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Ambidextrous leadership in the innovation process in innovation and corporate growth

Rosing, K. and Rosenbusch, Nina and Frese, M. (2010) Ambidextrous leadership in the innovation process in innovation and corporate growth. In: Innovation and international corporate growth. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, pp. 191-204. ISBN 9783642108228

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Innovation research is full of paradoxes. Bledow, Frese, Anderson, Erez, and Farr (2009) summarize several kinds of conflicting demands inherent to the innovation process and demonstrate the commonness of tensions within this process. The main paradoxes of innovation are probably achieving a balance of new and old activities, of structured and chaotic activities, and of uncertain and reliable activities. All these activities map onto ambidexterity – the ability to achieve a balance of exploration and exploitation. In this chapter, we will argue that ambidexterity is required within the innovation process, not only on the organizational level but also for each individual person involved in an innovation process. Leaders in the context of innovation need to be able to support subordinates in their attempts to act ambidextrously – by ambidextrous leadership.