Knowledge inflows effects on middle managers' ambidexterity and performance

ISI: Knowledge inflows effects on middle managers' ambidexterity and performance


2015 - Management Decision - Vol. 53, Nº 10, Pp. 2303-2320


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to report on lab experiments conducted to determine what impact managerial top-down knowledge transfer has on a middle manager’s individual ambidexterity and decision performance. Design/methodology/approach – The authors designed an experimental approach using a business simulator to test the hypotheses with middle managers. The methodological approach provides the authors with a framework to enhance the middle manager’s understanding of how to attain superior short-term financial results by exploiting current resources, in addition to mastering new strategies to avoid a potential business bankruptcy. Findings – The results suggest that top-down managerial knowledge inflow benefits middle manager strategic decision making, as well as his/her short- and long-term performance. Nonetheless, the best short-term results were achieved by those middle managers that mastered both exploitation and exploration activities simultaneously. Originality/value – The contribution of this paper is to identify and test a control mechanism called top-down inflows that enhance middle manager’s ability to exploit current resources to increase financial performance, and exploring new strategies to avoid a business bankruptcy.


Keywords Decision performance, Individual ambidexterity, Top-down knowledge inflows Paper type Research paper

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