Power and Learning Ambidexterity: A Unit-Level Study on Mediators

Constantinos Mammassis, Kostopoulos Konstantinos, Simon B. de Jong

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Abstract/Poster in proceedingAcademic


This study aims to connect, and advance, the literatures on ambidexterity and power by investigating how one of the key aspects of organizational design, namely the power and dependencies among units, can relate to one of the key paradoxical challenges facing modern day units, namely how to be ambidextrous (i.e. to simultaneously exploit and explore). As recent studies have observed, little is known about the antecedents and processes affecting unit-level ambidexterity. Therefore, we investigate in- depth three key mediating processes which are likely to operate between a focal unit's power advantage and its ambidexterity, namely psychological safety, knowledge breadth, and autonomy. We did so by analysing a multi-source data containing responses from 146 focal-unit directors, 901 other-unit directors, and 146 focal-unit managers. Data was collected at two time points to reduce common method biases and CFA's, VIF's, and additional robustness checks further supported our theorizing and findings. Results showed that psychological safety and knowledge breadth were indeed mediators, whilst autonomy was not. Implications and future research ideas are discusse
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAcademy of Management Conference Proceedings
PublisherAcademy of Management
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

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