DOI: 10.1111/ijmr.12348 ISSN:

Ambidexterity in strategic alliances: An integrative review of the literature

Nadia Zahoor, Zaheer Khan, Svetla Marinova, Lin Cui
  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Strategy and Management
  • General Decision Sciences


Strategic alliances play a vital role in exploration and exploitation activities, otherwise known as the ambidextrous approach for value creation. This has led to an upsurge in studies on ambidexterity in strategic alliances by giving rise to various conceptualizations and theoretical challenges. However, we lack a systematic evaluation and synthesis of the theoretical and empirical insights from this growing body of research. In this paper, we use an integrative systematic literature review (SLR) approach to critically analyse 77 articles on ambidexterity in strategic alliances published in 38 leading journals across 13 disciplines. Findings from bibliometric and qualitative content analyses reveal three major research directions: (1) micro‐foundation and organizational antecedents of ambidexterity in alliances, (2) governance mechanisms of ambidexterity, and (3) relational and performance outcomes of ambidexterity. We integrate these findings into a unified framework which provides a foundation for future research on ambidexterity in strategic alliances, with implications for academics, policymakers and practitioners.

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