The Journal of Technology Transfer

, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 374–388 | Cite as

Ambidexterity, external knowledge and performance in knowledge-intensive firms

  • Demetris Vrontis
  • Alkis ThrassouEmail author
  • Gabriele Santoro
  • Armando Papa


The paper investigates the relationship between organizational ambidexterity and firm performance in knowledge-intensive firms. In particular, using a quantitative methodology involving a structural equation model, the research investigates whether external knowledge sourcing enhances the impact of ambidexterity on firm performance. The results show that organizational ambidexterity in knowledge-intensive firms does not, in fact, have a significant impact on firm performance, but it does have a positive and significant mediating effect considering external knowledge sourcing. The findings are presented along with interesting and significant implications for both theory and practice, largely stemming from the still much neglected relationship between organizational ambidexterity and external knowledge sourcing in the open innovation context.


Knowledge-intensive firms Ambidexterity External knowledge sourcing Performance Open innovation 

JEL Classification



Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Research involving human participants

The authors declare that the surveyed have been correctly informed about the purpose of this study. The authors also declare that data have been collected in an anonymous way and in aggregated form.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of BusinessUniversity of NicosiaNicosiaCyprus
  2. 2.Department of ManagementUniversity of TorinoTurinItaly
  3. 3.University of Naples “Federico II”NaplesItaly

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