Preparing for Change - An exploratory study on how Swedish organizations can implement strategic agility

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Göteborgs universitet/Graduate School

Sammanfattning: Today’s market is characterized by rapid change, which creates a challenge for companies as adapting to the continuous changes are becoming more important. The ability to respond to changes by adapting the strategic direction is becoming more important to sustain a competitive advantage. The continuous changes are drawing attention to the concept of strategic agility, which is an organization’s capability to continuously adjust their strategic direction. Moreover, the concept is contradictory, as strategizing is connected to creating a balance between short- and long-term goals, while agility in the decision-making process is continuous, allowing for changes in a dynamic environment. The concept of strategic agility is loosely defined, and therefore the thesis starts with defining the concept from attributes of strategic agility. Even though there is research on three capabilities needed for implementation of strategic agility, these have been criticized and there is little research on which actions are associated with these capabilities and key challenges of implementing strategic agility. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis is to explore how Swedish organizations can implement strategic agility, by exploring the key capabilities, actions associated with the key capabilities and key challenges. To enable an in-depth understanding of how Swedish organizations can implement strategic agility, a qualitative research strategy was chosen with an exploratory approach. The findings are based upon a literature review and semi-structured interviews. The interviewees were selected based upon predetermined criterias, resulting in nine interviews. The findings from the interviews were thereafter compared to the literature, through a thematic analysis. The findings from literature review and empirical findings showcase five attributes of strategic agility: market-creating innovation, continuous responsiveness, flexibility and adaptability, renewal of business mode and reinvention, and proactive. Moreover, the thesis identifies six key capabilities of strategic agility: strategic sensitivity, leadership unity, resource fluidity, resourcefulness, and talent acquisition. Fourteen actions were identified, all of which is connected to a key capability. Furthermore, seven key challenges were found: organizational culture, mindset shift, change resistance, short-term focus, structure and strategy of agility and requirement of resources. Lastly, the key capabilities, actions associated with the key capabilities, and key challenges were all connected to each other and presented in a framework.

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