رهبری تحول گرا و یکسان دستی در زمینه کسب
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|19487||2009||15 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||9420 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : The Leadership Quarterly, Volume 20, Issue 1, February 2009, Pages 19–33
This study explores the role of transformational leadership and the values incorporated in a learning culture in promoting ambidexterity (the ability to explore new capabilities while exploiting existing ones) in teams involved in acquisition integrations. Data from a field study of an acquisition integration (N = 71 work teams) support hypotheses arguing that transformational leadership behaviors and the development of a learning culture, characterized by psychological safety, openness to diverse opinions, and participation in decision making, promote ambidexterity at the team level. We also found support for the association between transformational leadership and learning cultures.
Long-term survival and success require the ability to be ambidextrous, that is, to explore new capabilities while exploiting existing ones (Tushman & O'Reilly, 1996). Achieving ambidexterity is, however, not easy. Because of its competing goals of innovation and efficiency, exploration and exploitation are often described as paradoxical (Lewis, 2000). Existing research suggests leadership behaviors and the intra-firm contexts and structures they create are important antecedents to ambidexterity (Beckman, 2006, Brown and Eisenhardt, 1997, Gibson and Birkinshaw, 2004, Smith and Tushman, 2005 and Tushman and O'Reilly, 1996). Research on the role of top management team characteristics, such as paradoxical cognition (Smith & Tushman, 2005) and behavioral integration (Lubatkin, Simsek, Ling, & Veiga, 2006), on firm-level ambidexterity has only begun to emerge. The role of team leaders in supporting ambidexterity in work teams throughout the firm is even less well understood. Studying the links between team leadership, team culture, and ambidexterity is important for two reasons. First, the complex demands of today's dynamic contexts indicate the need to push down the responsibility of integrating exploration and exploitation (Crossan, Vera, & Nanjad, 2008). Second, these same demands require us to challenge the expectation that firm-level ambidexterity can be achieved primarily by having some units focusing on exploration, others focusing on exploitation, and integration occurring only at the top of the hierarchy. An initial step in this direction is work by Birkinshaw and Gibson (2004), who study contextual ambidexterity at the business unit level. They describe ambidextrous individuals as dividing their time between exploration and exploitation activities and flourishing under leaders who encourage them to act for the greater good of the organization, promote adaptive behavior, and provide a clear vision of the overall strategy. We extend this work by addressing the influence of team-level leadership and culture on ambidexterity. Furthermore, we focus specifically on these relationships as they exist within dynamic internal contexts, such as the one created by an acquisition integration. As a renewal strategy, acquisitions are inherently paradoxical in that they incorporate old and new, striving to achieve consistency and cost reductions while creating a larger platform for growth and innovation (Crossan et al., 1999, Hitt et al., 2001, March, 1991 and McNamara and Baden-Fuller, 1999). Unfortunately, while the need for ambidexterity is high, acquisitions create a context replete with barriers to learning, such as ambiguity, disrupted knowledge networks, fear, risk aversion, and cultural differences (Bijlsma-Frankema, 2001 and Ernst and Vitt, 2000). The type of leadership considered in this study is a set of behaviors and attributions known as transformational leadership (Bass, 1985 and Bass, 1998). Transformational leadership is charismatic, inspirational, intellectually stimulating, and individually considerate (Bass, 1985 and Bass, 1998). Transformational leadership behaviors by senior executives are more likely to be effective in dynamic environments (Waldman, Ramirez, House, & Puranam, 2001) and to promote both explorative and exploitative learning in which the status quo is challenged (Vera & Crossan, 2004). Prior research provides only scattered evidence of the links between transformational leadership, the culture associated with these leaders, and ambidexterity in dynamic contexts, especially at lower organizational levels (Berson, Nemanich, Waldman, Galvin, & Keller, 2006). For example, research in R&D organizations indicates a positive effect of transformational leadership on exploration (e.g., Keller, 1992, Keller, 2006, Shin and Zhou, 2003, Waldman and Atwater, 1992 and Waldman and Bass, 1991), although some studies using student groups offer conflicting results (e.g., Jaussi and Dionne, 2003 and Kahai et al., 2003). On the other hand, we know very little about the link between transformational leadership and exploitation and about how transformational behaviors simultaneously enable the two learning processes. A generally accepted view argues that the characteristics of a firm's or a team's culture are taught by its leadership and eventually adopted by its followers. However, more than a decade has passed since Schein's (1997) description of what an internal culture that favors learning would look like, and, surprisingly, this concept remains largely empirically untested. Addressing these gaps in our knowledge, the research question that guides our study is: What are the effects of transformational leadership and learning cultures on ambidexterity in acquisition integrations? We contribute to the leadership and organizational learning literatures by taking a comprehensive look at how team-level transformational leadership and learning culture support ambidexterity during an acquisition integration. In doing this, we challenge conventional wisdom associating transformational leadership only with exploration by showing that, in the changing context of an acquisition, transformational leadership behaviors and the learning cultures associated with these leaders are linked with ambidexterity, that is, exploration and exploitation. We begin with a brief review of the concept of ambidexterity. Next, our conceptual model is presented. We then discuss the methods used to test our model in a field study of an acquisition integration. Finally, the results and implications of the study are described.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
