Title: An ambidextrous organisation in practice: strategic actions in Ericsson’s management of ''Bluetooth''

Authors: Dennis Nobelius

Addresses: Volvo Car Corporation, Project Management, Dept 50314, PVD 1:1, SE-40531 Gothenburg, Sweden

Abstract: The successful and rapid evolution of the revolutionary ||Bluetooth|| technology has not gone unnoticed. By 2002, over 2500 companies had joined what is now one of the fastest growing industrial organisations ever to promote a new technology. The core of this special interest organisation unites nine of the leading firms in the computer and communications industry, with Ericsson Mobile Communications serving as the initial catalyst. The developed Bluetooth specification has been accepted as the (de facto) standard for wireless personal area networks. In order to deal with this technology, Ericsson created a dedicated, Skunk Work-like unit separated from its mainstream organisation, which represents a first step for them towards what has been termed ||ambidextrous organisation||. The benefits of creating a separate dedicated unit is debated among many researchers, mainly because of the trade-off between development speed gained at the unit and potential integration problems with the mainstream organisation. The beneficial speed has been validated in many cases, but the integration – or better termed – re-integration has seldom been in focus. This paper analyses the strategic managerial actions during the evolution of a dual structure as well as subsequent re-integration efforts between the separate unit and the mainstream organisation. The findings present: practical insights into the management of ambidextrous organisations; a new type of integration ||mindset|| mechanism; and reveal a more nuanced and dynamic view of differentiation and integration than that presented by traditional research.

Keywords: Ericsson; Bluetooth; ambidextrous organisation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMC.2003.002460

International Journal of Mobile Communications, 2003 Vol.1 No.1/2, pp.57-90

Published online: 18 Jul 2003 *

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