Abstract

In today’s business environment characterized by accelerated and continuous market change, most academic and practitioner literature pushes organizations to strive for increased organizational agility. Only recently, critical voices have appeared that challenge this uncritical view and point out the costs and difficulties involved in achieving organizational agility. To advance this more nuanced view, this study develops the concept of requisite agility, described as the level of correspondence between environmental disruption and the capability of an organization to change. On the background of a large survey with executives we provide first empirical insights that show that, while the majority of companies lack agile capabilities to match the perceived disruption, a minority has overly invested in their organizational agility. We discuss the potentially significant implications of our study for research and practice, as it challenges dominant scholarly paradigms as much as it directly influences decision making in organizations.

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