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Achieving Temporal Ambidexterity in New Ventures

Stephanie L. Wang, Yadong Luo, Vladislav Maksimov, Jinyun Sun and Nikhil Celly

Journal of Management Studies, 2019, vol. 56, issue 4, 788-822

Abstract: Organizations face a common intertemporal choice problem, where actions suitable in the shortterm are different from those that work in the longterm. Building on the organizational ambidexterity theory, we argue that organizations can reconcile their short‐term and long‐term tensions, but this does necessitate managerial endeavours that orchestrate this reconciliation. We introduce the concept of temporal ambidexterity and define four intertemporal tensions involving an organization’s objectives, resources, markets, and uncertainty. We examine how firms can address these tensions successfully in the context of new ventures, and to do so we focus on three managerial capabilities of founder‐CEOs: expertise breadth, external connectivity, and empowering leadership. Results from 243 new ventures in China suggest that temporal ambidexterity improves with these managerial capabilities, and more so for younger ventures. Our findings shed light on solutions and mechanisms by which intertemporal balance is fulfilled, particularly for new ventures in a dynamic environment.

Date: 2019
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