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AMA/HRI Survey on Agility

November 20, 2006 by
Filed under Research on Agility


The American Management Association just published a study on organizational agility and resilience, conducted in collaboration with the Human Resource Institute at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. The survey, which included responses from 1,472 managers and HR experts from around the world, was conducted in conjunction with AMA’s affiliates and global partners, including
Canadian Management Centre in Toronto, Management Centre Europe in Brussels, AMA Latin America in Mexico City and AMA Asia in Japan.

In the survey, more than 80% of executives said the pace of change is speeding up all over the world. 70% said that their organizations experienced “disruptive” change (defined as severe surprises or unanticipated shocks) over the past year. The study also found that the general trend toward disruptive change is increasing. The key factors driving this accelerating rate of change are new products and services, new technical and process developments, and the changing expectations of customers and vendors.

In this rapidly changing environment, the AMA/HRI survey found that higher performers tend to be more agile and more resilient than lower performers. In addition, compared with their lower-performing counterparts, higher performers report having superior change capabilities at the individual, team and organizational levels.

What factors inhibit organizational agility? According to Edward Reilly, President and CEO of AMA, “Functional silos, excessive decision-making steps, norms of conformity, restricted flow of information, cumbersome infrastructures and deafness to any ideas but our own—these are some of the ways that an organization’s management team creates a sluggish company unable to work with change.”

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