Effective leadership is crucial for developing and sustaining ambidexterity, which involves engaging in both exploratory and exploitative activities. Empowering leadership behaviors, which foster trust and discipline to create engaged employees, have been identified as facilitators of contextual ambidexterity. However, there is still a lack of understanding of how individual outcomes are affected by these leadership styles in ambidextrous information technology (IT) work environments. This study investigates the impact of empowering leadership on job satisfaction among IT workers and whether the level of individual ambidexterity moderates this relationship. Analyzing survey data from 553 IT workers, we find a positive direct effect of empowering leadership on job satisfaction and, contrary to our hypothesis, a negative moderating effect of individual ambidexterity. Our study contributes to the leadership and ambidexterity literatures in Information Systems by highlighting the need for nuanced approaches to leadership in ambidextrous IT organizations.

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Track 10: IT Strategy, Governance & Management