WBRC Seminar: A conceptual replication of ambidextrous leadership theory: Challenges and learnings from a 3-year journey

Dr. Florian Klonek, Curtin University discusses their aim to constructively replicate previous research with an experimental design, more rigorous measures, and data analytical approaches

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Ambidextrous leadership theory proposes that a leader's interplay between opening behaviors and closing behaviors enhances followers' exploration and exploitation behaviors, which ultimately increases innovative outcomes. Unfortunately, previous research suffers from problems with causal interpretation and endogeneity concerns threatening the validity of the theory. Our aim was to constructively replicate previous research with an experimental design, more rigorous measures, and state-of-the-art data analytical approaches (2SLS).

In two randomized experiments (Study 1: N = 395, Study 2: N = 229), we manipulated four leadership styles (opening, closing, ambidextrous, and transformational leadership) and tested their effects on participants' exploration/exploitation behaviors as well as objective innovation outcomes. We only found partial support for the hypotheses from ambidextrous leadership theory. We discuss implications in terms of refining central concepts of the theory and offering more accurate assumptions about timing. I will also elaborate on more general insights from our constructive replication studies for the leadership and management field. In this talk, I will also go through the challenges and personal learnings of publishing a conceptual replication study in the top management literature.

About the speaker

Dr. Florian Klonek is a postdoc research fellow at Curtin University, Future of Work Institute, Centre for Transformative Work Design. His research interests are in work design, team functioning, and leadership. In his research, Florian has worked with non-traditional field data (text, video observations) but also experimental approaches. He seeks to bridge methodological approaches from different disciplines to better understand interactional dynamics in a variety of organizational and social settings. His research on teams, leadership, and work design has been published in internationally refereed articles, such as The Leadership Quarterly, Journal of Vocational Behavior, Organizational Psychology Review, European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology and Small Group Research.


If you have any questions please email Chia-Huei at c.wu4@leeds.ac.uk.