Dynamics of Organizational Ambidexterity in SMEs: The role of the CEO and the Top Managment Team

EURAM 2011
The aim of this study is to clarify the influence of the CEO, his team and their interactions in the dynamism of ambidexterity. We argue that ambidexterity is a dynamic capability that enables companies to align with the environment and study this phenomenon in the current context of economic crisis and in particular in SME. We propose that the characteristics of its business elites determine its organizational ambidexterity; the characteristics of their CEOs, their top management teams, and the interactions between CEOs and TMT characteristics will play a key role in the decisions they take; therefore, in how the company aligns with the new environment. Through the study of 106 SMEs, we demonstrate that some CEO, TMT and interaction characteristics do impact the dynamism of ambidexerity. Specifically, we find support for the role that heterogeneous teams in terms of their tenure and for its interactions with the CEO tenure have on the willingness to push for changes in their ambidexterity, a key issue to achieve the survival of SMEs at the present time.
Tallín, Estonia