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Organizational Ambidexterity and Cognition: Paradoxical Schemata and the Persuasive Power of Positive Framing

Organisation Studies

Speaker:Professor Costas Andriopoulos, Professor of Strategy, Cardiff Business School
Date: Friday 31 January 2014
Time: 2 - 3.30 pm
Location: XFI Conference Room 2

Further details

Organizational ambidexterity denotes the ability to manage innovation tensions, simultaneously fostering exploitation, alignment and efficiency as well as exploration, adaptation and change. To this end, existing research offers varied management practices, structures and strategies. Yet relatively little is understood about the role of cognition. In response, this qualitative study opens the black box of cognition. Specifically, we examine organizational schemata – shared assumptions and values underlying innovation management – within five, highly innovative firms. Results depict three, prominent paradoxical schemata, but highlight differences in their framing and pervasiveness across the case organizations. We theorize that paradoxical schemata and positive framing help actors embrace innovation tensions, fostering collective paradoxical thinking that may sustain ambidexterity. Bio Costas Andriopoulos ( is professor of strategy in Cardiff Business School. He received his PhD from the University of Strathclyde. His research focuses on the management of creativity and innovation with particular emphasis on professional service firms. His recent projects focus on managing tensions and paradoxes to sustain innovation in high velocity industries. His articles have appeared in Organization Science, Human Relations and Long Range Planning, among others.