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The ability and willingness of family-controlled firms to arrive at organizational ambidexterity

Viktoria Veider and Kurt Matzler

Journal of Family Business Strategy, 2016, vol. 7, issue 2, 105-116

Abstract: The ability to exploit and explore within the context of innovation has become an important issue in the strategic management of firms. What has been missing from this discussion is a consideration of the ability and willingness of different family constituencies to arrive at organizational ambidexterity (OA). We propose that due to their idiosyncratic structure, family-controlled firms display specific advantages and disadvantages that shape organizational ambidexterity. Building on a combinatory consideration of the ability and willingness framework in the context of organizational ambidexterity, we argue that the ability of family-controlled firms to arrive at OA is contingent on their willingness to face family-related disadvantages via activities that allow for the reduction of flaws arising out of family-related particularistic constituencies. Furthermore, we show that heterogeneity among those family-controlled firms is best explained by idiosyncratic differences in divergent governance structures, resources and goals.

Keywords: Family firm; Exploration; Exploitation; Ambidexterity; Innovation; Ability and willingness (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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