How managers evoke ambidexterity and collaboration

While many organization aim at achieving multiple, sometimes contrasting, goals (such as combining innovation with efficiency) not that much is known about what managers can do to create organizational ambidexterity. Theory suggests that organizational ambidexterity requires collaboration with organizations and that, in turn, managers can facilitate collaborative relations. Nevertheless, so far, the link between management, collaboration and ambidexterity has not been fully investigated. We conducted a qualitative study in a Dutch hospital to map this link. The results show that there is evidence for this link. The main conclusion of this study is that managing collaboration and ambidexterity are processes; organizations switch between innovation and exploitation instead of being ambidextrous all the time, managers have an active role in guiding this process by creating collaboration through 4 distinct mechanisms (discipline, stretch, trust and support) and ambidexterity in turn strengthens collaboration through increased interdependency.