Managing ambidexterity using networking perspective – added value or necessity? Empirical evidence from Poland

Joanna Radomska, Przemysław Wołczek, Susana Costa e Silva

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The manager of the 21st century is expected to succeed in an environment strongly characterized by unprecedented volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA). In fact, today’s business environment consists of contradictory pressure and tensions, where competitive advantage could be gained by ambidextrous activities. The concept of ambidexterity has already been discussed by many scholars, but still little is known about managerial practice and actions that are useful for finding the balance between the paradoxes that have been identified at that level. Although there are different tensions, dynamic and evolving according to the changes observed in the environment: more volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous, the pressure to remain flexible and simultaneously maintain the plan of development, seems to be essential. In recent research studies, networking perspective is mentioned as one of areas worth exploring while analyzing the concept of ambidexterity. For that reason, the main goal of this chapter is to investigate if networking is one of the factors useful for managing ambidexterity. To gain deeper insight, we investigated further, searching for the factors essential for managing ambidexterity: we compared the research results between companies of different sizes to identify any regularities. We focused on ambidexterity reflected by managerial practice where stability/plans and flexibility are implemented simultaneously. We investigated 150 managers using paper-and-pencil interviewing. Our research results confirmed that networking could be one of the main approaches having an impact on ambidextrous activities. However, we cannot conclude that companies are obliged to apply a networking perspective to be ambidextrous, although it could be recommended. Further analysis of companies of different sizes revealed the relationship between ambidexterity and networking in case of small and large companies, and no relation in medium-sized enterprises.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProgress in international business research
Subtitle of host publicationthe changing role of states and firms
EditorsRob Van Tulder, Alain Verbeke, Barbara Jankowska
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781838672553
ISBN (Print)9781838672560
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameProgress in International Business Research
ISSN (Print)1745-8862


  • Ambidexterity
  • Managerial practice
  • Networking
  • Strategy flexibility
  • VUCA paradigm


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