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Benedikt Simmert

Müller-Friedbergstrasse 8
9000 St Gallen
+41 71 224 3800


Volatility, uncertainty, ambiguity, and complexity (VUCA) are drivers in today’s business world. Therefore, an increasing number of organizations implement agility (agile methods) to cope with the rapid and accelerating change. However, these agile transformations do not succeed unhindered, and some fail. One reason for that is the employees lacking an agile mindset and they do not support or participate in the transformation. So far, knowledge of the agile mindset is in its infancy. A conceptualization for developing a measuring instrument on the individual level is lacking. Furthermore, the relevance of the agile mindset regarding organizational performance in a VUCA world is still unclear. Our study aims to close this gap. To do so, we examine the agile mindset with 15 qualitative interviews and conduct an online survey (N=449) to predict organizational agility and organizational performance based on the agile mindset. As for results, we conceptualize the agile mindset as an attitude that comprises four dimensions: ’learning spirit’, ‘collaborative exchange’, ‘empowered self-guiding’, and ‘iterative value creation’. We have found an indirect effect of the agile mindset affecting organizational performance towards organizational agility. These findings contribute to the agility and management research by providing both a conceptualization and a measuring instrument for the agile mindset. Furthermore, the agile mindset´s relevance in agile transformation is explained and its relation to organizational performance outlined. For successful agile transformation, executives must focus on the agile mindset of their employees and foster this by e.g. being a role model.

Companies show a growing demand in corporate agility. The effects of so-called doing and being agile are the key for positive outcomes in agile work. Scrum is used by companies to make them more agile. The present study examines the interaction of doing agile (leadership, work design) and being agile (individual characteristics, empowerment) in relation to satisfaction and commitment based on an online survey of 129 Scrum development team members. The results show that work design and leadership impact empowerment and that the latter leads to both job satisfaction and commitment. Team orientation has no effect. Openness for new actions moderates the relationship between work design and the outcome variables. The results can be used in practice to increase the satisfaction and commitment within Scrum. They provide an insight into the impact structure within Scrum and are thus also the basis for future research.

New digital and agile forms of work organization require new leadership styles and competencies. Still, the understanding of leadership in these new forms of work is in its infancy. We select internal crowd work (ICW) as one, clearly defined new form of work and increase understanding of leadership in this context by analyzing four distinct cases of ICW. Based on qualitative interviews, we describe how employees perceive psychological empowerment and develop workforce agility through different leadership styles in ICW. As our main contribution, we detail and extend existing research regarding ICW and empowerment by identifying structural antecedents that affect psychological empowerment of ICW as well as consequences of an empowered workforce in ICW. Thereby, we indicate that an empowered workforce is an important factor for the implementation of workforce agility in ICW. Moreover, regarding leadership, we explain the design and changes of leadership in ICW in detail and explicate a new requirement for leaders in agile and digital form of work organization: the flexible handling of different context-specific situations, projects and tasks. For this purpose, we develop a theoretical model that describes the effects of shared leadership, empowering leadership and e-leadership on workforce agility mediated by an empowered workforce

get_appChristoph Peters, Benedikt Simmert, Karen Eilers, Jan Marco Leimeister
Agility on the rise in the German-speaking region. Compared to last year, the perceived agility of companies that have already adopted agile work methods has increased from an average value of 4.7 to 5.5 (on a scale of 1 to 7). This is one of the results of the Future Organization Report 2020, which investigates the current status of the agile transformation at companies in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. According to the surveys that were conducted between March and June 2020, agile companies felt that they were better prepared for the COVID-19 crisis.

Interne Crowd Work gewinnt im Hinblick auf eine agilitätsfördernde Arbeitsorganisation immer mehr an Bedeutung. Das Empowerment der Mitarbeitenden kann dabei als ein zentraler Erfolgsfaktor angesehen werden. Um das Empowerment in interner Crowd Work zielgerichtet zu untersuchen und die Wahrnehmung aus Sicht der Mitarbeitenden sowie die Effekte auf Ebene der Gesamtorganisation zu verstehen und beschreiben zu können, analysieren wir die interne Crowd Work mit Hilfe einer literaturbasierten erweiterten Wirtschaftlichkeitsbetrachtung sowie empirisch anhand von sechs Fallstudien. Auf organisationaler Ebene stehen im Ergebnis dabei insbesondere die Themen Organisationskultur, abteilungsübergreifende Zusammenarbeit und die Gestaltung von Aufgaben und Projekten im Fokus. Auf individueller Ebene können vornehmlich die selbstbestimmte Wahl von Arbeitsaufgaben inkl. selbstorganisierter Arbeitsprozesse sowie neue Führungsansätze als wesentliche Stellschrauben identifiziert werden.

In this paper, we analyze internal crowd work as Neo-STS from an employee’s perspective. Based on qualitative interviews, we describe in our model how employees perceive empowerment through participation in internal crowd work. As our main contribution, we detail and extend existing research regarding internal crowd work, Neo-STS as well as empowerment by identifying structural antecedents that affect psychological empowerment of internal crowd workers.