Hostname: page-component-6b989bf9dc-lb7rp Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-13T11:01:25.169Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

How ambidextrous organizational culture affects job performance: A multilevel study of the mediating effect of psychological capital

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 September 2017

Jee Young Lee
Graduate School of Defense Management, Korea National Defense University, Ko-Yang Si, Korea
Yumi Seo*
College of Business Administration, University of Seoul, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, Korea
Wonho Jeung
Graduate School of Defense Management, Korea National Defense University, Ko-Yang Si, Korea
Joon-ho Kim
Department of Business Administration, Sejong University, Ko-Yang Si, Korea
Corresponding author:


Ambidexterity organization, which is defined as the ability of an organization to simultaneously pursues exploration and exploitation, has received attention by researchers who have examined its beneficial effect on organizational performance and success. This study attempted to examine the positive effect of ambidextrous organization culture (AOC), which is regarded as the core characteristic of ambidextrous organizations by using a multilevel model. Specifically, this study examined the effects of AOC on members’ job performance and the mediating role of psychological capital in the relationship between AOC and job performance. The results indicated that AOC had a significantly positive relationship with job performance even after controlling various organizational and individual variables. Moreover, we found that psychological capital fully mediated the relationship between AOC and members’ job performance. This study provides theoretical contributions by empirically examining the positive effect and mechanism of AOC. Furthermore, this study offers practical implications in how practitioners can manage their organizational culture, by helping shape the direction of organizational culture management.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press and Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management 2017 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Adler, P. S., Goldoftas, B., & Levine, D. I. (1999). Flexibility versus efficiency? A case study of model changeovers in the Toyota production system. Organization Science, 10(1), 4368.Google Scholar
Amabile, T. M. (1983). The social psychology of creativity: A componential conceptualization. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 45(2), 357376.Google Scholar
Avey, J. B. (2014). The left side of psychological capital new evidence on the antecedents of PsyCap. Journal of Leadership & Organization Studies, 21(2), 141149.Google Scholar
Avey, J. B., Luthans, F., & Youssef, C. M. (2010). The additive value of positive psychological capital in predicting work attitudes and behaviors. Journal of Management, 36(2), 430452.Google Scholar
Avey, J. B., Nimnicht, J. L., & Pigeon, N. G. (2010). Two field studies examining the association between positive psychological capital and employee performance. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 31(5), 384401.Google Scholar
Avey, J. B., Reichard, R. J., Luthans, F., & Mhatre, K. H. (2011). Meta-analysis of the impact of positive psychological capital on employee attitudes, behaviors, and performance. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 22(2), 127152.Google Scholar
Baron, R. M., & Kenny, D. A. (1986). The moderator–mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51(6), 11731182.Google Scholar
Barrett, C. (2008). Talking Southwest culture. Southwest Airlines Spirit Magazine, 5, 6. San Antonio, TX: Pace.Google Scholar
Beckman, C. M. (2006). The influence of founding team company affiliations on firm behavior. Academy of Management Journal, 49(4), 741758.Google Scholar
Benner, M. J., & Tushman, M. L. (2003). Exploitation, exploration, and process management: The productivity dilemma revisited. Academy of Management Review, 28(2), 238256.Google Scholar
Cameron, K. S., & Quinn, R. E. (2011). Diagnosing and changing organizational culture: Based on the Competing Values Framework (3rd Edition). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
Cao, Q., Gedajlovic, E., & Zhang, H. (2009). Unpacking organizational ambidexterity: Dimensions, contingencies, and synergistic effects. Organization Science, 20(4), 781796.Google Scholar
Chang, Y. S. (2014). The contextual factors on ambidextrous organizational culture. Korean Academy of Human Resource Management, 21(1), 6382.Google Scholar
Chang, Y. S., & Moon, H. G. (2011). Organizational culture fostering ambidexterity in organizations. Korean Academy of Management, 19(2), 169200.Google Scholar
Cho, S. S., & Huh, M. G. (2013). Leadership, culture, and organizational ambidexterity: Based on the competing values model. Korean Academy of Human Resource Management, 20(1), 1538.Google Scholar
Clapp-Smith, R., Vogelgesang, G. R., & Avey, J. B. (2009). Authentic leadership and positive psychological capital: The mediating role of trust at the group level of analysis. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 15(3), 227240.Google Scholar
Combs, G. M., Milosevic, I., Jeung, W., & Griffith, J. (2011). Ethnic identity and job attribute preferences: The role of collectivism and psychological capital. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 19(1), 516.Google Scholar
Conway, J. M. & Lance, C. E. (2010). What reviewers should expect from authors regarding common method bias in organizational research. Journal of Business and Psychology, 25(3), 325334.Google Scholar
