Agile work practices: Measurement and mechanisms

Tom L. Junker*, Arnold B. Bakker, Daantje Derks, Dylan Molenaar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
135 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Organizations increasingly follow agile management frameworks (e.g., Scrum), to implement practices that aim to enable continuous change. Currently, it is unclear how agile work practices (AWPs) are best conceptualized and measured. The present study draws from the taskwork-teamwork distinction to develop a new theoretical framework and measurement instrument of AWPs. We outline potential mechanisms of AWPs in terms of (a) temporality, (b) managerial control, (c) team processes, and (d) work design. Based on this framework, we validate measures of agile practices with data collected from 269 different teams, including multisource and multiwave data (n = 1664 observations). We first establish the factorial validity, internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and measurement invariance of the instrument. Subsequently, we show that AWPs diverge from centralized bureaucracy and converge with measures of emergent team planning, autonomy, and feedback. The pattern of relationships with variables in the nomological network supports the taskwork-teamwork model. Results of multilevel regression analyses indicate that the use of AWPs is associated with favorable team planning behaviors and enriched work design experiences. By disentangling the AWP concept from software development and popular management frameworks, this study broadens the scope of research on agility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
JournalEuropean Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • Agile work practices
  • scale development
  • team processes
  • work design
  • bureaucracy
  • agility
  • agile practices
  • agile teams
  • EXPLORATORY FACTOR-ANALYSIS
  • OF-FIT INDEXES
  • SOFTWARE-DEVELOPMENT
  • TEAM KNOWLEDGE
  • MEASUREMENT INVARIANCE
  • JOB-SATISFACTION
  • PERFORMANCE
  • ROUTINES
  • MODEL
  • TIME

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