This article investigates the role of relational identification in the relation between joint actions and small-firm ambidexterity in asymmetric alliances. Using survey data on Chinese high-technology firms, we find that joint problem-solving and joint sensemaking are both positively associated with a small firm’s relational identification. We also find a positive relationship between a small firm’s relational identification and knowledge exploration and exploitation. More importantly, we show that relational identification mediates the relationships between joint actions (i.e. joint problem-solving and joint sensemaking) and small-firm ambidexterity, except for the relationship between joint sensemaking and small-firm knowledge exploitation. This study advances our understanding of the association between joint actions and ambidexterity by providing a social identification explanation.
- asymmetric alliance
- relational identification
- small firm
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business and International Management