Damanpour, F. (1991). Organizational innovation: A meta-analysis of effects of determinants and moderators. Academy of Management Journal, 34(3), 555590.Google Scholar
Deal, T. E., & Kennedy, A. A. (1982). In Т. Deal & A. Kennedy (Eds), Corporate cultures: The rites and rituals of organizational life (Chapter 5, Vol. 2, pp. 98–103). Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
Denison, D. R. (1990). Corporate culture and organizational effectiveness. Wiley Series on organizational assessment and change. Oxford: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
Edgar, F., Gray, B., Browning, V., & Dwyer, K. (2014). Cultural drivers of high performing knowledge-intensive service organisations. Journal of Management & Organization, 20(1), 5678.Google Scholar
Elliot, A. J., & Church, M. A. (1997). A hierarchical model of approach and avoidance achievement motivation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72(1), 218232.Google Scholar
Gibson, C. B., & Birkinshaw, J. (2004). The antecedents, consequences, and mediating role of organizational ambidexterity. Academy of Management Journal, 47(2), 209226.Google Scholar
Goodman, E. A., Zammuto, R. F., & Gifford, B. D. (2001). The Competing Values Framework: Understanding the impact of organizational culture on the quality of work life. Organization Development Journal, 19(3), 5868.Google Scholar
Gooty, J., Gavin, M., Johnson, P. D., Frazier, M. L., & Snow, D. B. (2009). In the eyes of the beholder transformational leadership, positive psychological capital, and performance. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 15(4), 353367.Google Scholar
Hackman, J. R. (1992). Group influences on individuals in organizations. San Francisco, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.Google Scholar
Harman, H. H. (1967). ). Modem factor analysis . Chicago, IL: University of Chicago.Google Scholar
Hartnell, C. A., Ou, A. Y., & Kinicki, A. (2011). Organizational culture and organizational effectiveness: A meta-analytic investigation of the Competing Values Framework’s theoretical suppositions. Journal of Applied Psychology, 96(4), 677694.Google Scholar
He, Z.-L., & Wong, P.-K. (2004). Exploration vs. exploitation: An empirical test of the ambidexterity hypothesis. Organization Science, 15(4), 481494.Google Scholar
Herscovitch, L., & Meyer, J. P. (2002). Commitment to organizational change: Extension of a three-component mode. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87(3), 474487.Google Scholar
Hinkin, T. R. (1998). A brief tutorial on the development of measures for use in survey questionnaires. Organizational Research Methods, 1(1), 104121.Google Scholar
Hooijberg, R., & Petrock, F. (1993). On cultural change: Using the Competing Values Framework to help leaders execute a transformational strategy. Human Resource Management, 32(1), 2950.Google Scholar
Hughes, M., Hughesw, P., & Morganz, R. E. (2007). Exploitative learning and entrepreneurial orientation alignment in emerging young firms: Implications for market and response performance. British Journal of Management, 18, 359375.Google Scholar
Jansen, J. J. P., Tempelaar, M. P., van den Bosch, F. A. J., & Volberda, H. W. (2009). Structural differentiation and ambidexterity: The mediating role of integration mechanisms. Organization Science, 20(4), 797811.Google Scholar
Jung, J., Nam, C., Lee, E., & Kim, S. (2016). Subculture by autonomy and group cohesion and its effect on job satisfaction of R&D professionals in an R&D organization. Journal of Management & Organization, 22(2), 154172.Google Scholar
Junni, P., Sarala, R. M., Taras, V. A. S., & Tarba, S. Y. (2013). Organizational ambidexterity and performance: A meta-analysis. Academy of Management Perspectives, 27(4), 299312.Google Scholar
Kalliath, T. J., Bluedorn, A. C., & Strube, M. J. (1999). A test of value congruence effects. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 20(7), 11751198.Google Scholar
Klein, A. S., Wallis, J., & Cooke, R. A. (2013). The impact of leadership styles on organizational culture and firm effectiveness: An empirical study. Journal of Management & Organization, 19(3), 241254.Google Scholar
Lee, D. S., & Choi, Y. D. (2010). A study on antecedents and consequences of positive psychological capital in organizations. Korean Academic Society of Business Administration, 39(1), 128.Google Scholar
Leung, A., & Chaturvedi, S. (2011). Linking the fits, fitting the links: Connecting different types of PO fit to attitudinal outcomes. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 79(2), 391402.Google Scholar
Luthans, F. (2002). The need for and meaning of positive organizational behavior. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 23(6), 695706.Google Scholar
Luthans, F., Avey, J. B., Avolio, B. J., Norman, S. M., & Combs, G. M. (2006). Psychological capital development: Toward a micro‐intervention. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 27(3), 387393.Google Scholar
Luthans, F., Avolio, B. J., Avey, J. B., & Norman, S. M. (2007). Positive psychological capital: Measurement and relationship with performance and satisfaction. Personnel Psychology, 60(3), 541572.Google Scholar
Luthans, F., Norman, S. M., Avolio, B. J., & Avey, J. B. (2008). The mediating role of psychological capital in the supportive organizational climate—Employee performance relationship. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 29(2), 219238.Google Scholar
