The Moderated-Mediated Effect of Control Systems on Ambidexterity
Abstract The demands imposed by customers lead front line employees to pursue simultaneous goals that compete for resources. Employees who demonstrate this ability to pursue simultaneous goals are called ambidextrous and are favored when there are organizational factors that enable and encourage them to make their own judgment on how to apply the resources to achieve the goals. In this paper, we extend the discussion of ambidexterity from the organizational level to the individual level. We propose that service provision and cross-/up-selling ambidexterity has an indirect conditional effect in terms of explaining performance. Specifically, this conditional effect means that ambidexterity mediates the effect of locomotion on performance and this indirect effect is moderated by sales control systems. We surveyed 118 laboratory employees and results indicated that locomotion is positively related to individuals’ ambidextrous behavior in a relationship moderated by outcome-based control systems, which amplify it. The results also demonstrated that this moderated relationship was mediated by ambidexterity, when explaining performance.