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What is holacracy, and how long has it been around?

Please see instructions attached. Only focus on the question below.

  1. What is holacracy, and how long has it been around?

Please utilize the attached annotated bib.

Final Project Assignment MGMT 617

Your final research paper will be based on a topic – holacracy. Please remember this is an academic paper and 3rd person is required.  Your paper should address the following questions:

1. What is holacracy, and how long has it been around?

2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the model?

3. Discuss at least 2-3 organizations who have attempted to implement the concept into their organization. Who was successful? Who failed?

4. If your team had the opportunity to implement the concept into an organization, how would you go about it? What steps would be important for you in a roll out? Draft your proposal for the implementation.  

TurnitIn Information: Your paper will automatically be submitted to TurnitIn when you submit your paper through the "Assignment" area of the Course Tools section. As a guide the similarity score, that is the percentage of an assessment which directly quotes other sources, should be no more than 10%. Please note that this refers only to direct quotes within the body of the text and does not include the reference list or cover sheet. Anything more than 10% will be subject to evaluation and loss of points if plagiarism is detected.

Your team's paper should:

· Be a 3-page paper (excluding the title and reference pages) utilizing proper APA format.

· Contains at least five references. Three must be peer reviewed articles and two are online sources.




Team 3 Week 6 Annotated Bibliography: Holacracy and Teamwork


American Public University

MGMT 617, COURSE 2732: Leading Teams



Annotated Bibliography: Holacracy and Teamwork

Retrieved from: Bernstein, E., Bunch, J., Canner, N. and Lee, M., (2016). Beyond the holacracy hype. Harvard Business Review. 94(7/8), 38-49.

The article helps understand holacracy. Holacracy is self-management system with power in evolving teams called “circles” and roles rather than specific individuals. Circles are the basic element of holacracies, with different circles doing different functions that are required for the business. Holacracy circles may have numerous sub-circles. Members fill several roles within numerous separate circles, and roles are identified by badges that let people know their skills. Employees create circles and positions within those circles as new needs are identified. A constitution is created and edited at the company to stipulate rules by which circles, sub-circles, and positions are created and filled and how they interact with each other. Changes within circles must be supported by members to improve the circle, and, if objected to, the proposing member must assuage the issue or it is dropped. Leaders are by position, not by name, and they are changeable and adapt based on what is needed and who is performing the job the best or may do so.

Several examples are provided. Organizations that have succeeded include Zappos, the largest company to use holacracy. Self-management teams started with English mining, when self-management led to significant productivity increase. Several other examples include Volvo plant cut 90% of errors, FedEx cut errors 13%, C&S Wholesale Grocers warehouse 60% cost savings compared to competitors, and General Mills increased plant productivity 40% in those participating. An organization that failed included Medium, a social media company that found it was difficult to implement as it became larger.

The article discusses several pros and cons of holacracy. Pros include adaptability, in that they are agile in response to changes and new information and ideas. They make quicker decisions in the moment and more responsive to raw data available to staff at lowest level. They have more refined segments that are catered to the needs of the company. People are able to match their strengths with their roles and others help to adapt this as well, better aligning skills with roles. Cons include confusion around progression, responsibilities, and compensation. Also, using holacracy across an entire organization makes understanding what should be done, who should do it, and how it is to be done difficult. It is difficult to pay attention to greater strategy, and how does one understand who is in charge and accountable for success or failure. In sum, holacracy can lack stability, allocation of resources to most relevant and promising endeavors, and articulated and disseminated goals. It requires significant technology as firms grow to allow accountability, visibility of the roles and circles, and communication between roles, circles, and sub-circles

Implementation principles shared in the article included that it will become important for all companies, but challenging to implement at all levels. The key is using self-management teams where adaptability important and using traditional methods where reliability is important, so blend traditional elements where helpful with these newer elements. All organizations need two things to be successful: reliability and adaptability. Traditional methods are better at creating reliability through standardization, but too much can lead to lack of awareness changes to the market. The tendency is to err to the side of standardization to ensure control and focus. Self-management allows greater adaptability but focusing on too many different projects reduces the ability to complete big projects and move in a direction as well as prevent efficiencies that come from scale.

Retrieved from: Cuofano, G. (2022) What is Holacracy and why it matters in business, FourWeekMBA. What is The FourWeekMBA. Available at: (Accessed: October 26, 2022).

According to Cuofano (2022), Holacracy is a management approach whereby decision-making authority is decentralized. As opposed to traditional management structures, where a small group holds authority, this one gives everyone a voice. In a holacracy, people are expected to take charge of their work by forming small teams and collaborating to achieve a larger purpose.

The purpose of this article is to demystify the term "holacracy" and explain why it matters in the corporate world. In this study, the benefits and drawbacks of adopting holacracy are examined using the examples of the Medium and Blinkist organizations. the findings indicated that the particular structures and procedures of holacracy necessary for a firm’s progress, as holacracy fosters a purposeful and adaptable workforce that knows what is expected of them (Cuofano, 2022). However, it is not practical for huge companies with well-established cultures. Employees may underachieve due to the company's emphasis on teamwork and lack of clearly defined positions.

Retrieved from: Dutta, A. & Rangnekar, S. (2022), "Coworker support and community of practice: the role of concern for team member and preference for teamwork," Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.

The purpose of this article was to conduct an empirical study of the impact of social support from colleagues on professional communities through the successive mediating factor of care for team members and a propensity for teamwork. Information from 216 full-time employees in Indian government and commercial sector institutions was collected using an online survey. To prove the viability of the hypothesized proposition, a validation factor assessment, structural equation modeling, and regression analysis were carried out (Dutta & Rangnekar, 2022). In addition, the “Hayes PROCESS macro model” was used to assess the effects of the bootstrap resamples. The "Hayes PROCESS macro model" was also utilized to evaluate the impacts of the bootstrap resamples.

