Asia Pacific Journal of Management

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 97–119 | Cite as

Flying or dying? Organizational change, customer participation, and innovation ambidexterity in emerging economies

  • Man Chen
  • Zhi Yang
  • Wenyu Dou
  • Feng Wang


In emerging economies, organizational change is both a difficult challenge and a common phenomenon for high-tech firms. Change can enhance adaptability and leverage knowledge based on dynamic capability perspective, but it can also increase coordination costs and—according to the organizational inertia perspective—prompt conflict. Existing findings about the effect of organizational change on firm performance are inconsistent. Accordingly, this survey study of 213 firms in the Chinese high-tech industry investigates the curvilinear and differential effects of technical and administrative organizational change, as moderated by customer participation and innovation ambidexterity. The results reveal that the effects of technical and administrative change are both U-shaped. At a low level of change, increasing technical or administrative change hinders firm performance, but as the levels increase beyond a critical point, the effect of change becomes positive. Although customer participation strengthens the effect of technical change on firm performance, both customer participation and innovation ambidexterity attenuate the effect of administrative change on firm performance.


Organizational change Customer participation Innovation ambidexterity High-tech industry Emerging economy 



The authors acknowledge the financial support from National Natural Science Foundation Grant of China (71402049, 71573079, and 71602056) and Humanity and Social Science Fund of the Ministry of Education of China (14YJC630118 and 16YJC630006).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of BusinessHunan Normal UniversityChangshaChina
  2. 2.School of Business AdministrationHunan UniversityChangshaChina
  3. 3.College of BusinessCity University of Hong KongKowloon TongHong Kong

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