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The Evolution of Line Managers During Agile Transformation: From Missionaries to Priests

Lanzolla, G. ORCID: 0000-0002-6590-2668 & Annosi, M. (2023). The Evolution of Line Managers During Agile Transformation: From Missionaries to Priests. California Management Review, 65(4), pp. 116-136. doi: 10.1177/00081256231175706


Based on the in-depth analysis of a successful large-scale agile transformation, we shed 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. We further reveal the social-contracts and the organisational conditions that underpin such evolution. Our findings have clear implications for selecting suitable line managers.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Agile transformation, line managers, team autonomy, firm strategy, strategy execution
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of CMR_Main body & Figures & Tables 18 April 2023 Accepted (1).pdf] Text - Accepted Version
This document is not freely accessible due to copyright restrictions.


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