Sunday, March 25, 2012

Agility vs. legitimacy

Institutions and legitimacy require stability. Only something that is stable can ever become legitimate. Since agility means creating, embracing and learning from change [1], it may be that agility and legitimacy are mutually exclusive in the same organization.

Possible loophole: what if change can be constrained to one dimension only, e.g. the product ("what") dimension, leaving out the process ("how") and people ("who") dimensions? Would such an organization be more legitimate than one under constant change?

[1] Kieran Conboy. Agility from first principles: reconstructing the concept of agility in information systems development. Information Systems Research, 20(3): 329–354, September 2009. 10.1287/isre.1090.0236.