Public Administration Project Topics

An Investigation on the Relationship Between the Community of Innovation (COI) and Organizational Ambidexterity in Lagos State Owned Public Institutions




Why do businesses innovate? The principle of “right to market” seems to be the solution (Koudal & Coleman, 2005). This entails launching the appropriate goods in the appropriate markets with the appropriate supply chain at the appropriate time, and then upgrading, optimizing, and retiring them as needed. In today’s turbulent environments, we believe that the ability to sustain corporate entrepreneurship and innovation is a critical pre-requisite for achieving “best fit,” near-term competitive advantage, and long-term viability.

The process of putting fresh problem-solving ideas into practice is known as innovation (Amabile 1988; Glynn 1996; Kanter 1983). The focus in this remark is on the word into use, since Tidd (2001) contends that just inventing new information is inadequate, while Sullivan (1998) and Teece (1998) believe that new information is only innovative if it is applied or marketed in some manner. Several scholars (Pinchot, 1985; Thornberry, 2001; Zahra, 1985) agree with this viewpoint, claiming that without some sort of entrepreneurial activity to exploit possibilities as they develop inside businesses, innovation is only an aspirational goal rather than an attainable one. Following McFadzean et al. (2005), we define entrepreneurship as the promotion of innovation in an unpredictable environment, and innovation as the process that provides value and uniqueness to the company, its suppliers, and consumers via its products, services, and processes. The two notions should be connected together, according to McFadzean et al (2005).

After the empirical study of He and Wong (2004) testing the ‘ambidexterity hypothesis,’ it gained prominence in the mid-2000s. This concept is deceptively simple: when a business strikes a balance of two competing activities (exploration and exploitation), it is rewarded with firm survival and improved performance. The finest organizations are ambidextrous, able to refine and improve present operations to replicate success (exploitation) while also establishing wholly new activities to provide diversity to the business (exploration) (Raisch and Birkinshaw, 2008; Tushman and O’Reilly, 1996). This simplicity, however, hides significant practical obstacles. These opposing tasks need fundamentally distinct structures, methods, and methods, resulting in significant internal tensions and possible conflict. These conflicts, according to March (1991), are mainly irreconcilable, but those businesses that can manage them and balance the trade-off between exploitation and exploration will be able to guarantee their existence and improve their performance. Those who cannot strike a balance between the two risks falling into mediocrity. Tushman and O’Reilly (1996) agree, claiming that striking this balance and reaching this degree of quality is very unusual. As a result, organizational ambidexterity has become a holy grail for businesses, the formula for which numerous theoretical, conceptual, and empirical research articles, as well as devoted special issues, have attempted to discover.

The secret of organizational ambidexterity and its role in company sustainability is still a mystery. Definition, conceptualization, measurement, and testing issues plague research into organizational ambidexterity (Birkinshaw and Gupta, 2013; Nosella, Cantarello and Filippini, 2012; Stettner and Lavie, 2014). This is made worse by the fact that the term “ambidexterity” has been used to a broad range of phenomena (Lavie, Stettner, and Tushman, 2010; O’Reilly and Tushman, 2013) that muddy precision, extend theoretical predictions, and weaken empirical accuracy. The application away from its beginnings at the corporate (or unit) level (Duncan, 1976; March, 1991; Tushman and O’Reilly, 1996) to the individual (Birkinshaw and Gibson, 2004; Gibson and Birkinshaw, 2004; Smith and Tushman, 2005) and team (Huang and Cummins, 2011) levels adds to the uncertainty. Simsek (2009) questioned the importance of this transition, arguing that the insights taken from various levels of analysis may have nothing to do with the organization as a whole.

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Organizational ambidexterity is a notable challenge in management research that has exploded in popularity in the last 17 years. Despite this, few studies have looked at organizational ambidexterity. When studies do exist, they do not often credit to the theoretical depth and complexity of the subject. This intricacy is a considerable barrier for both researchers and managers, but the participation of researchers outside the area of management may help theory and practice on organizational ambidexterity significantly. Many might argue that a community of innovation in an organization might not be necessary in organizations, however, with a turbulent global market, it is necessary for organizations to have a community of Innovation in order to facilitate adaptation for the changes that the business world might bring each day and this is what results in organizational ambidexterity in today’s world. Is there a relationship between community of innovation and organizational ambidexterity? Can these two exist independently?

This study seeks to investigate the relationship between Community of Innovation and organizational ambidexterity in Lagos owned public institutions.


1.        To determine whether a relationship exists between Community of Innovation and organizational ambidexterity.

2.        To determine whether the two variables can function independently.

3.        To investigate whether the relationship (if any) affects public owned institutions in Lagos state.


1.        Does a relationship exist between Community of Innovation and organizational ambidexterity?

2.        Can the two function independently?

3.        Does the relationship (if any) affect public owned institutions in Lagos state?


This research will be significant in the academic world as not much justice has been done to it over the past years in other studies. It will contribute to awareness creation on public owned institutions in Lagos on the need for Community of Innovation and Organizational ambidexterity in today’s business world. It will also pave the way for other researchers who wish to indulge in this topic, broaden it or take it from a different perspective.


This study will only cover the relationship (if any) between Community of Innovation and organizational ambidexterity in Lagos owned public institutions.  It will also investigate whether these two can function independently and how the relationship (if any) affects public owned institutions in Lagos state.


The only limitation faced by the researcher during the course of this study was lack of funds.


ORGANIZATIONAL AMBIDEXTERITY: Organizational ambidexterity refers to an organization’s ability to be efficient in its management of today’s business and also adaptable for coping with tomorrow’s changing demand.

COMMUNITY OF INNOVATION: Simply refers to a group of people who have a sense of camaraderie and collectiveness in facilitating innovation.


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