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Paving the path toward strategic agility: A methodological perspective and an empirical investigation

Majid Nejatian (Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, The Islamic Republic of Iran)
Mohammad Hossein Zarei (School of Management, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy) (Coventry Business School, Coventry University, Coventry, UK)
Ali Rajabzadeh (Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, The Islamic Republic of Iran)
Adel Azar (Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, The Islamic Republic of Iran)
Ameneh Khadivar (Department of Management, Alzahra University, Tehran, The Islamic Republic of Iran)

Journal of Enterprise Information Management

ISSN: 1741-0398

Article publication date: 7 June 2019

Issue publication date: 18 June 2019




For organizations competing in volatile environments, strategic agility is the key for sustaining in the market. It is essential for such organizations to identify the main agility indicators that contribute to their strategic core. The purpose of this paper is to propose and test a systematic methodology that identifies key agility indicators through prioritization and establishing the intra- and inter-relationships among them.


The methodology consists of four phases. Phase I forms a pool of agility key performance indicators (KPIs). Phase II categorizes and ranks the KPIs based on their importance and the gap that exists between their current and desired level. Using interpretive structural modeling, phase III establishes the intra-relationships among the KPIs as well as agility attributes, agility enablers and improvement paths, collectively referred to as agility indicators. Finally, phase IV analyzes the inter-relationships among agility indicators using three consecutive houses of quality.


To demonstrate the capability of the proposed methodology, it was applied to a dairy food company operating in a competitive environment. The application could address the shortcomings of previous agility methodologies and helped the company to assign resources to the right agility indicators with the highest influence on strategic agility.

Research limitations/implications

The methodology was applied to a single organization only. The application does not include long-term post-implementation observations and measurement of strategic agility.

Practical implications

Practitioners can benefit from the methodology to identify the right agility indicators of their organization and assign organizational resources for the improvement of such indicators. The methodology ensures selecting indicators that contribute to organization’s strategic agility, although ostensibly seem unrelated.


The paper contributes to the literature of strategic and organizational agility by proposing a systematic methodology that considers both intra- and inter-relationships among agility indicators. The methodology also makes a decent contribution in addressing organizational ambidexterity by analyzing mutually exclusive indicators pertaining to current and future opportunities for the organization.



Nejatian, M., Zarei, M.H., Rajabzadeh, A., Azar, A. and Khadivar, A. (2019), "Paving the path toward strategic agility: A methodological perspective and an empirical investigation", Journal of Enterprise Information Management, Vol. 32 No. 4, pp. 538-562.



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