Growth Phases model

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Adjusting the strategy and structure of organizations while they develop. Explanation of Growth Phases of Greiner. ('72)


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Growth Phases Model | Greiner CurveWhat is the Growth Phases model? Description

The growth phases model of Larry E. Greiner suggests that organizations go through 5 (6) stages of growth and need appropriate strategies and structures to cope.  It is a descriptive framework that can be used to understand why certain management styles, organizational structures and coordination mechanisms work, and why some don't work at certain phases in the development of an organization. The 1972 Growth Phases model of Greiner describes five phases of organizational development and growth:

  1. Growth through creativity. Start-up company, entrepreneurial, informal communication, hard work and low earnings. Ending by a leadership crisis.
  2. Growth through direction. Sustained growth, functional organization structure, accounting, capital management, incentives, budgets, standardized processes. Ending by an autonomy crisis.
  3. Growth through delegation. Decentralized organizational structure, operational and market level responsibility, profit centers, financial incentives, decision making is based on periodic reviews, top management acts by exception, formal communication. Ending by a control crisis. Compare: Centralization and Decentralization.
  4. Growth through coordination and monitoring. Formation of product groups, thorough review of formal planning, centralization of support functions, corporate staff oversees coordination, corporate capital expenditures, accountability for ROI at product group level, motivation through lower-level profit sharing. Ending by a red tape crisis.
  5. Growth through collaboration. New evolutionary path, team action for problem solving, cross-functional task teams, decentralized support staff, matrix organization, simplified control mechanisms, team behavior education programs, advanced information systems, team incentives. Ending by an internal growth crisis.

More recently Greiner added a sixth phase to his Growth Phases model:

  1. Growth through extra-organizational solutions (mergers, holdings, networks of organizations)

Book: Larry E. Greiner - Power and Organization Development -

Growth Phases Forum (18 topics) Help
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  Internal and External Challenges After Having Established a Start Up Business…
It is a great feeling to be a small business owner starting out on a great journey with endless opportunities. Every small business owner has dreams and hopes for success, as should be the case.

However, as the business begins to flouri...

Collaboration Elaborated?

Can anyone give more information or guide me to books, articles that elaborate upon further steps than those mentined in the summary to be taken in the collaboration phase?...

Growth Through Training and Development

I think growth through training and development could also be added in this chart.
Because you can give growth to any business or community through training and development of people....

Examples of Companies in Revolutionary Periods

What would be examples of companies currently going through a revolutionary period? Why?...

Phase 6... Create Alliances And/or Rebuild Organization?

Does management restructure the organization at this point and continue to move forward or will the rapid pace of technology lead to too much growth wherein the organization is biting more than they can chew?...

When Can We Call a Company a Multinational?

Can anyone clear to me that in which situation we can say 'multinational' to acompany? What are the steps that a company goes to multinational?...

Alternative Forms of Organization Development

Hi everyone.. Can anybody give me some ideas regarding alternative forms of organizational development. Please I tried everyway but hope to get from this community. Thnx with regards......

Greiner Chart should be a Circle

While reading about Greiner's Growth Phases model, I realized that after reaching phase 6, it's clearly impossible to increase a company value level only by growing trough alliances. It is necessary to regularly review all the previously 5 phases, to...

Add Learning and Innovation

There must be one more step - Learning and Innovation - which will generate internal growth and will be similar to the other growth curves....

Input parameters for each phase of growth?

Thinking about each phase of growth, what are the required parameters to be mandatorily considered as inputs to make the growth phase an absolute success?...

Limitations of the model by Greiner

Given that the model has been shown in a continuous single line against time suggests that all the levels are at a higher level after each level. Instead I suggest that there need to be 5 or 6 lines representing the phases from start as the organisat...

Greiner Five Phases of growth

1. The Five(six) Phases of growth is a measure of influence of age and size on the organizational structure. The cycle may not necessarily be followed step wise as suggested.
2. Reading the Greiner Curve and interpreting it with strategic relate...

Organizational Death... A Taboo?

Another approach is to take a broader and cyclic view and see an organization as a human or organism going through a full Organizational Life Cycle. Organizational Life Cycles typically describe the following 6 phases or stages: 1. Birth (intr...

Length of Greiner Phases

Is there any typical time frame for each phase?...

Growth of Communities

Does this apply to community organizations as well, or are these growth phases only specified for business organizations?...

Is an Organizational Crisis a Must for Growth?

It is typical for Greiner's thinking that the growth phases are seperated from each other by organizational crises. Without a crisis a firm can not enter the next stage. Personally, I doubt if this is always the case?...

What Leadership Style is Required in Greiner's 6th Stage?

What kind of leader (style) is preferable in the growth through alliances stage of the model by Greiner? Should it be someone who is inclined to teamwork and collaboration?...

Greiner vs. Mintzberg?

What's the main difference with Mintzbergs model?...
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Compare with: Organization Chart  |  Mergers & Acquisitions  |  Competitive Advantage  |  Core Competence  |  Parenting Styles  |  Relative Value of Growth  |  BCG Matrix  |  Distinctive Capabilities  |  Organizational Configurations  |  Leveraged Buy-out

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