Contextual Ambidexterity Literature Review

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Contextual ambidexterity gives importance to the human element and their ability to manage exploitation and exploration in organisation. An individual employee has the ability to focus on both exploitation and exploration. In fact all the above paragraphs mention that ambidexterity is essentially the ability of the organisation or business unit to pursue both exploration and exploitation.
Many literatures throw light on the ways in which the contradictory tension between the two paradoxes is reconciled within a single business unit.

There are four ways to reconcile these tensions as cited by J.J.P.jansen2. They are i) accepting the paradox by outsourcing or compromising (the organisation choose between the mix of opposites or outsource
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They are structural separation wherein two separate structures are devised for two activities of exploitation and exploration. For example one group adopts organic structure and other group a mechanistic structure. Second is task partitioning whereby one group which focuses on exploitation focuses on one task say manufacturing and the other group which focuses on exploration focuses on designing of the product. Third is by temporal separation. Here the task is divided giving importance to time. For example the entire group focuses on exploitation one day and exploration the other day. He explains that instead of using any of the above ways, balancing the two contradictory activities i.e. contextual ambidexterity should be resorted to. Hence the contextual ambidexterity is thought of as a meta level capacity (for alignment and adaptability) that permeates all levels and …show more content…
According to (Sebastian Raisch, Birkinshaw, Probst, & Tushman, 2009) individuals are important source of organisational ambidexterity. Hence even though in this study contextual ambidexterity of the organisation is measured but it indirectly levels down to the up gradation and acquisition of competence of the software development professionals working in the organisation as well. In business units that are aligned and adaptive the individuals are given clear cut instructions and they receive incentive only for those activities that support alignment and adaptability. However in a contextually ambidextrous unit, context is dynamic and flexible enough to allow individuals to use their own judgements as to how they divide their time between alignment oriented and adaptability oriented activities and both are valued and rewarded. In short contextual ambidexterity encourages ambidextrous behaviour that is aligned and adaptable (Gibson and Birkinshaw12, 2004)antecedets. This is the reason why Wang and Rafiq3 cites that “the pursuit of contextual ambidexterity must be intertwined in the ongoing operating and strategic activities of a business unit placing a premium on individuals ability to make their own judgement about how to divide their time between exploratory and exploitative activities and their ability to integrate both activities”. Hence in

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