Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Executive Doctorate in Business (EDB)



First Advisor

Wesley J Johnston

Second Advisor

Lars Mathiassen

Third Advisor

Minna Rollins


This study diagnoses performance in a mature manufacturing company based on an inquiry into contextual ambidexterity. Previous research has shown that creating a high performance context is founded upon the constructs of performance management and social support; however, this research has been conducted in fast evolving, relatively young companies such as software design firms. To date, no research has shown if a well established manufacturing firm can create a context with high levels of performance management and social support establishing a high performance environment and therefore be contextually ambidextrous. The presented contextual ambidexterity inquiry considers social support based upon four specific types of support, namely emotional, appraisal, informational, and instrumental support. Within social support, the concepts of trust and burnout are also vital in establishing the proper culture to achieve high performance. Further, performance management is founded upon human capital management established in a suitable corporate culture. In this study, this approach to a contextual ambidexterity inquiry is applied within the context of a U.S. based division of a global manufacturing company based on a survey, participant observation, and individual interviews. The research contributes to both the academic and practitioner environments with a greater understanding of the antecedents of high performance in an environment outside that of a young, fast evolving software firms. Further, it is shown that a high performance context may exist within organizations that are vastly different from those previously studied. In addition, this study offers an approach to a contextual ambidexterity inquiry with refined definitions and measures based on established constructs as well as new constructs. The implications of these additions to our understanding of contextual ambidexterity to both academia and practice are discussed and several avenues of future research are proposed.