Managing ambidexterity in internationalisation of SMEs from an emerging country: A dynamic capability perspective
Authors: Anjar, PRIYONO, Siti, NURSYAMSIAH, Baziedy, A. DARMAWAN
Abstract: Ambidexterity is the ability of firms to undertake exploration and exploitation concurrently. Empirical evidence suggests that ambidextrous organisations are better able to manage the trade-off between flexibility and efficiency. Although ambidexterity has been the subject of many previous research studies, relatively little attention has been paid to how SMEs manage ambidexterity in an international market. A multiple case study research design was used to explore ambidexterity in two SMEs. The research utilised an inductive approach. SMEs adopt different strategies to manage ambidexterity. Larger SMEs, supported with more resources, can carry out exploration and exploitation simultaneously. By contrast, smaller sized SMEs must perform exploration and exploitation intermittently. In addition, the impacts of managers, resource flexibility, and network supports in managing ambidexterity are also discussed. This study suggests that managers of SMEs should consider resource availability and the characteristics of the international customers being served before designing a strategy for managing ambidexterity. This study contributes to the limited empirical evidence on how SMEs manage ambidexterity in international markets.