Handbook of Management Scales/Ambidexterity

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Ambidexteritytext (α = .87 for Exploration) (α = .86 for Exploitation)

Description "Within the technological innovation context, ambidexterity refers to the simultaneous pursuit of exploitative and explorative activities (Tushman and O’Reilly, 1996). As contrasted by March (1991), incremental innovations represent minor changes to existing products and business processes and are considered to be exploitative. Incremental innovation is less risky and creates greater depth of products, which is necessary for short-term success. Radical innovations, which are exploratory in nature, focus on the needs of emerging customers and the internal business process innovations necessary to meet environmental challenges. Greater risk is involved with radical innovations, but such exploratory initiatives are critical to long-term success. While structural ambidexterity centers on the organizational design and creation of separate subunits that support exploration and exploitation, contextual ambidexterity, in contrast, relies on building a set of systems and processes that support such alignment (Simsek, 2009). As young firms tend to have less formal structures due to their liability of newness (Stinchcombe, 1965), they may lack the ability and resources to create a dual structure. Therefore, contextual ambidexterity is particularly relevant to young firms." (Lubatkin, Simsek, Ling & Veiga, 2006: 1521)

Definition Ambidexterity refers to the simultaneous pursuit of exploitative and explorative activities (Tushman and O’Reilly, 1996).

Items Exploration (α = .87 for Exploration) My organization actively looks for novel technological ideas by thinking ‘outside the box’ (0.90) I base my organization's performance by its ability explore new technologies. (0.86) My organization creates products or services that are innovative to the firm. (0.76) My organization looks for creative ways to satisfy my clients’ needs. (0.82) My organization aggressively ventures into new market segments. (0.76) My organization actively targets new customers groups. (0.81)

Exploitation (α = .86 for Exploitation) My organization is committed to improving quality and in lowering costs. (0.74) My organization continuously improves the reliability of its products and services (0.76) My organization increases the levels of automation in its operations. (0.69) My organization constantly surveys existing customers’ satisfaction (0.77) My organization fine-tunes what it offers to keep its current customers satisfied (0.75) My organization penetrates more deeply into its existing customer base compared to their competitors. (0.82)

Source Lubatkin MH, Simsek Z, Ling Y, Veiga JF. 2006. Ambidexterity and performance in small-to medium sized firms: the pivotal role of top management team behavioral integration. Journal of Management 32(5): 646–672.

Tushman ML, O’Reilly CA III. 1996. Ambidextrous organizations: managing evolutionary and revolutionary change. California Management Review 38(4): 8–30.