PURPOSE : This study aims to determine whether organisations in emerging economic contexts
demonstrate ambidexterity for sustainable performance in the long term and what the effects
of environmental turbulence are on the ambidexterity and sustainable performance
DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH : This study used self-administered questionnaires and
telephonic surveys. The sample consisted of profit-seeking organisations from many different
industries within South Africa, including, but not limited to, manufacturing, business services,
finance, hospitality and tourism, and retail and wholesale. The research was conducted during
the 2017 financial year.
FINDINGS/RESULTS : It was found that moderate to strong relationships exist between the two
sub-dimensions of ambidexterity and sustainable performance. The findings depict a strong
relationship between exploration and exploitation as the sub-dimensional constructs of
ambidexterity, reinforcing existing literature on simultaneous exploration and exploitation.
There was no statistically significant information, indicating that environmental turbulence
moderates the ambidexterity and sustainable performance relationship.
PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS : Considering the strong positive relationship between the two subdimensions
of ambidexterity and sustainable organisational performance, it is advisable for
management of South African organisations to focus on ambidextrous strategies for sustaining
performance in turbulent environments.
ORIGINALITY/VALUE : This study contributes to the limited body of knowledge investigating
ambidexterity as a dynamic capability in an emerging economic context. Moreover, this study
contributes to clarify the ambidexterity and sustainable performance relationship in terms of whether organisations can simultaneously explore and exploit and what type of relationship
exists between ambidexterity and sustainable performance as previous studies delivered