The micro-foundations of strategic ambidexterity: Chinese cross-border M&As, Mid-View thinking and integration management

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


External organisations

  • Central University of Finance and Economics
  • Henley Business School
  • National Research University Higher School of Economics


Chinese cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&As) display several unique properties in relation to the ways in which their international business operations are organised and managed. Their seemingly puzzling ‘light-touch’ integration approach can be significantly understood from a strategic ambidexterity perspective: on the one hand, the ‘light-touch’ enables the exploitation of the targets’ existing knowledge bases; on the other hand, elements of the ‘light-touch’ facilitate the exploration of the new knowledge arising from the collaboration between targets and acquirers. However, an important theoretical gap remains: why do Chinese companies deploy such a strategic ambidexterity approach in their post-acquisition integrations? This paper aims to fill this gap by proposing Mid-View thinking as a micro-foundation of strategic ambidexterity in integration management from a cultural and philosophical perspective. To illuminate our conceptualization and argument, we conducted qualitative in-depth interviews with CEOs/high-level managers of acquired German companies. Communication approach and organizational control—as two critical aspects in integration management—reveal how Mid-View thinking can serve as a micro-foundation of strategic ambidexterity. We conclude this paper by presenting its theoretical contributions, managerial implications, and future research directions.


Original languageEnglish
Article number101710
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Business Review
Issue number6
Early online date23 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • acquisition, communication, control, Cross-border mergers and acquisitions, integration, micro-foundation, Mid-View thinking, organizational, post-, strategic ambidexterity