Role of Human Resources and Organizational Factors in Ambidexterity

Paulina Junni, Riikka Sarala, Shlomo Tarba, Yipeng Liu, Cary Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Citations (Scopus)


Ambidexterity is a growing field of management research. However, the role of human resources (HR) and organizational factors needs further exploration because of the fragmented nature of prior work and the subsequent lack of a unifying framework. Our review of 41 empirical studies identifies distinct research streams that relate to the effects of employee characteristics, leader characteristics, organizational structure, culture, social relationships, and organizational environment on ambidexterity. We discuss the most important findings within each stream, which contributes to the HR and ambidexterity literature by addressing the current state of our knowledge. To move forward research in this area, we identify important, yet underexplored areas in each stream. This contributes to the literature by highlighting specific gaps in our current knowledge that represent new avenues for future research. We also identify important interrelationships between different streams that need further clarification. We summarize our findings into an integrative model that elucidates the role of HR and organizational factors in ambidexterity. This contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of ambidexterity from the HR and organizational perspectives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)s1-s28
Number of pages28
JournalHuman Resource Management
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2015


  • organizational ambidexterity
  • exploration
  • human resources
  • HR
  • culture
  • organizational structure
  • social relationships
  • exploitation


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