The outcomes of the study showed that concern for individual members of a team and a propensity for working together acted as a moderating impact on the connection between team performance and practice groups in a sequential fashion. The overall and direct effect that the support of teammates had on communities of practice also had a significant impact. This article provides a comprehension of the procedure through which communities of practice are connected to the concept of teamwork as coworkers.

Retrieved from: Farkhondeh, M. and Müller, B. (2021) “Holacracy: A new way of organizing?,” management revue, 32(4), pp. 302–317. Available at:

The environments in which organizations operate are becoming increasingly unstable, unpredictable, and hostile. The professional and academic literature has been pushing for and investigating alternative workplace structures. Holacracy, sometimes called a "new style of organizing," was developed to respond to modern businesses' growing complexity and environmental dynamics (Farkhondeh & Müller, 2021). Decentralized governance and self-organization are touted as the new way for businesses with this new management philosophy to do away with the old hierarchical and bureaucratic institutions.

In this article, Farkhondeh & Müller (2021) look beyond the current buzz around Holacracy to examine its genuine innovations. In particular, they aim to isolate the core ideas behind Holacracy and examine them against the backdrop of bureaucratic and post-bureaucratic methods to assess if and to what extent Holacracy differs from these two schools of thought. A qualitative analysis technique in which content analysis of the article "Holacracy" was performed to accomplish this investigation.

The findings of this study reveal that the notion of holacracy itself is still bureaucratic, despite various improvements, particularly in relation to participatory decision-making procedures. This is the case despite the high level of formal standardization. In addition, the findings indicate that the Holacracy has a very singular and exceptional view of power and authority, which calls for additional in-depth empirical investigation and analysis. This study will provide an in-depth understanding of holacracy and its innovations, which is helpful for my research background.

Retrieved from: Junker, T.L. et al. (2022) “Agile work practices: Measurement and Mechanisms,” European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, pp. 1–22. Available at:

More and more businesses are adopting methods from agile management frameworks such as Scrum and agile organization forms like OKR and Holacracy to facilitate transformational flow. The ideal way to define and evaluate agile work practices (AWPs) is still up for debate.

This article uses the dichotomy between task work and teamwork to create a novel theoretical framework and a tool for measuring AWPs. The authors Junker et al. (2022) describe the possible AWP mechanisms with respect to time, management, teamwork, and the design of tasks. They validated their measurements of agile methods by using data gathered from 269 distinct teams (n = 1664). This methodology served as the basis for their work. Initial steps included determining the device's factorability, internal logic, test-retest reliability, and measurements invariance (Junker et al., 2022). Afterward, the authors demonstrated that AWPs are congruent with metrics such as spontaneous team planning, independence, and feedback while diverging from those associated with centralized bureaucracy.

The findings of multilevel regression studies reveal that the utilization of AWPs is connected with positive behaviors exhibited by planning teams and enhanced experiences in work design. This study broadens the area of research on agility by decoupling the AWP idea from software design and basic management paradigms. This was accomplished through the use of conceptual mapping.

Retrieved from: Strayboots (2021) Is team building relevant in a holacracy model?, Strayboots. Available at: (Accessed: October 26, 2022).

Since the dawn of civilization, there has always been a system of command within any corporation. At the top of that command, the chain stands one person known by many titles: group leader, manager, director, etc (Strayboots, 2021). He or she was answerable to the outcomes, whether positive or negative.

This article aims to investigate whether or not team-building exercises have any place in a Holacracy framework. The author Strayboots (2021) explains that in most companies, everyone has a certain role. Managers may appear to delegate authority freely, but their judgments are always final. The article uses Zappos, a giant online apparel and footwear businesses, and Treehouse as the best examples of firms that have fully implemented Holacracy as a discipline.

The findings show that team development takes precedence regardless of the organizational paradigm, providing businesses with or without management the most dependable means to achieve their goals and eventually – triumph in the marketplace. This article offers a crucial understanding of how team-building and holacracy relate.


Holacracy and teamwork can enhance employees' quality of life and personal development by allowing them to take on more responsibility, make more decisions, and make significant contributions to the company. Generally speaking, employees are more excited to participate in more significant initiatives than specific departmental responsibilities. The holacracy team structure is difficult and time-consuming to implement in an organization that already has its culture, job designs, managerial structure, and data and incentive systems in place.


Bernstein, E., Bunch, J., Canner, N. and Lee, M., (2016). Beyond the holacracy hype. Harvard Business Review. 94(7/8), 38-49.

Cuofano, G. (2022) What is Holacracy and why it matters in business, FourWeekMBA. What is The FourWeekMBA. Available at: (Accessed: October 26, 2022).

Dutta, A. & Rangnekar, S. (2022), "Coworker support and community of practice: the role of concern for team member and preference for teamwork", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.

Farkhondeh, M. and Müller, B. (2021) “Holacracy: A new way of organizing?,” management revue, 32(4), pp. 302–317. Available at:

Junker, T.L. et al. (2022) “Agile work practices: Measurement and Mechanisms,” European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, pp. 1–22. Available at:

Strayboots (2021) Is team building relevant in a holacracy model?, Strayboots. Available at: (Accessed: October 26, 2022).





Title of Paper in Bold Centered

Student Name

American Public University

COURSE####: Course Title

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Then hit the tab key to indent and then continue typing the paper. In APA any source that you use in your paper must have an in-text citation. In APA these citations include the author’s last name and the year of the publication in parentheses (Name, Year).

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