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Knowledge Ambidexterity within a Business Context: Taking Stock and Moving Forward

Ana María Serrano-Bedia () and Marta Pérez-Pérez ()
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Ana María Serrano-Bedia: Business Administration Department (FFCCEE), University of Cantabria, 39005 Santander, Spain
Marta Pérez-Pérez: Business Administration Department (FFCCEE), University of Cantabria, 39005 Santander, Spain

Sustainability, 2021, vol. 13, issue 18, 1-21

Abstract: Despite the increasing and recent interest in researching knowledge ambidexterity, there has been no attempt from scholarly research to map and structure extant research on this topic. The aim of this study is to fill this gap, thereby contributing to previous literature by increasing our understanding of the research on knowledge ambidexterity. This paper employs a systematic literature review analysis on a sample of 20 academic papers extracted from the Web of Science database in June 2021. After illustrating the size, growth trajectory, geographic distribution, and key publishing journals in the sample, the paper analyses the intellectual structure and main foci of the research domain. The results show that this topic emerged in the late 2000s with a boom in research in the last 5 years and a clear predominance of quantitative studies. Moreover, content analysis reveals that both a clear definition of knowledge ambidexterity and its main components, knowledge exploration and exploitation, and a valid and reliable scale for measuring this concept are still lacking. The review has also revealed that the research domain on knowledge ambidexterity can be grouped into three different research lines, each of which relates to a different level of analysis—teams, intraorganisational processes within individual firms, and interorganisational collaborations—and concludes by identifying potential areas for future research on this topic that may help to advance in the consolidation of this particularly vibrant field.

Keywords: knowledge management; knowledge ambidexterity; review; systematic review; exploitation; exploration (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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