Strategic Focus on Agility
Authors: Stefan Trzcieliński
Abstract: There are two current paradigms of organizational strategies of enterprises - lean enterprises and agile enterprises. The lean enterprise is such one that eliminates or reduces the wastes. Wastes (muda) can be categorized according to how easy or difficult they can be reduced. They are connected with the efficiency and productivity of use of the resources that the enterprise possesses. We can presume and this is confirmed in practice, that more resources are possessed by the enterprise bigger risk that they will not be utilized efficiently. This leads to conclusion that for big enterprises lean is very important strategy. The second strategy is agile enterprise. Agility is meant as the ability to use the opportunities. It is necessary to notice that opportunities appeared in changeable environment. Usually the environment is divided into such segments like: political and legal, economic, social and demographic, technological, customers, suppliers, new entrants and the competitors. The combination of events and situations that exists in the environment creates opportunities that are the situations which are favorable to the enterprise. As the current business environment is strongly changeable, unpredictable and turbulent, thus a huge number of events take place. That, if they are recognized as favorable, depends on the objectives and resources of the enterprise. These situations which are positively correlated with the objectives and create the demand for the resources are favorable i.e. are recognized as opportunities. There is a question what features and abilities must characterize the enterprise to be agile? There are four features constituting the agile enterprise: brightness, flexibility, intelligence and shrewdness. Brightness is the ability of the enterprise to perceive the opportunities, flexibility refers to the repertoire of products that can be manufactured with use of the disposal resources, intelligence is the ability to learn and adapt to the changing environment and shrewdness is the ability to achieve the goals in practical mode. Each of the features is based on the enterprise knowledge which is considered to be the most important resource. Knowledge is that what results in creativity and innovations and allows the enterprise to achieve the competitive advantage. More changeable is the environment more important is the knowledge. From that view point it is interesting if the enterprises became knowledge based firms and move towards agility. To get an answer for this question the research have been undertaken if the enterprises including SMEs form their opportunities oriented strategies and shape their brightness, flexibility, intelligence and shrewdness. In this paper the results of the research are presented. The research was done on a sample of 150 enterprises including 45 big, 60 medium and 45 small firms.
Keywords: Agile Enterprise, Lean Enterprise, Knowledge Based Economy, Strategy of Enterprise
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