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.
- Market orientation
ASJC Scopus subject areas