Learning in an agile setting: A multilevel research study on the evolution of organizational routines

Maria Carmela Annosi, Antonella Martini, Federica Brunetta, Lucia Marchegiani*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Recognizing a serious lack of research on routinized individual actions and organizational adaptation in the stability-change paradox, we intend to provide an in-depth explanation of the way in which agile methods affect organizational learning in self-managed, team-based organizations, taking a multi-level evolutionary approach. We explore learning in agile organizations by breaking the analysis of organizational routines down into different levels – individual, team and organization – and describing the process of variation, selection and retention of routines at each level. Leveraging on multiple case studies, we discuss how team members learn and gain knowledge, from both direct and indirect experience, and analyze how teams develop conceptual frameworks and interpret those experiences. Finally, we discuss how organizational memory develops and how teams in agile organizations adapt simultaneously within an ecological structure that also comprises the changing environment. Our findings reveal substantial flaws in the capacity of agile methods to foster organizational learning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)554-566
JournalJournal of Business Research
Early online date12 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • Agile
  • Knowledge
  • Multiple case studies
  • Organizational learning
  • Routine evolution
  • Self-managing team

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