Ambidexterity in Times of a Pandemic Still Possible for Manufacturers in the Food Industry? A qualitative research of ambidexterity, in times of a pandemic, regarding the managerial time orientation within the food industry

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In this qualitative study, we examine how managerial time orientation mediate the effect of the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic on ambidexterity. Therefore, within this deductive study, managerial time orientation is taken as a mediating variable. We detail the process of uncertainty on managerial time orientation, and highlights that uncertainty stimulates short-term orientation. As a result, the simultaneous pursuit of exploration and exploitation activities, which is called ambidexterity, is at risk. The research setting entails a food manufacturer, because prior literature on disruptions within the food industry has not considered the impact of pandemics on managerial time orientation and ambidexterity. Based on the results of this research, it can be concluded that the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic provides support for a stimulating effect of exploitation activities during crises. However, managerial time orientation is not a significant mediating variable with respect to the effect of uncertainty on ambidexterity within this specific research setting. Overall, the main theoretical implication is that this study did not support the expectation that the uncertainty regarding the COVID-19 pandemic negatively influences ambidexterity, when managerial time orientation is taken as a mediating variable.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen