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date: 27 October 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Capabilities and ambidexterity theories are both intended to shed light on how firms remain successful in the long run. However, the two research streams have developed largely independently of one another and with different foci. In this chapter, we bring them closer together by discussing how different capabilities and forms of ambidexterity may help firms address their multi-level transformational challenges (Cross-functional Linking, Rethinking and Reconfiguring, Continuous Improvement, and Ongoing Renewal) This analysis allows us to identify the areas of overlap and the points of differences between capabilities and ambidexterity theories, suggesting that the two concepts are distinct but mutually interrelated and interdependent. Furthermore, we argue that different types of ambidexterity and capabilities may coexist within an organization and that their effectiveness is contingent on the challenges a firm faces.

Keywords: Dynamic capabilities, ordinary capabilities, meta-capabilities, structural ambidexterity, contextual ambidexterity, temporal ambidexterity, exploitation, exploration, multi-level

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