The asymmetric moderating role of market orientation on the ambidexterity-firm performance relationship for prospectors and defenders

Bulent Menguc, Sei Auh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

88 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Drawing on the resource-based view of the firm and, in particular, the capabilities perspective of firm performance, the authors examine the relationship between ambidexterity and firm performance for two strategy typologies: prospectors and defenders. Ambidexterity, defined as the combination of two discrete capabilities (exploration and exploitation), should have a less negative effect on firm performance among prospectors that add exploitation to exploration than among defenders who add exploration to exploitation. Hence, this research predicts an asymmetric effect of ambidexterity on firm performance for prospectors and defenders. The authors further posit that a boundary-spanning culture, such as market orientation, can function as a metaculture by integrating the subunit cultures generated by exploration and exploitation. As a result, market orientation should mitigate the negative effect of ambidexterity on firm performance, albeit differently for prospectors and defenders, and thus point to an asymmetric moderating role of market orientation. The findings provide mixed results, which the authors discuss along with some theoretical and managerial implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-470
Number of pages16
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Volume37
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Firm performance
Ambidexterity
Market orientation
Exploration and exploitation
Exploitation
Resource-based view of the firm
Asymmetric effects
Boundary spanning

Keywords

  • Ambidexterity
  • Capability
  • Defenders
  • Exploitation
  • Exploration
  • Market orientation
  • Prospectors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing

Cite this

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N2 - Drawing on the resource-based view of the firm and, in particular, the capabilities perspective of firm performance, the authors examine the relationship between ambidexterity and firm performance for two strategy typologies: prospectors and defenders. Ambidexterity, defined as the combination of two discrete capabilities (exploration and exploitation), should have a less negative effect on firm performance among prospectors that add exploitation to exploration than among defenders who add exploration to exploitation. Hence, this research predicts an asymmetric effect of ambidexterity on firm performance for prospectors and defenders. The authors further posit that a boundary-spanning culture, such as market orientation, can function as a metaculture by integrating the subunit cultures generated by exploration and exploitation. As a result, market orientation should mitigate the negative effect of ambidexterity on firm performance, albeit differently for prospectors and defenders, and thus point to an asymmetric moderating role of market orientation. The findings provide mixed results, which the authors discuss along with some theoretical and managerial implications.

AB - Drawing on the resource-based view of the firm and, in particular, the capabilities perspective of firm performance, the authors examine the relationship between ambidexterity and firm performance for two strategy typologies: prospectors and defenders. Ambidexterity, defined as the combination of two discrete capabilities (exploration and exploitation), should have a less negative effect on firm performance among prospectors that add exploitation to exploration than among defenders who add exploration to exploitation. Hence, this research predicts an asymmetric effect of ambidexterity on firm performance for prospectors and defenders. The authors further posit that a boundary-spanning culture, such as market orientation, can function as a metaculture by integrating the subunit cultures generated by exploration and exploitation. As a result, market orientation should mitigate the negative effect of ambidexterity on firm performance, albeit differently for prospectors and defenders, and thus point to an asymmetric moderating role of market orientation. The findings provide mixed results, which the authors discuss along with some theoretical and managerial implications.

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