Title: To separate or to integrate? The normative effect of national culture on organisational ambidexterity of automotive OEMs in transition towards electric mobility

Authors: Lucas A. Müller; Michael Stephan

Addresses: Department for Technology and Innovation Management, School of Business and Economics, Philipps-University Marburg, Am Plan 2, 35037 Marburg, Germany ' Department for Technology and Innovation Management, School of Business and Economics, Philipps-University Marburg, Am Plan 2, 35037 Marburg, Germany

Abstract: The automotive industry is undergoing a disruptive change towards a new era of electric mobility. This transition is characterised by the critical management challenge of organising and balancing traditional businesses and new venture lines, a phenomenon described as organisational ambidexterity. We investigate how OEMs with different cultural backgrounds handle this challenge. Our suggestion is that national culture plays a crucial role in the firms' organisational implementation of explorative and exploitative work since cultural values affect managerial behaviour and the choice of organisational designs. Based on an in-depth longitudinal analysis of eleven car manufacturers from six nations, this work scrutinises the implementation of different ambidexterity forms and contextualises the results with Hofstede's work on cultural dimensions. Our findings indicate that structural separation of explorative and exploitative behaviour occurs in organisations rooted in long-term oriented, collectivistic and uncertainty avoiding cultures. Integrative forms of ambidexterity are prevalent in organisations rooted in short-term orientated, individualistic and uncertainty accepting cultures.

Keywords: international management; organisational ambidexterity; organisational design; intercultural management; electric mobility; automotive management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJATM.2020.112028

International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, 2020 Vol.20 No.4, pp.457 - 482

Received: 04 Oct 2019
Accepted: 08 Apr 2020

Published online: 18 Dec 2020 *

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