Many organizational contexts have experienced radical changes resulting in work intensification. Whilst emergency services face evident ‘macro-extreme’ challenges (emergencies, major traumas) employees also experience parallel, everyday ‘routine’ in microsettings. How such micro-episodes interact with macro-extreme dynamics remains underexplored providing an opportunity to extend literature on micro-foundational organizational ambidexterity. This paper empirically examines these dynamics in the UK Ambulance Service by developing a conceptual model to explore the exploitative and explorative shifts and manifestations of work intensification. The findings demonstrate a recognition of macro-type intense-extremes impacts but less appreciation of their interaction with micro-situational mundane-extremes.
- work intensification
- ambulance service