In theories of strategic management, organizational flexibility is considered as a strategic asset in situations in which anticipation is impossible and strategic surprise likely. In these situations, the use of traditional planning strategies will be increasingly supplemented and sometimes replaced by flexible configuration strategies. This paper distinguishes four of these strategies to configure the resources of the firm for effective responses to strategic change, namely the rigid, the planned, the flexible, and the chaotic mode. On the basis of this typology, the paper describes a method for diagnosing organizational flexibility and guiding the transition process, the flexibility audit and redesign (FAR) method. This method was applied successfully within an administrative unit of the Dutch Postbank, a production unit of Philips Semiconductors, and an R&D unit of the Dutch National Gas. Nonetheless, the application of the FAR method is very time-consuming for the consultant and very expensive for the organization. Hence, a system is developed that supports consultants in the application of the FAR method and helps them to derive a better solution for the organizational flexibility problem. This tool, called FARSYS, supports the data-gathering (FARSYS I) as well as the decision-making process of the consultant (FARSYS II).
- RSM S&E