IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Ambidexterity in Service Organizations: Reference Models from the Banking Industry

Listed author(s):
  • Marco Marabelli
  • Chiara Frigerio
  • Federico Rajola
Registered author(s):

    This paper reviews the literature on ambidexterity in service organizations with a specific focus on the banking industry. We identify three key, cross-unit bank processes: governance (bank headquarters), sales (branch processes) and operations (ICT and facilities to support local (branch) and inter-unit (headquarters-to-branch) tasks). We suggest a framework that incorporates three main “reference models”, from an organizational design perspective. Model 1 (exploitative model) applies when the bank's headquarters work to formalize branch sales processes supported by operations processes. Model 2 (exploratory model) applies when the bank's headquarters allows flexibility in branch sales processes and uses operations processes to decentralize tasks. Model 3 (ambidextrous model) applies when a branch incorporates the characteristics of Models 1 and 2 simultaneously. We ground our claims using fieldwork conducted in 2004--2005 that involved a number of major Italian banks. We show that while large organizations, such as banks, base their ambidextrous innovation on organizational design, contextual elements such as trust and commitment, and management styles and leadership play a role in dealing with efficiency-oriented vs. flexibility-oriented tasks within the same bank branch.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Industry and Innovation.

    Volume (Year): 19 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 2 (February)
    Pages: 109-126

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:taf:indinn:v:19:y:2012:i:2:p:109-126
    DOI: 10.1080/13662716.2012.650881
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Order Information: Web:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:indinn:v:19:y:2012:i:2:p:109-126. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.