You know it: There is constant change in your organization. From high agility back to a rigid structure back to agility? But why can it be that managers in organizations change course so often and feel from one extreme to the other?

The management pendulum

I believe it acts like a pendulum. Companies often react less proactively but rather reactively due to certain key figures such as layoffs or a drop in sales.

At this point, companies are on one side of the extreme, e.g. many processes and hierarchies. Now the company is moving to the next extreme due to the decision of the management and realizing that there is now too much chaos in the organization. So we’re reintroducing a couple of processes.

In the second step, the pendulum does not swing that far, but it swings in the other direction again. It loses momentum. This process lasts until the pendulum has caught itself in the middle.

Management pendulum – own illustration

I find this metaphor quite appropriate to see how managers try exploratory changes in the organization and try to find the right balance. I believe that this pendulum helps to better understand change and to support management in this direction.


You can also transfer this pendulum to many other developments. For example, Generation X was more shaped by hierarchy and wage labor. With Generation Y came the other extreme: flat hierarchy and work with meaning and trust. Now a generation Z could switch back to the other side of the pendulum.

It is similar with agility: Managers have broken down processes and hierarchy and notice that it is sometimes a bit chaotic. So one began to introduce processes and hierarchy again. A typical pendulum process.

You can use the pendulum as you like for all trends in your company to remind yourself: Why is this happening and what’s next?

I offer guest articles and influencer marketing!

You have your own, interesting thoughts around the theme world of the blog and would like to share them in a guest article on my blog? - But gladly! You can thereby address customers and professionals. I also offer Influencer Marketing to support your brand!

Gendernote: I have used the masculine form for ease of reading. Therefore, unless an explicit distinction is made, it always refers to women, diverse as well as men, and people of all origins and nations. Read more

Spelling: I translated my German Blog to English - so you can also read my Recommendations. Please be sorry if this English is not so good.

Image-Source Titlepicture: 2016 – buyed License


I blog about the influence of digitalization on our working world. For this purpose, I provide content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday professional life. I am an executive in an SME and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the Chair of IT Management.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more

The cookie settings on this website are set to "Allow Cookies" to provide the best browsing experience. If you use this website without changing the cookie settings or click "Accept", you agree to this.