Innovation ambidexterity and public innovation Intermediaries: the mediating role of capabilities

Muthu De Silva*, Jeremy Howells, Zaheer Khan, Martin Meyer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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We lack an in-depth understanding of how the different roles played by public innovation intermediaries during their engagement in collaborative projects enable them to generate ambidexterity. By adopting a sequential mixed methods research design to gather data from 122 Research and Technology Organizations (RTOs) operating in Europe, the findings suggest that public innovation intermediaries performed two different roles in collaborative projects namely, knowledge integration and network building, and these have a differential impact on the generation of distinct types of in-house innovation. The knowledge integration role is conducive to exploratory innovation, whereas the network building role contributes to exploitative innovation. Importantly, relational, and internal capabilities mediate between these roles and innovation. Yet, this mediation effect varies depending on the nature of the public innovation intermediary's role and innovation profile. How public innovation intermediaries should utilise their key roles to generate in-house ambidexterity is crucial in leveraging the impact of public funding in this area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-29
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Business Research
Early online date15 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2022


  • exploitative innovation
  • exploratory innovation
  • innovation ambidexterity
  • knowledge integration
  • network building
  • public innovation intermediaries


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