AGILE ORGANISATIONAL DESIGNS
Why organisational agility is necessary…
The VUCA environment demands from companies an ever greater willingness and ability to change. Because of the constantly growing globalisation, which can be described as global networking and the use of ever new technologies, they are forced to constantly renew themselves in order to adapt to the environment. An agile organisational model can play a central role here. But what does agile actually mean and where does this term come from?
In 2001, the first agile approach in software development began to gain in importance, which ultimately led to the publication of the “Agile Manifesto”. It was published by 17 leading software developers and consultants. The agile manifesto emphasizes that there are four principles that set new priorities:
1) Individuals and interactions are more important than processes and tools
2) Functioning software is more important than comprehensive documentation
3) Cooperation with customers is more important than contract negotiations
4) Responding to change is more important than following a plan
Over the last two decades, organizational theorists have also explicitly considered the role of agile performance, which allows companies to successfully adapt to rapidly and unpredictably changing environments (keyword VUCA). This coincided with the emergence of hyper-competition as the cornerstone of today’s industrial landscape. More recently, researchers have begun to describe and explain agility with organizational responses in different contexts such as information systems, market orientation, strategic direction and social computing.
The emerging consensus is that agility in relation to the four key points mentioned above is adequately synthesized and formally defined as follows:
“Organisational agility is a company’s ability to sense and respond to the environment by intentionally (1) changing the magnitude of diversity and/or (2) the speed at which it generates that diversity compared to its competitors.” (Singh et al., 2013)