Research Summary

Managing Organizational Change and “Identity Ambidexterity”

by Ryan L. Raffaelli


Professor Raffaelli has looked at change management within firms in multiple industries, including financial services, book publishing, manufacturing, fashion and apparel, telecommunications, health care, advertising, luxury goods, and public schools. Based on this work, he has introduced the concept of identity ambidexterity—an organization’s ability to exploit past and current identities while simultaneously integrating elements of a new organizational identity. Identity ambidexterity serves as an important dynamic capability for organizations faced with the threat of new technologies or radical institutional change. It employs existing structures and activities that shape how the firm defines “who we are” and “what we do” while also permitting novel and transformative elements to permeate the organization. This balance facilitates adaptation, helping the firm to survive periods of environmental change.

Keywords: Organizational ambidexterity; organizational identity; change management; Innovation Strategy; innovation management; Change Management; Transformation;