6. Discussion The main findings of this study are that transformational leadership behaviors and learning cultures encompassing psychological safety, openness to diverse opinions, and participation in decision making, support ambidexterity in acquisition integrations. Our results also show an association between transformational leadership and the values of learning cultures. Given the high levels of stress and uncertainty associated with acquisitions, our findings are consistent with prior work arguing that transformational and charismatic leadership are more likely to emerge and to be effective in situations that are exceptional, unique, dynamic, risky, or unstructured, as well as in situations where the primary method of coordination is shared values and the organizational task is consistent with these values (Shamir and Howell, 1999 and Waldman et al., 2001). These results also offer support for conceptual work by Vera and Crossan (2004) arguing that, in turbulent environments such as an acquisition, transformational leadership helps employees to see the environment as a source of opportunity, and encourages them to engage in creative processes as well as overcome the resistance to adopt new institutionalized routines. 6.1. Limitations A limitation of this study is the collection of data in only one organization, which affects external validity. On the other hand, the quality of our data is enhanced by our ability to protect internal validity by gathering data at a consistent point in time during the integration. This tradeoff between external validity (single organization) and internal validity (consistent timing or maturation) is common in acquisition research (Shadish, Cook, & Campbell, 2002). For example, Schweiger and DeNisi (1991) used one firm and gathered data at consistent times for all cases; Nikandrou, Papalexandris, and Bourantas (2000) used multiple firms but collected data retrospectively at variable times from one to six years after the acquisition. Another positive aspect of using a single firm for data collection is that it enabled us to control within the research design for the impact of other variables that could potentially influence ambidexterity but were outside the scope of our study (Shadish et al., 2002). For example, performance measurement systems, employee compensation and reward systems, slack resources, top management team, environmental dynamism, and project funding criteria influence ambidexterity at the firm level and may also have a cross-level impact on teams (Gibson and Birkinshaw, 2004, Jansen et al., 2006, Lubatkin et al., 2006 and Tushman and O'Reilly, 1996). These firm-level variables were all constant across our sample. Future research using a multiple-organization sample is needed to conduct a cross-level analysis of the relative importance of firm environment relative to the more localized variables of transformational leadership and learning culture on team ambidexterity. Such research would need to be carefully designed to separate potentially confounding effects. We deliberately chose to collect data early in the acquisition integration because our focus was on the effects of transformational leadership and learning culture on ambidexterity in a context of change. This design feature implies that teams were only intact in their current configuration for two to three months prior to data collection. A limitation associated with the timeframe of the data collection is that respondents had only this brief time period to observe leaders in their current responsibilities and to assess the culture of the group as formed within the context of the merged company. Some respondents may have had prior experience with their supervisor in the new organization, but the host firm was unable to provide us with data to control for such experience. A final limitation of this study is our use of survey-based measures, in contrast to objective measures, for our constructs. Given the different types of units included in the study, it was impossible to find common measures of ambidexterity across units. In the absence of objective measures, we reduced single-source concerns by using data from different team members and supervisors in testing the relationships between leadership, culture, and learning. 6.2. Implications for theory Our findings make important contributions to the body of knowledge on leadership, organizational learning, and acquisitions. First, we address the concern that the viability of acquisitions may rest on the ability of team leaders to enable ambidexterity in their work teams. In order for the newly integrated firm to achieve the intended goals of the acquisition, team leaders need to motivate employees to both exploit best practices and explore new sources of value. Our results show that transformational leadership behaviors and the values of a learning culture promote this needed ambidexterity. These findings are important because they challenge conventional wisdom associating transformational leadership with exploration and transactional leadership with exploitation ( Vera & Crossan, 2004). Furthermore, our results about the role of transformational leadership in acquisition integrations are in line with the “full range of leadership” approach, which positions this style as superior to other leadership styles ( Bass & Avolio, 1993b). Second, our findings show that ambidexterity does not occur only at the firm level under the sole responsibility of strategic leaders, but that this responsibility is shared with team leaders. Our results extend the work of Gibson and Birkinshaw (2004) by supporting the view that creating a favorable intra-firm context is a viable mechanism for achieving ambidexterity. Although Gibson and Birkinshaw's (2004) conceptual model focuses on the influence of a disciplined performance management system and a supportive social context in promoting ambidexterity within business units, they imply that senior executives play a critical role by creating these systems and contexts, and call for future research on the role of leadership. Our study answers that call by directly testing the influence of leadership behaviors and showing that ambidexterity is also influenced by the internal context at the team level. Two empirical contributions of our work are, first, the integration of previous research to develop a multidimensional measure of learning culture consisting of psychological safety, openness to diverse opinions, and participation in decision making and, second, the development of survey measures that capture ambidexterity in acquisitions. With these contributions we seek to help fill gaps in quantitative work in the learning field. We encourage researchers to continue scale development efforts, since they inform theoretical conceptualizations. 