Resource Slack, Innovation Ambidexterity, and Quality Performance: Knowledge Heterogeneity Perspective

Fu-Sheng TSAI, Che-Hung LIN, Kou-Cheng CHUNG


Abstract. Resource slack and innovation ambidexterity can both be represented and connected conceptually with heterogeneous knowledge structure. Hypothesizing with the logic of knowledge heterogeneity, the present study empirically examined ambidexterity’s mediation effect in the relationship between two forms of resource slacks (i.e., human and financial resources) and product quality. Companies in Taiwanese manufacturing industry were located based on the random inspection conducted by the Department of Budget, Accounting and Statistics of the Government in 2011, and surveyed. Our findings demonstrated that slack resource is only an indirect factor for product quality evaluated by internal developers and producers (i.e. development and delivery processes) and external customers (product-specific quality). Specifically, first, different resource slacks influence differently on ambidexterity; second, both exploration and exploitation positively influence quality of innovation; third, ambidexterity plays a significant mediator’s role that may strategically alter the relationship between slack and quality. Research has paid increasing attention to ambidexterity (i.e., exploration and exploitation) in organizational innovation. Mostly, however, focus on the influencing factors leading to possible ambidextrous design or implementation of innovation. Few have examined ambidexterity’s effects on specific dimensions of innovation as outcomes.

Keywords. Resource slacks, Ambidexterity, Quality, Knowledge heterogeneity.

JEL. M10; M11; M14.


Resource slacks; Ambidexterity; Quality; Knowledge heterogeneity.

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