Different ways lead to ambidexterity: Configurations for team innovation across China, India, and Singapore

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In this paper, we transfer the ambidexterity theory of leadership for innovation to a cross-cultural context. We develop a configurational model to explore how combinations of opening leadership, closing leadership, and team initiative differently affect team innovation performance in different cultures. Applying an Asia-centric perspective, our study analyzes cross-cultural heterogeneity of team innovation processes across China, India, and Singapore. Our fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) illuminates cultural differences and the configurational nature of how leadership and team behaviors work together in promoting team innovation performance. We found that configurations for team innovation performance differ across countries, such that an innovation-yielding configuration in one country may be ineffective in another country. Moreover, our findings suggest that alternative, equifinal configurations of leadership and team initiative, rather than just one optimal pathway, are associated with high team innovation performance; and high-performance configurations and low-performance configurations are asymmetric and therefore imply non-linearity of the relationships. The findings provide implications for managers in different cultural contexts as they help identify culture-specific action repertoires to manage innovation processes and promote innovation performance.

ZeitschriftJournal of International Management
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 01.06.2023

Bibliographische Notiz

Funding Information:
This research was supported by funding of the Singapore Ministry of Education Social Science Research Thematic Grant ( MOE2017-SSRTG-022 ), the National Natural Science Foundation of China ( 72202179 ), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities ( D5000220132 ). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the views of the Singaporean or Chinese Government.

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