COPY of Protecting Organisational Ambidexterity

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Segal Graduate School of Business

500 Granville Street

Vancouver, BC V6C 1W6

Canada

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How can you innovate for your organisation's survival? Join Professor Breda Sweeney of NUI Galway for this lecture and networking lunch.

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Innovation encompasses the exploitation of existing knowledge and the exploration of new knowledge and research has found that both are necessary for organisational survival. Without exploration, organisations are unlikely to respond to significant changes in their operating environment and this is particularly true for innovative industries that tend to face a greater deal of environmental uncertainty. Organisations that successfully balance exploitation and exploration are termed ambidextrous.

Ambidexterity is not easily achieved due to the inherent tendency within organisations to favour exploitation. This tendency relates to the relative measurability of behaviours that increase the efficiency of existing products and operations compared to the more intangible nature of exploratory activities that increase the probability of long-term success (McCarthy & Gordon, 2011). While research has established a link between performance and ambidexterity, less is known about how ambidexterity can be achieved. In response to this, a stream of research has emerged which examines the structures, processes, and systems that foster organisational ambidexterity.

Breda Sweeney is a Professor of Accounting and Head of Discipline of Accountancy & Finance in NUI Galway. She is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland, having professionally trained in PricewaterhouseCoopers in Dublin and Sydney.

Breda’s research is in the field of performance management and she has three current PhD students in this area. Her research focuses on the role of management control systems in enabling innovation and organisational ambidexterity and in managing organisational tensions. She has also examined the responses of individuals to pressures induced by management control systems. She has investigated these issues using a range of different research methods (in-depth case studies, cross sectional interviews and surveys) in a number of different contexts including professional services firms and medical devices and information technology industries.

Her research has been published in top international journals including Accounting, Organizations and Society, Accounting & Business Research and Management Accounting Research. Breda has received research funding from various sources including Irish Research Council and Chartered Accountants Ireland. She has given industry workshops in Galway and Dublin on 'Using Management Controls to enable Innovation' and ‘How to use KPIs to generate conflict in ambidextrous companies’. Breda received best paper awards for her 2016 paper in Journal of Accounting and Organisational Change and 2009 paper in Accounting Education: An International Journal.

She is joint editor of Accounting, Finance and Governance Review and has held a number of visiting appointments including Erskine fellow in University of Canterbury in 2016 and visiting professor in Esade Business School Barcelona in 2014. She teaches management accounting and management control systems modules on postgraduate and executive programmes. She is a member of Governing Authority of NUI Galway.

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Segal Graduate School of Business

500 Granville Street

Vancouver, BC V6C 1W6

Canada

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