This study investigates the phenomenon of organizational ambidexterity in financial services,an industry characterized by its knowledge-intensity and dynamic environment. We provide a nuanced understanding of how a multinational financial services provider implemented exploratory activities to complement its exploitation business to eventually become ambidextrous. We show how capabilityshifting and capability-building processes were combined to balance exploitation and exploration and elaborate on capabilities that were shifted inside the organization and those that had to be built to achieve ambidexterity. Following an inductive research design, we conducted in-depth semistructured interviews with internal and external stakeholders to develop a holistic multi-level view of the organization. Learning from four distinct business units, we outline patterns of structural and contextual mechanisms that foster the implementation of a dual-orientation across business units to simultaneously pursue exploitation and exploration. We report key factors in the implementation of ambidexterity and discuss implications for theory and practice.
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16th International Research Conference in Service Management