California Management Review
California Management Review is a premier academic management journal published at UC Berkeley
by Maria Carmela Annosi and Gianvito Lanzolla
Image Credit | Sebastien Bonneval
Based on an in-depth analysis of a successful large-scale agile transformation, this article sheds light on the evolving role of line managers during the transformation. At the beginning of the transformation, line managers act like “missionaries” and leverage influencing mechanisms in their attempts to foster the adoption of agile values. At maturity, the role of line managers evolves into a role similar to “priests” where discipline mechanisms are enacted to maintain and sustain the newly adopted agile values. The social contracts and the organizational conditions that underpin such evolution have implications for selecting suitable line managers.