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Title: The impact of emotional intelligence on ambidextrous behaviours in small and medium enterprises in Malaysia

Authors: Wai Chuen Poon; Osman Mohamad

Addresses: School of Management, Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation, Jalan Teknologi 5, Technology Park Malaysia, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur 57000, Malaysia ' Faculty of Management, Multimedia University, Persiaran Multimedia, 63100 Cyberjaya, Selangor, Malaysia

Abstract: This paper contributes to the growing body of research that focuses on the antecedents of ambidextrous behaviours, that is, understanding the role of emotional intelligence influencing ambidextrous behaviours. One central challenge caused by ambidextrous behaviours is the divergence mindset catering to the contradiction of exploitative and explorative behaviours. The manner in which owner-managers recognise with and act out contradictory demands provides an insight into the balancing act of ambidextrous behaviours. Following theory of dynamic capability, the present study sought to identify the role of emotional intelligence (EI) managing ambidextrous, exploitative and explorative behaviours among owner-managers from small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, Malaysia. Out of 1,000 invited respondents, a total of 220 owner-managers participated in this research. 183 useable data were analysed using partial least squares (SmartPLS v3.2.7), result suggests that EI positively influence exploitative and explorative behaviours. Interestingly, though, data indicates EI negatively influences ambidextrous behaviours. Furthermore, ambidextrous behaviours were found to positively influencing business performance. This study adds to the limited theoretical and empirical understanding of the role of EI and ambidextrous behaviours. This present study concludes by highlighting the implications and significance of these findings for theory, managerial practice, and future research.

Keywords: emotional intelligence; ambidextrous behaviours; firm performance; small and medium enterprise; SME; Malaysia.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSS.2020.106948

International Journal of Society Systems Science, 2020 Vol.12 No.1, pp.36 - 50

Received: 21 Nov 2018
Accepted: 02 Aug 2019

Published online: 27 Apr 2020 *

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