Interfirm cooperatives enabling organizational ambidexterity, a case study of the printing industry in Colombia

Andres Felipe Camargo Benavides*, Michel Ehrenhard, Matthias De Visser, Petra C. de Weerd-Nederhof

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Research into organizational ambidexterity at the interorganizational level is limited, but it is even more scarce when considering emerging markets and alternative organizational forms such as the cooperative enterprise. We will attempt to fill these research gaps by offering in-depth case studies of three interfirm cooperatives within the printing industry in Colombia. We analyze how interfirm cooperatives enable organizational ambidexterity in its small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and explore which factors are hindering ambidexterity. Our findings indicate that lower socioemotional wealth in SMEs undermines the need to invest in exploration. Additionally, cooperation within an interfirm cooperative appears to be entirely reliant on its component SMEs agreeing on the right balance of social and economic values. We conclude that, although the interfirm cooperative may play an important role in facilitating ambidexterity in emerging markets, transitioning from a primarily transactional role to a higher role as intermediator of ambidexterity poses significant challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-491
Number of pages15
JournalThunderbird International Business Review
Volume64
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • cooperative Enterprise
  • emerging markets
  • Interfirm cooperative
  • Latin America
  • organizational ambidexterity
  • SME

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