Center for Capability Development & Ambidexterity

Simultaneously developing new organizational capabilities and efficiently deploying existing ones.

The term ambidexterity refers to the organizational coupling of the two learning modes of exploration (creation of new knowledge, innovation) and exploitation (deployment of existing knowledge, efficiency). Mastering the challenge of exploring new capabilities while simultaneously exploiting existing ones enables firms to prevent that core capabilities of today become outdated and turn into tomorrow’s core rigidities and preserves organizational agility even in volatile markets. Research in the Center for Capability Development and Ambidexterity analyzes strategies that firms use to stay competitive in the long run and to proactively shape their environments.


Institute of Human Resource & Change Management

Contact person

Dr. Stefan Konlechner

Contributions to research

  • Hansen, N.K./Güttel, W.H./Swart, J. (2017): HRM in dynamic environments: Exploitative, exploratory and ambidextrous HR architectures. International Journal of Human Resource Management (forthcoming).
  • Konlechner, S. (2016): Organizational Search, Capability Reconfiguration, and Capability Reorientation: A Framework of Organizational Responses to Perceived Capability Gaps. Journal of Competence-based Strategic Management 9: 109-135.
  • Güttel, W.H./Konlechner, S./Müller, B./Trede, J.K./Lehrer, M. (2012): FaciliatingAmbidexterity in Replicator Organizations: Artifacts in their Role as Routine-Re-Creators. Schmalenbach Business Review 64: 187-203.
  • Filippini, R./Güttel, W.H./Nosella, A. (2012): Ambidexterity and the Evolution of KM Initiatives. Journal of Business Research, 65: 317-324.
  • Güttel, W.H./Konlechner, S. (2009): Continuously Hanging by a Thread: Managing Contextually Ambidextrous Organizations. Schmalenbach Business Review 71: 150-172.

Practical projects / partners

Our approach

Our projects focus on organizational challenges of developing new capabilities and managing the balance between exploration and exploitation. We trace past processes/projects and historical developments with the aim of identifying patterns that stimulate organizational learning.


Our partners

  • EhingerSchwarz: German producer of modular jewelry. We analyzed practices and strategies that supported the creation and maintenance of a common frame of reference throughout the organization.
  • FACC: Austrian producer of aircraft components. We analyzed how entrepreneurial actions shaped the historical development of the firm and its capabilitybase.
  • Silhouette: Austrian producer of eyewear. We analyzed the development of new capabilities (glass production “Vision Sensation”) and innovation projects (launch of “Neubau”)