Regulatory focus, ambidextrous learning, and opportunity recognition in new product development

Xiangming Tao, Catherine Wang, Paul Robson

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This study focuses on individual managers’ ambidextrous learning and examines its psychological antecedents and consequences in the new product development (NPD) context. Specifically, drawing on the paradox theory and the regulatory focus theory, this study examines the relationship between regulatory focus (i.e., promotion focus and prevention focus), ambidextrous learning, and NPD opportunity recognition, from the individual ambidexterity perspective. Based on survey data of 225 NPD managers in high-tech small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in China, we find that NPD managers’ promotion focus and prevention focus, acting as an enabler and a deterrent respectively, affect their ambidextrous learning, which in turn facilitates opportunity recognition in the NPD process. Further analyses reveal that ambidextrous learning mediates the effects of promotion focus and prevention focus on opportunity recognition in the NPD. Our findings offer new insights on the individual ambidexterity research regarding the unique role of ambidextrous learning, manifested as actionable managerial capability. The findings offer novel insights on the role of NPD managers’ ambidextrous learning in the NPD process, and practical implications for NPD managers to self-regulate their behavior for the benefit of opportunity recognition.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2023

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