6.3. Implications for practice As well as academic contributions, this study presents findings of interest to practicing managers. Managing ambidexterity during acquisition integrations is a complex challenge. In fact, encouraging employees to simultaneously share their knowledge, learn from each other, implement ideas for continuous improvement, and innovate is particularly difficult in the context of change, fear, and uncertainty that characterizes acquisitions. Nevertheless, managers in newly integrated firms are under tremendous pressure to identify synergies that provide a financial return from the transaction. Our results show that teams can be encouraged and supported to manage ambidexterity in learning processes. Our work provides practical insights for managers charged with leadership responsibilities during acquisition integrations on ways to encourage team members to achieve ambidexterity within their jobs. To foster the innovation needed to create the new sources of revenue and cost reduction critical to the ultimate success of the acquisition while maintaining efficient execution through exploitation, firms undertaking an acquisition integration should ensure that the culture promoted for the new organization emphasizes learning. The culture should provide a psychologically safe environment in which employees can express opinions without risk. It should encourage employees at all levels to be open to and accepting of a wide range of views and opinions, particularly those of employees from “the other” firm. Leaders should encourage broad participation by employees in decisions related to the integration process The firm should assign leaders with the strongest transformational leadership behaviors to positions that face the greatest demand for increased learning. 6.4. Future research We focused on transformational leadership behaviors in our research, based upon theoretical research proposing that transformational leadership influences both exploration and exploitation in a context of change (Vera & Crossan, 2004). Restrictions by the host firm on the amount of time we could have with employees constrained the length of our survey, preventing us from collecting data to control for other types of leadership behaviors, such as transactional leadership, authentic leadership, LMX, or laissez faire leadership. Future research is needed to determine whether other leadership behaviors influence ambidexterity positively or negatively, and whether those effects augment or counteract the effects of transformational leadership. For example, in the case of transactional leadership, Jansen et al. (2009—this issue), in this issue, found its emphasis on strengthening existing structures, culture, and strategies to be restrictive and discouraging in a dynamic context and to be best suited to innovation in stable contexts. Quantitative data on employee satisfaction with the acquisition, simultaneously gathered qualitative data on how respondents perceived the integration process, and subsequent archival data of firm financial results support the view that this acquisition integration suffered from expected levels of cultural conflict and was reasonably successful. Future research examining integration processes that were stalled, derailed, or fraught with excessive conflict is needed to determine whether such unfavorable contexts are able to undermine the positive effects of transformational leadership and learning culture identified here. The scope of this study includes the effects of transformational leadership and learning culture on ambidexterity, operationalized as the multiplication of exploration and exploitation. However, any time two or more measures are combined into a single index, enough information may be lost to compromise clean interpretation of the results (Edwards & Parry, 1993). This is why, in the case of ambidexterity, we think it is important for researchers in this field to understand how antecedent variables affect each learning process separately and what the unique contribution is towards explaining variance in exploration or exploitation. Future research exploring the differential effects on exploration and exploitation of each of the dimensions of transformational leadership and learning culture will help to deepen our understanding of ambidexterity. The acquisition environment has much in common with organizational restructuring and other turbulent contexts with respect to the learning demands placed upon employees. Employees adapting to these changes may also experience some of the stress of acquisitions, which may impact their learning capabilities similarly. In this regard, this study may be representative of the more general research question exploring the roles of leadership and ambidexterity in times of change. In addition, a question that arises naturally is, are the role of leadership and ambidexterity different in times of stability? We expect ambidexterity to be also important in stable contexts since it enables firms to prepare for the next round of renewal. Future research is needed to assess the degree to which our results can be extended and generalized to other contexts of change and how results may differ in stable environments. With respect to the acquisition literature, a longitudinal study is an important next step in extending this research. We studied learning at the most intense point of the integration process, when employees are learning their new roles and processes. A study of longer term would provide insights into whether transformational leadership and a learning culture can help teams to sustain simultaneously a pattern of both continued innovation and improved efficiency.