The digital transformation is one, if not the biggest, challenge for companies in every industry (Laïfi & Josserand 2014). It is only a matter of time before it will find its way into 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 greater complexity and dynamism in markets and companies (Pfläging & Hermann 2015). One approach to mastering this could be the “structural change” of companies (Gloger & Margetich 2014; Laloux 2015; Robertson 2015). The exact implementation of this “change” is currently a controversial topic.
Several approaches for a “structural change” emerge in the literature. The basis of the considerations are 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 argued that all of the authors mentioned are so-called “practitioners”, i.e. not academic sources. For this reason, an exact traceability of the results is difficult and the statements of the authors are controversial. Current literature contains 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 “complexithodes” (Pfläging & Hermann 2015), on which the consideration should be focused. There are other agility frameworks such as SAFe (Leffingwell 2010), leSS (Larman & Vodde 2016) or Nexus (Schwaber 2015), but these have already been adequately investigated by empirical studies. All of the above frameworks provide a different approach to corporate agility.

Motivation of agility in management

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

Study on agility in management

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

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Verwendete Quellen anzeigen

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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 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.

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