Ambidexterity research studies within organizations the simultaneous pursuance of incompatible objectives, the related trade-off(s) and the organizational tensions that as a consequence emerge. This thesis has researched contextual ambidextrous learning within practice groups of professional service firms. Contextual ambidextrous learning concerns the ability of a practice group to both use and refine existing knowledge while also simultaneously creating new knowledge to overcome knowledge deficiencies or absences identified within the execution of the work. This thesis has considered exploratory -and exploitative learning as the trade-off of interest. An ambidextrous organization mitigates the tensions that result out of the learning tradeoff by striking a balance between exploratory -and exploitative learning. Literature suggests that organizations that learn in a contextual ambidextrous manner outperform organizations that predominantly focus on exploitative or explorative learning. This thesis examines whether this relationship holds as well for practice groups that operate within a professional service firm business context. Additionally, this thesis researches task conflict which is defined as a conflict of ideas in a group and disagreement about the content and issues of the task and includes differences in viewpoints, ideas, and opinions. Prior research has been inconsistent as both beneficial and detrimental direct effects of task conflict on organizational performance have been theorized. This thesis studies, alternatively, the moderating effect of task conflict on the relationship between contextual ambidextrous learning and practice group performance. In view of the inconsistent prior research results, this study proposes two hypotheses; one proposing that task conflict strengthens the relationship between contextual ambidextrous learning and practice group performance and one arguing that task conflict weakens the relationship. The hypotheses have been tested by performing a quantitative research. The results suggest that a positive relationship exist between contextual ambidextrous learning and practice group performance. Despite expectations, this thesis has not been able to distill a significant moderating effect of task conflict on the relationship between contextual ambidextrous learning and practice group performance.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Ambidextrous learning, Task conflict, Professional Service Firms, Performance, Practice groups
Thesis Advisor Frank Wijen, Geerten van der Kaa
Persistent URL hdl.handle.net/2105/47583
Series Strategisch Management & Strategische Vernieuwing
Citation
Sjoerd Harteveld. (2018, September 13). The influence of task conflict on the relationship between contextual ambidextrous learning and practice group performance. Strategisch Management & Strategische Vernieuwing. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/47583