The neglected role of knowledge assets interplay in the pursuit of organisational ambidexterity

Murad Ali, Muhammad Shujahat, Zulfiqar Ali, Aino Kianto, Minhong Wang, Nick Bontis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


Organizational ambidexterity is a strategic challenge for the contemporary organizations. It involves the simultaneous or synchronous pursuit of two inherently incompatible and conflicting activities – exploitative learning to become efficient in the current business activities, and explorative learning to predict and work on future challenges, opportunities, and demands. Depending upon the form(s) of ambidexterity an organization adopts, these two conflicting activities can be pursued asynchronously across different time phases, or synchronously in separate units, and/or in the same units by the employees. This study postulated and found that the Bontis (1998) model of interplay between knowledge assets can enable the successful pursuit of all the forms of ambidexterity, either synchronous pursuit of exploration and exploitation by the employees across same or different units or asynchronous pursuit across different time phases. The study used a multisource sample of 424 respondents from the various firms in the South Korean industries. The findings demonstrated that the organisational and the social capital are central to pursuing exploration, exploitation, and ambidexterity directly while human capital played a significant role in supporting the other two types of knowledge assets. In addition, social capital played a dual role to be both supportive of organisational capital and being central in the pursuit of ambidexterity outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102452
Number of pages17
Early online date15 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022


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