The power of ambidexterity when leading project groups

The Importance of the concept of Ambidexterity

The power of ambidexterity when leading project groups

In the business world, the concept of ambidexterity has emerged as a potent force, especially when it comes to leading project groups toward success. But what exactly does ambidexterity entail in a business context and why is it crucial for effective project management?

Ambidexterity Definition: In essence, ambidexterity means the ability to simultaneously explore new opportunities and technologies while exploiting existing competencies and resources. This balanced approach helps organizations adapt to change and thrive in the long term.

Theoretical foundation: Ambidexterity can be divided into several types:

  1. Contextual ambidexterity: balancing exploration and exploitation within specific organizational contexts.
  2. Innovative ambidexterity: applying exploration and exploitation to innovation, covering both exploratory and exploitative innovation.
  3. Structural Ambidexterity: Organize separate units for exploration and exploitation.
  4. Sequential ambidexterity: alternating between exploration and exploitation in a specific order.

Practical Implications: The impact of ambidexterity on the successful leadership of project groups cannot be underestimated. It requires leaders who can balance competing demands and create a culture that values ​​both exploration and exploitation. Successful companies like Procter & Gamble, Google and Amazon have effectively adopted ambidextrous approaches, reaping the benefits.

Implementing Ambidexterity: Organizations can implement ambidexterity by creating distinct units or teams dedicated to exploration and exploitation. Effective leadership is crucial to fostering innovation and motivating employees to strike the right balance.

Benefits of Ambidexterity: Ambidexterity improves adaptability, agility, innovation, and operational efficiency within project groups. It ensures a harmonious coexistence of short- and long-term objectives, helping organizations navigate the ever-changing business landscape.

Conclusion: In the field of project management, ambidexterity changes the rules of the game. It allows organizations to juggle exploration and exploitation effectively, fostering innovation and efficiency. This approach maximizes the potential for project success and paves the way for sustained growth in today’s dynamic business environment. However, obstacles such as resource misallocation and mismanagement must be avoided on the path to achieving the notable benefits of ambidexterity.

Figures / Tables

Figure 1. Chart showing the scope of the ambidextreous organization and its different alignments. Adapted from: O’Reilly, C. A., & Tushman, M. L. (2004). The Ambidextrous Organization. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved June 20th, 2023. From:


Figure 2. Comparison between the Structural Ambidexterity vs Contextual Ambidexterity. Adapted from: Birkinshaw, Julian & Gibson, Cristina. (2004). Building Ambidexterity into an Organization. MIT Sloan Management Review. 45.


Figure 3. Ambidexterity or ambidextrous Behaviour. Adapted from: O’Reilly & Tushman 2004; Kollmann et al. 2009:304; Olivan 2019:34




Sobre el autor:

Rodrigo Bonet Galaz. Estudiante de la Licenciatura en Administración de Negocios Internacionales en la Universidad de las Américas Puebla (UDLAP). Realizó estudios en el extranjero en la Facultad de Administración de Empresas de la Universidad de Munich (LMU) en Alemania como parte de un intercambio académico en 2023. Temas de interés: negocios, globalización y finanzas en general. Es afán de la escritura académica y de la investigación.


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