This study is motivated by the growing influence in organisational research on the perspective of culture as a toolkit of resources from which individuals can draw on to develop strategies of action. Research has established that ambidextrous organisations succeed both in incremental and discontinuous innovation. However, there remains a scarcity of study on how managers orchestrate ambidexterity. This thesis extends the ambidexterity research by investigating how managers orchestrate ambidextrous strategies and how these strategies are shaped by elements of the organisational culture in high technology firms. An interpretive case study approach was used to achieve the aims of the study. Focusing on two engineering projects, 55 interviews were conducted alongside documentary reviews and participant observation for 6 months at Brush Electrical Machines Ltd, UK. Analysis of the findings is conducted using thematic analysis to identify common themes and NVivo was used to draw out patterns until relationships among the emerging themes became clearer.
The thesis makes important contributions to the organisational ambidexterity literature by providing useful empirically-driven insights and deconstructing the roles of middle managers in facilitating ambidexterity. The findings of the research indicate that most of the middle managers demonstrated ambidextrous behaviours. These middle level managers enabled their behaviours through diverse cultural resources selected from the organisation s cultural toolkit. Thus, important contributions are made to the literature on organisational culture, specifically on the toolkit perspectives. The thesis takes the perspective that organisational culture should be viewed as heterogeneous and not homogeneous. The study concludes by suggesting that middle management ambidextrous behaviours shaped by cultural resources may be vital for the realisation of improved or sustained competitiveness in organisations.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University. The Closed Access version of this thesis cannot be accessed. The Open Access version of this thesis has had Appendices J, K and L removed for confidentiality reasons.