Causal Model of Organizational Performance and Change (Burke and Litwin)

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Transformational Change and Transactional Change. Explanation of the Causal Model of Organizational Performance and Change of W. Warner Burke and George H. Litwin. (1992)


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Causal Model of Organizational Performance and Change (Burke and Litwin)What is the Causal Model of Organizational Performance and Change? Description

Organizational change is a kind of chaos. Like the 7-S Framework by Pascale and Athos, the Burke-Litwin Model integrates a range of factors that provide some guidance to understand how organizations work amidst this chaos. Burke and Litwin go one step further by arguing that there are certain consistent causal linkages among these classes of events. See the figure.

Origin of the Burke-Litwin Model. History

During the 1960s George Litwin and others were thinking on organizational climate. In 1992, Burke and Litwin publish an article in the Journal of Management (Vol. 18, No. 3) in which they add a few factors to the 7-S Framework and combine this with a high-level change process theory, in which certain elements cause changes of other elements.

Usage of the Causal Model of Organizational Performance and Change. Applications

  • Analyzing Organizational Change
  • Understanding Organizational Change
  • Managing Organizational Change
  • Predicting Organizational Change

Steps in the Model by Burke and Litwin. Process

Burke and Litwin distinguish between transformational factors (yellow boxes) and transactional factors (green boxes).

  1. Transformational change happens in response to the external environment, which directly affects the mission, strategy, leadership and culture of the organization.
  2. In turn,  the transactional factors are affected: structure, systems, management practices, and work climate.
  3. These transformational and transactional factors together affect motivation, which in turn affects performance.
  4. There is a feedback loop: the organizational performance can directly effect the external environment.

Strengths of the Burke-Litwin Model. Benefits

  • Overview: the framework integrates many major change factors.
  • External environment is the main factor (although not necessarily the starting point).
  • The hierarchy and causality between the elements.
  • The model distinguishes between the set of variables that influence and are influenced by organizational climate (everyday, transactional level) and those influenced by organizational culture (fundamental, transformational level).

Limitations of the Model by Burke and Litwin. Disadvantages

  • The model is a bit complex (although still an oversimplification of the reality).
  • Some organizational changes may be initiated by leadership or by internal factors rather than by the external environment.

Causal Model of Organizational Performance and Change Forum (5 topics) Help
  Burke Litwin Model and Transformational Change
The model is complex but simple to communicate due to the interrationships and myriads of its linkages can be visibly related. Most successful application is usually from the transformational change perspective which drive the transactional change....
  Internal Environment in Burke-Litwin Model
The model is quite complicated but seemingly lack one of the other important element in individual and organizational performance - that of the internal environment which from all indication are the spider-mesh connected blocks.
The inter...
  Complexity Theory and Organizational Change
The Burke-Litwin model shows the characteristics of a complex system. According to complexity theory, complex systems are non-linear, dynamic, adaptive and sensitive to initial conditions. So human organizations as a complex systems do not res...
  Identifying a Trigger for Change
The key element of change is identifying a trigger for change or utilising a crisis to bring about the changes required to be competitive. Linking other management models can be effective e.g. Balanced Scorecard for performance....
  Burke Litwin Model of Organizational Change
This model's basic premise is a framework from which organizations can plan, develop, analyze and implement effective organizational change. It shows the dynamics and links the processes to the people of the organization....

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Causal Model of Organizational Performance and Change Education & Events

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Expert Tips - Causal Model of Organizational Performance and Change Premium
  Leadership Strategies for Change - Initiate, implement, develop and sustain change
  Key Success Factors when you're Designing your Change Management Program - Best Practices, Change Management, Organizational Change
  Assessing the Risks of Change and the Organization’s Capacity for Change - Leading Change
  Strategic Change: Why, What, When, Who and How - Preparing Strategic Change
  The Importance of Culture in Organizational Performance - Organizational Culture, Corporate Culture, Employee Behavior, Organizational Performance

Resources - Causal Model of Organizational Performance and Change Premium
Professor Evans Explains Why Fast Change Requires New Ways of Learning and Thinking - Action Learning, Coping with Change, The Need of Change, The Need for New Ways of Learning
Managing Organizational Change - Change Management, Leading Change, Organizational Development
Congruence Model - Nadler-Tushman Model
Burke Litwin Model Diagram - Organizational Change

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News - Organizational Change Burke Litwin


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Videos - Organizational Change Burke Litwin


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Presentations - Organizational Change Burke Litwin


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Compare with the Causal Model of Organizational Performance and Change: 7-S Framework  |  Dimensions of Change  |  Ashridge Mission Model  |  Catalytic Mechanisms  |  Chaos Theory  |  Change Phases  |  Six Change Approaches

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