizational ambidexterity In paragraph 2.4.2 it is argued that the two dimensions and four quadrants of the CVF model enclose a similar sort of tension as described in the organizational ambidexterity model of Simsek et al. (2009). As described, this parallel manifests itself in the tension between

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