Digital transformation is one, if not the biggest, challenge for businesses in every industry (Lafi & Josserand 2014). It is only a matter of time before it will enter every unit of companies (Lyytinen et al. 2016). Furthermore, trends such as big data and the fourth industrial revolution are being taken up by companies and, together with the digital transformation, pose further challenges for companies (Kaufmann 2015), such as a higher complexity and dynamics of markets and companies (Pfläging & Hermann 2015). One approach to mastering these could be the “structural change” of companies (Gloger & Margetich 2014; Laloux 2015; Robertson in 2015). The exact implementation of this “change” is currently a contentious issue.

Several approaches to “structural change” are emerging in the literature. The basis of the consideration is the theoretical considerations of Laloux (2015), who interprets “evolutionary” structures as sustainable. Anderson & Uhlig (2015) and Nowotny (2016) interpret the future viability of companies with “agile” structures. On the other hand, it can be objected that all the authors mentioned are so-called “practitioners”, i.e. not academic sources. For this reason, it is difficult to accurately trace the results and the statements of the authors are controversial. There are numerous practical agile frameworks in “non-academic” sources such as holocracy (or holacracy) (Robertson 2015), sociocracy/management Y (Brandes et al. 2014), Democracy (Sattelberger et al. 2015), Scrum Principle (Gloger & Margetich 2014) Agile Leadership (Gloger & Rösner 2015), Management 3.0 (Appelo 2010) and “Komplexithoden” (Pfläging & Hermann 2015), which will focus on the consideration. Although there are other frameworks on agility such as SAFe (Leffingwell 2010), leSS (Larman & Vodde 2016) or Nexus (Schwaber 2015), these are already sufficiently investigated by empirical studies. All of these frameworks provide a different approach to agility in the company.

Motivation of agility in management

In the course of the scientific literature research, it was recognized that authors take up these practical approaches. Holocracy is described as a sustainable concept (Greenfield 2015), but it should be evaluated using scientific methods (Nair 2016). Sociocracy is also being studied by researchers. Current studies with Generation Y knowledge workers (Pant & Vijaya 2015) can be found. Democratic approaches have already been successfully evaluated in non-profit organizations (Edwards et al. 2015). The authors now recommend further investigation in organizations (Griffin et al. 2015). This is just a few excerpts from the studies with the frameworks of the practitioners. For this reason, this paper examines the agile frameworks and will examine them with experts on the applicability and the fundamental need for agility in companies.

Study on Agility in Management

The study is divided into three sections. First, in the form of a literature search from academic databases, Google Scholar and a specialist book search, relevant literature on the frameworks of the “practitioners” is identified using “searchstrings”. The research is limited to literature between 2010 and 2016. In exceptional cases, relevant older sources are also used in some cases. The literature is then divided into scientific and practical sources. The criterion for practical sources is a high degree of inclusion in scientific publications. The sources are then categorized and evaluated. This evaluation is carried out using expert interviews. The aim of this evaluation is to assess the relevance of the literature per company area (logistics, marketing, etc.) more precisely. In addition, the frameworks of the practitioners with the experts are closely questioned. Experts are preferred from small and medium-sized enterprises. For a common understanding of the conceptual background, a definition of agility in the context of organizations is first used.

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Verwendete Quellen anzeigen

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Bargstedt, U., Horn, G., & van Vegten, A. (2015). Strengthening resilience in organizations: preventing and managing critical situations. Oberhaching: Publishing House for Police Studies.

Brandes, U., Gemmer, P., Koschek, H., & Schültken, L. (2014). Management Y (Vol. 53).

Diekmann, A. (2008). Empirical Social Research. Berlin: Rowohlt’s Encyclopedia.

Edwards, A., de Kool, D., & van Ooijen, C. (2015). The information ecology of parliamentary monitoring websites: Pathways towards strengthening democracy. Information Polity, 20, 253-268.

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I blog about the impact of digitalization on our working environment. For this purpose, I present content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday work. I am a manager in an SME myself and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the chair of IT Management.

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