Research on contextual ambidexterity assumes that an organization’s capacity to pursue simultaneouslyexploration and exploitation leverages on organizational solutions encouraging a balance between thesetwo learning orientations. However, still limited attention has been devoted to the investigation ofcontextual ambidexterity at the individual level of analysis. Starting from this gap, this paper addresses thefollowing research questions: How do individuals perceive the learning orientation requested to them bytheir job? Do individuals’ behaviors match their perceived orientation? How does thematching/mismatching between perceptions and behaviors can be explained? To address these issues amultiple case study across 16 managers and assistants of R&D and Sales units of four mediumenterprises located in Northeast Italy was carried out. Our findings show that the perceptions and theactual behaviors, as component of the personal ambidexterity, are distinct and independent. Perceivedand actual orientations emerge in various different combinations creating a mismatch at individual level aswell as some inconsistencies between different hierarchical levels and business units. The determinants ofthese inconsistencies can be explained by considering the individuals’ working experiences, their expertise and motivation and also the decisions and changes in the firm processes in which individualshave been involved.
EXPLORATION AND EXPLOITATION: DO ACTUAL BEHAVIORS MATCH INDIVIDUALS’ PERCEPTIONS? / S., Bonesso; F., Gerli; Scapolan, Anna Chiara. - ELETTRONICO. - Volume 12, Number 1:(2012), pp. 223-233. ((Intervento presentato al convegno IABE-2012 Venice-Summer Conference tenutosi a Venezia nel 8-10 Giugno 2012.