How does organizational space help organizations cope with the challenges of ambidexterity and continue to innovate? A space reorganization experiment in a transitioning organization

Paula Ungureanu, Deborah Rietti, Luca Giustiniano


Influenced by internal and external factors, organizations are increasingly operating in divergent fields that require them to develop ambidextrous competencies. While research relating ambidexterity to aspects such as strategy and innovation has reached a maturity stage, we still know little about the strategic processes that allow organizations to implement ambidexterity, and in particular about the role that organizational space can play in an organization’s attempt to become ambidextrous. By conducting a qualitative study in the medical and scientific division of the Italian National Olympic Committee trying to incorporate an exploitation logic in addition to its dominant exploration logic, we describe a two-phase experiment in which the organization leveraged the organizational space as a transition tool towards ambidexterity, while also trying to maintain its exploration innovation-driven competitive advantage. We find that organizational space can be used as a coping tool against identity and competence threats triggered by organizational transition to ambidexterity, affording both integration and differentiation of the ambidextrous logics.


Organizational space, organizational change, ambidexterity, innovation, coordination, integration, differentiation.

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