H. (Hesam) Fasaei MSc

Hesam Fasaei
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
ERIM PhD Candidate
Field: Strategy & Entrepreneurship
Affiliated since 2012

PhD Track Organizing Ambidexterity Across Multiple Levels of Analysis: Sensing and Seizing Opportunities for Sustained Performance

In today´s competitive environment, successful organizations are suggested to exploit current competencies as well as to explore new competencies and delve into new product/market combinations (Tushman and O´Reilly, 1996; Jansen et al., 2009). Such `ambidextrous´ firms obtain superior performance as they are able to capture synergies between both activities, to act rapidly on changing environments and to realize sustainable competitive advantages over time. As such, the phenomenon of organizational ambidexterity has received ample attention in various literatures. Despite this growing popularity, however, important questions remain with regard to the managerial and organizational approaches ambidextrous firms might implement to pursue contradictory activities within their organizational boundaries. Interestingly, several approaches have been identified so far, however, much more research is needed to uncover under which conditions each of the approaches might be successfully implemented. As such, this research project takes a multilevel perspective and examines how organizational-level, team-level and individual-level attributes interact as to facilitate the emergence of ambidexterity within the organizational context.

Several conceptual studies have emphasized the multilevel embeddedness of exploration and exploitation (March, 1991; Raisch et al., 2009), but few studies have actually examined how individuals or teams may successfully pursue exploration and exploitation simultaneously under different organizational conditions. For instance, teams may well establish a conducive context that facilitates the emergence of ambidexterity, yet the wider organizational context may still hinder such teams to leverage their capabilities successfully. Likewise, organizational members may have developed skills and capabilities to act ambidextrously yet still be constrained by an inertial and interdependent task environment. Specifically, this PhD project asserts that organizational ambidexterity starts with individual employees or teams pursuing exploratory and exploitative activities (Gibson and Birkinshaw, 2004) that may be facilitated or constrained by leadership-, organizational- and contextual aspects that stretches out to the top-management and firm-level of analysis (O´Reilly and Tushman, 2008).

Overall, this PhD project seeks to investigate how exploration, exploitation, their antecedents as well as performance consequences are interconnected at different levels of analysis. The methods employed and theorizing are at the forefront of organizational research, and will significantly contribute to our understanding of the challenges involved when creating organizational ambidexterity within firms.

Organizational ambidexterity, exploration, exploitation, multilevel, paradox, integration
Time frame
2012 -
  • H. Fasaei, J.J.P. Jansen & M.P. Tempelaar (2014). The Inertial Effect of Good Corporate Reputation on Exploration-Exploitation Interplay. In Academy of Management Annual Meeting (AOM), Philadelphia
  • H. Fasaei, J.J.P. Jansen & M.P. Tempelaar (2014). The Dark Side of Good Corporate Reputation: The Effect of Good Corporate Reputation On Over-exploration & Over-exploitation of Firms. In European Academy of Management Conference (EURAM), Valencia


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