A resource-advantage perspective on the orchestration of ambidexterity

Strategic resources are key inputs to strategy that can form the basis of superior service performance, yet there is scarce research on the strategic resources used by managers to realise ambidexterity: the simultaneous pursuit of alignment and adaptability. In this article, we draw on a qualitative case study of a leading European airline and examine the resource bundles used by managers in their orchestration of ambidexterity. Adopting a resource-advantage perspective, the study illustrates elements of human, organisational, and informational capital that are mobilised by managers in their incorporation of alignment-oriented and adaptability-oriented activities. By moving beyond a linear association between strategic resources and ambidextrous organisations, we argue that managers' orchestration of ambidexterity is central to how service organisations manage their strategic resources and enhance competitiveness. Overall, we highlight the micro managerial level as an important point of observation to extend current thinking on the ‘how’ of ambidexterity in service organisations.