When Agile Harms Learning and Innovation: (and What Can Be Done About It)

by Maria Carmela Annosi, Nicolai Foss, and Antonella Martini

When Agile Harms Learning and Innovation: (and What Can Be Done About It)
Agile approaches inherited from software development can promote flexibility, with certain drawbacks.


Originally developed for software development, Agile approaches are increasingly adopted by organizations that seek flexibility in the face of rapid change. However, little attention has been paid to the potential negative consequences of the implementation of Agile in large-scale settings. This article presents the results of a multi-site study of a multinational telecom company over five years during its implementation of Agile practices in the context of large-scale software development. The article points to six potential pitfalls of implementing such practices that may negatively influence individual learning, ideation, and exploitation capabilities. It offers advice on how to avoid these consequences in large, established firms.


California Management Review

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