The main aim of the paper is to understand how managers of creative industries (CI) decide on the use of ambidextrous solutions. Managerial actions of business managers of CI enable to connect the volatility and variability of the environment with the high level of creativeness that this requires. As such, it is interesting to study how these managerial actions are decided is of utmost importance, especially in a volatile and subjective environmental context as it seems to be the one of CI (Banks et al., 2000). We aim at investigating the managerial practices that enable to find the balance between the simultaneous pressure on innovativeness and the effectiveness of the actions taken. We wanted to know the way managers deal with the paradoxes that can result. We interviewed managers of 10 companies located in a second tier group of countries, where for governments, CI are apparently strategic, but where the value they add and the jobs they can create can still be improved.
Results show that there are two main paradoxes in terms of managerial actions – the priority in relations (external or internal) and the approach to strategy (flexibility or planned actions). Results also show that in what concerns strategy formality and external priority in relations there are consistencies in the degree of strategy formalization. However, in what concerns the practices used in shaping the internal relations, there is no consistency identified in our sample. Our overall conclusions are that companies are more and more moving away from the traditional option of informal approach, focused inward to a more hybrid approach in which formal focus outward is also considered. This confirms the thesis that ambidexterity is becoming a characteristic of the companies in the CI sector.