How the model developed the organizational model most

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Unformatted text preview: mportant patterns of organizational behavior and performance. How the Model Developed The organizational model most of us carry in our head is the age-old pyramid-shaped table of organization that typified institutions as old as the Roman Legions. That model was fine back when the pace of institutional change was measured in decades, even centuries. Even through the first half of the 20th century, organizations changed so slowly that their essence could be captured in neat patterns of lines and boxes. But in recent decades, the rapidly accelerating pace of change has made that static model obsolete. The old model merely documented hierarchical arrangements; the new models have to capture the dynamics of fluid relationships. The old model provided a reasonably clear snapshot of a moment in time; today, we need real-time, streaming video. This new approach to understanding organizations really started in the 1960s, when researchers at the Harvard Business School and the University of Michigan began exploring the similarities between naturally occurring systems and human organizations. They discovered some striking parallels. In very basic terms, both take input from their surrounding environment, subject it to an internal transformation process, and produce some form of output (see Figure 1). In addition, both have the capacity to create and use feedback; in other words, they can use their output to alter their input and refine their internal processes. However, it wasn’t until the mid-1970s that systems theory found wide acceptance among students of organizations. Building upon the important work of earlier theorists (Daniel Katz and Robert Kahn, Jay Lorsch and Alan Sheldon, and John Seiler), David Nadler and Michael Tushman at Columbia University developed a simple, pragmatic approach to organization dynamics based on systems theory. At roughly the same time, Harold Leavitt at Stanford University and Jay Galbraith at MIT were simultaneously grappling with the same issues. Nadler and Tushman’s efforts led to the development and refinement of the approach now known as the congruence model. Figure 1: The Basic Systems Model Input Transformation Process Output Feedback 4 Oliver Wyman – Delta Organization & Leadership Figure 2: Key Organizational Input INPUT ENVIRONMENT RESOURCES HISTORY Definition All factors, including institutions, groups, individuals, events, etc., outside of the boundaries of the organization being analyzed, but having a potential impact on that organization. Various assets the organization has access to, including human resources, technology, capital, information, etc., as well as less tangible resources (recognition in the market, etc.). The patterns of past behavior, activity, and effectiveness of the organization that may have an effect on current organizational functioning. Critical Features of the Input for Analysis What demands does the environment make on the organization? What is the relative quality of the different resources that the organization has access to? What have been the major stages or phases of development...
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This note was uploaded on 11/22/2009 for the course HR GM600 taught by Professor Na during the Spring '09 term at Keller Graduate School of Management.

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