Organizational ambidexterity, Digital transformation, SMEs


The Organizational Ambidexterity (OA) has been perceived as an enabling capability for the Digital Transformation (DT) in organizations and includes the trade-off between its dimensions: exploration and exploitation. Its development involves management complexity and enough availability of resources, making it difficult implementation in small companies, a segment whose usual lack of organizational and cognitive assets also creates barriers to DT . Understanding such phenomena in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) contributes to identify initiatives to promote DT in this segment, which employs the majority of the world's population. Our research presents the context in the service sector, aiming to overcome the lack of studies that investigate OA in SMEs. Using multiple case studies, we investigated ambidextrous behaviors adopted by managers of small companies that favor DT. The findings identify combined characteristics of the Structural, Contextual and Leadership-Based Ambidexterity models that enable companies to satisfactorily take advantage of organizational resources in the context of DT. Our research identified a set of mechanisms whose adoption gives evidence of contribution on promoting DT in SMEs. Such aspects involve issues related to knowledge management, human resources, organizational structure and promotion of digital culture.


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