Organizational flexibility for a changing world

Charles S. Englehardt (Doctoral Candidate, University of Sarasota, College of Business Administration, Sarasota, Florida, USA)
Peter R. Simmons (Dean, College of Business Administration, Sarasota, Florida, USA)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Publication date: 1 May 2002


Strategic flexibility is an increasingly sought‐after competitive element in today’s fast‐paced and changing world. Theoretical discussion on how to achieve flexibility includes, among other things, building dynamic capabilities, maintaining multiple options, and supporting horizontal communication and teamwork among employees. These and other aspects of flexibility can, in part, be supported through the organizational structure. Organizational theory offers a number of combinations of options for the designer. With a variety of choices, and a need to have both control of execution and flexibility for change, a two‐level structure may support the combination of benefits that is a source of advantage. Proposes that organizations can maintain their operational structure at one level, while experimenting with a loosely bounded developmental organizational layer. Suggests that this complementary organizational tier provides space and support for a combination of self‐development and self‐organized efforts consistent with established incentives and values.



Englehardt, C. and Simmons, P. (2002), "Organizational flexibility for a changing world", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 113-121.

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Copyright © 2002, MCB UP Limited

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