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The Role of the Manager in an Agile Organization: A Case Study at Scania AB
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.).
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.).
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Chefsrollen i en agil organisation (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

As the world of business changes at a pace higher than ever before, there is an increased need for organizations to rapidly adapt and respond to these internal and external changes, whether they are technological, political, social or environmental. In management, agility is a term frequently used today in response to this new business environment, which often includes the use of agile methodologies for product development. As organizations adopt agile methodologies, old traditional management and leadership models fade. This void is being filled by new and emerging agile leadership models. Additionally, self-organizing and cross-functional teams become key concepts. All these transformations are bound to culminate in a considerable alteration in the role of the manager. This study examines the new role of the manager in an organization transitioning to agile. To answer the research questions, changes in the key work activities of the manager were evaluated, as well as how changes in interplay and interaction between the manager and the group could affect the role. Furthermore, the aim was also to identify some of the main challenges and barriers that arise. This was studied qualitatively through a literature review. Also, a case study was conducted at the software development department at Scania AB, where ten managers and one employee was interviewed. A survey was also sent out to the group members at this department, with 150 respondents.

Findings indicated that most work activities did not change. Some of them changed in character due to introducing an agile method and due to internal, structural changes. In one case, the work focus shifted from one activity to another. In the interplay with the group, the manager now has new roles to consider, while his role becomes more of an empowerer and meets new leadership models. With this organizational change, there are also new opportunities of delegating work activities to a higher extent. The main challenges that were identified regarded communication and coordination, control, and mastering agile methods.

Abstract [sv]

Affärsvärlden möter förändringar i en allt snabbare takt än tidigare, varför organisationer måste bemöta och förhålla sig till både de interna och externa förändringar som sker, vare sig dessa är teknologiska, politiska, sociala eller miljömässiga. Inom ledarskap används idag termen agilt allt mer, som svar på detta nya affärsklimat, vilket ofta inkluderar användandet av agila metoder inom produktutveckling. Då allt fler organisationer inför användandet av agila metoder, tappar också de traditionella ledarskapsmodellerna sin roll. Detta gap som uppstår har kommit att fyllas av nya agila ledarskapsmodeller. Vidare blir också självstyrande och tvärfunktionella grupper viktiga koncept. Dessa förändringar medför en avsevärd förändring av chefsrollen. Denna studie undersöker hur chefsrollen förändras i en organisationen som blir allt mer agil. För att svara på forskningsfrågorna undersöktes hur huvudarbetsuppgifterna förändrats, men också hur förändringar i samspelet och interaktionen mellan chefen och gruppen kan komma att påverka chefsrollen. Vidare undersöktes också vilka huvudsakliga utmaningar och hinder som uppstod. En kvalitativ litteraturstudie utfördes i studien. Också en fallstudie på avdelningen för mjukvaruutveckling på Scania AB utfördes, där tio gruppchefer och en annan anställd intervjuades. En undersöknings skickades också ut till gruppmedlemmar på denna avdelningar, med totalt 150 svar.Resultatet påvisade att de flesta arbetsuppgifter inte förändrades. Vissa av dessa förändrades i karaktär och i utförandet, till följd av införandet av en agil metod och strukturella förändringar i företaget. I ett fall skiftade arbetsfokus från en arbetsuppgift till en annan. I samspelet mellan chef och grupp har nu chefen nya roller att ta hänsyn till. Chefens roll blir mer av en facilitator, där nya ledarskapsmodeller också står till mötes. Chefen har också större möjligheter till delegering av arbetsuppgifter än tidigare. De utmaningar som identifierades rörde kommunikation och koordination, kontroll, och hanteringen av agila metoder.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 83
Series
TRITA-ITM-EX ; 2018:675
Series
INDEK 2018:121
Keywords [en]
Agile manager, Agile leadership, Manager role, Managerial work activities, Managerial challenges, Agile methods
Keywords [sv]
Agil chef, Agilt ledarskap, Chefsrollen, Chefens arbetsuppgifter, Chefsutmaningar, Agila metoder
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-235400OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-235400DiVA, id: diva2:1250896
Subject / course
Industrial Economics and Management
Educational program
Master of Science in Engineering - Industrial Engineering and Management
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-09-25 Created: 2018-09-25 Last updated: 2018-09-25Bibliographically approved

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