Holacracy and obliquity: do new organisational design approaches actually work?

Research Briefing

Keywords: organisational development, organisational design, organisational structure, holacracy, obliquity, Adhocracy, Sociocracy

Over the last 10 to 15 years a range of new organisational structures and designs have started to become more mainstream, as organisations look for answers to increase adaptability, flexibility and agility as people perceive increasing levels of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.

It is well known that small companies have the ability to build to shift and pivot rapidly in order to meet market, economic, political, technological and scientific changes. Larger organisations have started to become interested in how to have similar levels of creativity, innovation, adaptability and ability to be able to change rapidly.

As a result of this increased interest in developing new ways of working and constructing organisations to increase adaptive behaviours, new organisational structures and designs are being tested including:

  • Obliquity
  • Holacracy
  • Adhocracy
  • Sociocracy

This research briefing looks at the latest research about whether these newer approaches to organisational design and development actually work and what factors are involved in successful implementation.

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