Luthans, F., & Youssef, C. M. (2007). Emerging positive organizational behavior. Journal of Management, 33(3), 321349.Google Scholar
March, J. C. (1991). Exploration and exploitation in organizational learning. Organization Science, 2(1), 7187.Google Scholar
McGrath, R. G. (2001). Exploratory learning, innovative capacity, and managerial oversight. Academy of Management Journal, 44(1), 118131.Google Scholar
Newman, A., Ucbasaran, D., Zhu, F., & Hirst, G. (2014). Psychological capital: A review and synthesis. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 35(1), 120138.Google Scholar
Organ, D. W. (1988). Organizational citizenship behavior: The good soldier syndrome. Lexington, MA, England: Lexington Books/DC Heath and Com.Google Scholar
O’Reilly, C. A., Chatman, J., & Caldwell, D. F. (1991). People and organizational culture: A profile comparison approach to assessing person-organization fit. Academy of Management Journal, 34(3), 487516.Google Scholar
O’Reilly, C. A., & Tushman, M. L. (2008). Ambidexterity as a dynamic capability: Resolving the innovator’s dilemma. Research in Organizational Behavior, 28, 185206.Google Scholar
Peterson, S. J., Luthans, F., Avolio, B. J., Walumbwa, F. O., & Zhang, Z. (2011). Psychological capital and employee performance: A latent growth modeling approach. Personnel Psychology, 64(2), 427450.Google Scholar
Podsakoff, P. M., & Organ, D. W. (1986). Self-reports in organizational research: Problems and prospects. Journal of Management, 12(4), 531544.Google Scholar
Preacher, K. J., & Hayes, A. F. (2004). SPSS and SAS procedures for estimating indirect effects in simple mediation models. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers, 36(4), 717731.Google Scholar
Quinn, R. E., & Rohrbaugh, J. (1983). A spatial model of effectiveness criteria: Towards a competing values approach to organizational analysis. Management Science, 29(3), 363377.Google Scholar
Quinn, R. E., & Spreitzer, G. M. (1991). The psychometrics of the competing values culture instrument and an analysis of the impact of organizational culture on quality of life. In Woodman, R. W. & Pasmore, W. A. (eds.), Research in Organizational Change and Development. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press, Inc.Google Scholar
Raisch, S., & Birkinshaw, J. (2008). Organizational ambidexterity: Antecedents, outcomes, and moderators. Journal of Management, 34(3), 375409.Google Scholar
Raisch, S., Birkinshaw, J., Probst, G., & Tushman, M. L. (2009). Organizational ambidexterity: Balancing exploitation and exploration for sustained performance. Organization Science, 20(4), 685695.Google Scholar
Rego, A., Sousa, F., Marques, C., & Cunha, M. P. (2012). Authentic leadership promoting employees’ psychological capital and creativity. Journal of Business Research, 65(3), 429437.Google Scholar
Raudenbush, S. W., & Bryk, A. S. (2000). Hierarchical linear models: Applications and data analysis methods (2nd ed.), Thousand Oaks, CA: London, New Delhi: SAGE Publication.Google Scholar
Salancik, G. R., & Pfeffer, J. (1978). A social information processing approach to job attitudes and task design. Administrative Science Quarterly, 23(2), 224253.Google Scholar
Schein, E. H. (1990). Organizational culture. American Psychologist, 45(2), 109119.Google Scholar
Simsek, Z., Heavey, C., Veiga, J. F., & Souder, D. (2009). A typology for aligning organizational ambidexterity’s conceptualizations, antecedents, and outcomes. Journal of Management Studies, 46(5), 864894.Google Scholar
Smircich, L. (1983). Concepts of culture and organizational analysis. Administrative Science Quarterly, 23(3), 339358.Google Scholar
Smith, W. K., & Tushman, M. L. (2005). Managing strategic contradictions: A top management model for managing innovation streams. Organization Science, 16(5), 522536.Google Scholar
Sun, T., Zhao, X. W., Yang, L. B., & Fan, L. H. (2012). The impact of psychological capital on job embeddedness and job performance among nurses: A structural equation approach. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 68(1), 6979.Google Scholar
Turner, N., Swart, J., & Maylor, H. (2013). Mechanisms for managing ambidexterity: a review and research agenda. International Journal of Management Reviews, 15(3), 317332.Google Scholar
VandeWalle, D. (1997). Development and validation of a work domain goal orientation instrument. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 57, 9951015.Google Scholar
Vera, D., & Crossan, M. (2004). Strategic leadership and organizational learning. Academy of Management Review, 29(2), 222240.Google Scholar
Wang, C. L., & Rafiq, M. (2014). Ambidextrous organizational culture, contextual ambidexterity and new product innovation: A comparative study of UK and Chinese high‐tech firms. British Journal of Management, 25(1), 5876.Google Scholar
Williams, K. Y., & O’Reilly, C. A. (1998). Demography and diversity in organizations: A review of 40 years of research. Research in Organizational Behavior, 20, 77140.Google Scholar
Williams, L. J., & Anderson, S. E. (1991). Job satisfaction and organizational commitment as predictors of organizational citizenship and in-role behaviors. Journal of Management, 17(3), 601617.Google Scholar
Williams, W. M., & Yang, L. T. (1999). Organizational creativity. In R. J. Sternberg (ed.), Handbook of creativity, pp. 373–391. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Yang, J., Mossholder, K. W., & Peng, T. K. (2009). Supervisory procedural justice effects: The mediating roles of cognitive and affective trust. Leadership Quarterly, 20(2), 143154.Google Scholar