Purpose: The paper refers to the framework of ambidexterity to explain the strategic paths of manufacturing SMEs in turbulent times, by investigating SMEs' strategic reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic. Design/methodology/approach: The authors adopted an inductive approach methodology. Using a qualitative research method, Italian manufacturing SMEs in different industries were interviewed to outline how they have faced the negative effects of the COVID-19 by considering the strategies implemented during the pandemic. Findings: The study identifies three ambidextrous strategies for manufacturing SMEs to positively overcome the COVID-19 crisis: (1) playing different roles within the same market (business-to-business and business-to-consumer) simultaneously, (2) simultaneous entrance and management of multiple markets and (3) exploiting manufacturing knowledge for exploring product and business model innovation (simultaneous learning processes). Research limitations/implications: Results enrich the theoretical discussion on ambidexterity and SMEs, by stressing the strategic dimension of ambidexterity and including a more fine-grained analysis of the different firm’ strategic paths in times of crisis. Practical implications: The paper provides practical suggestions for manufacturing SMEs on how they can react during turbulent times and crises by implementing ambidextrous strategies also thanks to the use of digital technologies. Originality/value: This paper contributes to outlining the conditions for SMEs' resilience in the international competitive context by highlighting the perspective of ambidexterity based on the analysis of multiple case studies from manufacturing industries.

Ambidextrous strategies in turbulent times: the experience of manufacturing SMEs during the COVID-19 pandemic

Capestro M.;
2023-01-01

Abstract

Purpose: The paper refers to the framework of ambidexterity to explain the strategic paths of manufacturing SMEs in turbulent times, by investigating SMEs' strategic reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic. Design/methodology/approach: The authors adopted an inductive approach methodology. Using a qualitative research method, Italian manufacturing SMEs in different industries were interviewed to outline how they have faced the negative effects of the COVID-19 by considering the strategies implemented during the pandemic. Findings: The study identifies three ambidextrous strategies for manufacturing SMEs to positively overcome the COVID-19 crisis: (1) playing different roles within the same market (business-to-business and business-to-consumer) simultaneously, (2) simultaneous entrance and management of multiple markets and (3) exploiting manufacturing knowledge for exploring product and business model innovation (simultaneous learning processes). Research limitations/implications: Results enrich the theoretical discussion on ambidexterity and SMEs, by stressing the strategic dimension of ambidexterity and including a more fine-grained analysis of the different firm’ strategic paths in times of crisis. Practical implications: The paper provides practical suggestions for manufacturing SMEs on how they can react during turbulent times and crises by implementing ambidextrous strategies also thanks to the use of digital technologies. Originality/value: This paper contributes to outlining the conditions for SMEs' resilience in the international competitive context by highlighting the perspective of ambidexterity based on the analysis of multiple case studies from manufacturing industries.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/1497096
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 3
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact