Service Business

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 167–186 | Cite as

Team innovation in retail services: the role of ambidextrous leadership and team learning

  • La Anh Duc
  • Nguyen Dinh ThoEmail author
  • Dilupa Nakandala
  • Yi-Chen Lan
Empirical article


Drawing upon the ambidextrous leadership theory for innovation, this study investigates the role of opening and closing leadership behaviors in both exploratory and exploitative learning in teams, and subsequently, in team innovation in the context of retail services. Results based on a survey data set collected from 296 team leaders in retail services in two major cities in Vietnam show that opening leadership behavior positively affects team exploratory learning and closing leadership behavior underlies team exploitative learning. Further, the interaction between opening and closing leadership behaviors positively affects both team exploratory and exploitative learning. Finally, these two types of team learning enhance team innovation. Our findings extend the existing literature on ambidextrous leadership, learning, and innovation to the team level in a transitioning economy and suggest possible ways for team leaders to enhance team innovation performance.


Ambidextrous leadership Team exploratory learning Team exploitative learning Team innovation Vietnam 



This work was supported by a grant from the University of Economics HCM City and Western Sydney University Joint Research Program (Grant No. UEH-WSU 17–19.002).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International School of BusinessUniversity of Economics, HCM CityHCM CityVietnam
  2. 2.School of BusinessWestern Sydney UniversityPenrithAustralia

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