chapter  4
Getting Started with Ambidexterity
ByANDREW BINNS, MICHAEL TUSHMAN
Pages 14

Ambidexterity is an established answer to the question of how firms can manage the tensions of “exploring” into new areas at the same time as “exploiting” existing business models.2 The ambidextrous organizational form separates out these two sets of activities into distinct units, each with the flexibility to adapt key decisions on people, culture, skills, and processes to the needs of the specific business strategy. At the same time, the exploratory unit is not a spinout and retains “targeted integration” with the core business. Such targeted structural integration in the context of senior team integration permits the incumbent to leverage the assets of the firm in its exploratory experiments and facilitates taking the new business to scale if it matures. In service of both exploring and exploiting, structural ambidexterity is based on a different logic than traditional contingency theory of differentiation and integration.3 Structural ambidexterity ideas are anchored in the notion of high differentiation, targeted (i.e., limited) structural integration, and strong senior team integration.4