Flying or dying? Organizational change, customer participation, and innovation ambidexterity in emerging economies

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-119
Journal / PublicationAsia Pacific Journal of Management
Issue number1
Online published30 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018


In emerging economies, organizational change is both a difficult challenge and a common phenomenon for high-tech firms. Change can enhance adaptability and leverage knowledge based on dynamic capability perspective, but it can also increase coordination costs and—according to the organizational inertia perspective—prompt conflict. Existing findings about the effect of organizational change on firm performance are inconsistent. Accordingly, this survey study of 213 firms in the Chinese high-tech industry investigates the curvilinear and differential effects of technical and administrative organizational change, as moderated by customer participation and innovation ambidexterity. The results reveal that the effects of technical and administrative change are both U-shaped. At a low level of change, increasing technical or administrative change hinders firm performance, but as the levels increase beyond a critical point, the effect of change becomes positive. Although customer participation strengthens the effect of technical change on firm performance, both customer participation and innovation ambidexterity attenuate the effect of administrative change on firm performance.

Research Area(s)

  • Customer participation, Emerging economy, High-tech industry, Innovation ambidexterity, Organizational change