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Ambidexterity and Paradexterity: A typology of IT Governance contradictions

Conference paper
Authors Johan Magnusson
Urban Ask
Andreas Nilsson
Published in Proceedings of Americas Conference of Information Systems
Volume 2015
ISBN 978-099668310-4
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Business Administration
Department of Business Administration, Accounting
Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Language en
Keywords ambidexterity, paradexterity, it governance, contradiction, dichotomy, duality, paradox
Subject categories Business Administration


The theoretical construct of organizational ambidexterity addresses how organizations balance managerial contradictions such as exploitation and exploration or efficiency and flexibility. The underlying argument is that management should involve not a trade-off between two states, but simultaneous handling of contradictions. This paper expands the theory of organizational ambidexterity through introducing a typology of contradictions in the form of dichotomies and dualities within a particular management focus, i.e. IT Governance. The paper utilizes a previous study of IT Governance practice at two large, public universities to propose a typology and the concept of paradexterity. Through this, the paper seeks to add new knowledge to the fields of both organizational ambidexterity and IT Governance.

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