Working Paper BETA #2016-44

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Title : A Multi-Level Perspective on Ambidexterity: The Case of a Synchrotron Research Facility

Author(s) : Arman Avadikyan, Gilles Lambert, Christophe Lerch

Abstract : We investigate the case of a large scale user oriented research infrastructure, to explicate the repertoire of management strategies that support its organizational ambidexterity. Adopting an ecosystem perspective, our case study unveils, beyond the generic exploitation / exploration tension the multi-level nature of ambidexterity through specific tensions associated to different management levels: (1) responsive versus proactive orientation towards users (2) modular versus architectural technology innovations; (3) competitive versus cooperative orientation towards other organizations. We conclude that ambidexterity is a systemic capability emerging through interactions between nested tensions. Appropriately managing a tension at one level helps to release the innovative energy of tensions at other levels. Synergistic evolution of tensions creates thereby multi-level innovation dynamics.

Key-words : Ambidexterity; technology management; co-opetition; user-producer interaction; research infrastructure.

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