The 7S Framework

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What is the  7-S Framework? Description

The 7-S Framework of McKinsey is a management model that describes 7 factors to organize a company in a holistic and effective way. Together these factors determine the way in which a corporation operates. Managers should take into account all seven of these factors, to be sure of successful implementation of a strategy. Large or small. They're all interdependent, so if you fail to pay proper attention to one of them, this may effect all others as well. On top of that, the relative importance of each factor may vary over time.

Origin of the 7-S Framework. History

The 7-S Framework was first mentioned in the journal "Business Horizons" in an article "Structure Is Not Organization" by Robert H. Waterman, Thomas J. Peters and Julien R. Phillips in June 1980. It appeared also in "In Search of Excellence" by Peters and Waterman, and was taken up as a basic tool by the global management consultancy company McKinsey. Since then it is known as their 7-S model.

The meaning of the 7 Ss


McKinsey 7-S frameworkSuperordinate Goals (also called Shared Values).

The interconnecting center of McKinsey's model is: Superordinate Goals (Shared Values). This term includes higher elevation concepts of what an organization wants to achieve, stands for and what it believes in: purpose, vision, mission, shared values, central beliefs and attitudes. Compare: Strategic Intent


Plans for the allocation of a firms scarce resources, over time, to reach identified goals. Environment, competition, customers.


The way in which the organization's units relate to each other: centralized, functional divisions (top-down); decentralized; a matrix, a network, a holding, etc.


The procedures, processes and routines that characterize how the work should be done: financial systems; recruiting, promotion and performance appraisal systems; information systems.


Numbers and types of personnel within the organization.


Cultural style of the organization and how key managers behave in achieving the organization's goals. Compare: Management Styles.


Distinctive capabilities of personnel or of the organization as a whole. Compare: Core Competences.

Strengths of the 7-S Model. Benefits

  • Diagnostic tool for understanding organizations that are ineffective.
  • Guides organizational change.
  • Combines rational and hard elements with emotional and soft elements.
  • Managers must act on all Ss in parallel and all Ss are interrelated.

Book: Ethan M. Rasiel, Paul N. Friga - The McKinsey Mind: Understanding and Implementing the Problem Solving Tools and Management Techniques -

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7-S Framework Special Interest Group.

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Forum about the 7-S Framework.

McKinsey 7S in Fast Changing Environment: A DYNAMIC 7S Model?
Given that the business environment is changing all the time, what are the strengths and weaknesses of using the 7S Mode (...)
11 reactions
CDOCi Acronym | CDOCi Tool
You can combine 7S analysis with a method called "CDOCi": A way of reviewing a strategy or project by getting a team of (...)
1 reactions
Google and its success with 7S
Hi I am a MBA student and I need to write an assignment about Google`s success. How can I explain its success with 7S fr (...)
1 reactions
Applying the 7 S Framework. Implementation
I believe the 7's is very difficult to implement at the ORGANIZATION level. So if we would be able to implement the HARD (...)
2 reactions
🔥 NEW The 7 S Model is an Architectural Tool for Strategy and Management
When you analyze the components of the 7 S Model, you can understand that it is a sober meta-model. It is giant, open, f (...)
4 reactions
McKinsey 7-S Background
I am doing a presentation on the 7-S framework and was wondering if anyone knew the first time it was successfully imple (...)
1 reactions
How to Use the 7S Model in Education?
Does someone have an idea for using this method for universities or schools? Let's say that the Shared Value is: moral (...)
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7-S within Government
It has come to my attention that the 7-S Model is rarely mentioned in its completeness when strategic session or plannin (...)
2 reactions
Changes in Shared Values and Staff
The values of the organisation may change over time with changes of personnel entering the organisation from the outside (...)
1 reactions
What is the NEW 7S Framework?
The new 7 S-es are: 1. Superior Stakeholder Satisfaction 2. Strategic Foretelling 3. Positioning by Speed 4. Positio (...)
1 reactions
7S X 7S Matrix: Tracking the Mutual Congruency of the 7S Elements
I have used the 7S for organisational assessment and analysis. I used it in a 7x7 matrix to check the S's for coherence (...)
2 reactions
7S model organisational Change Overcoming Barries
How do companies use the 7s model to overcome their barriers while establishing organizational changes? (...)
0 reactions
Effectiveness of 7 s framework
The model given in 7S framework is so exhaustive that it includes almost all the aspects of the organisation. - The Sup (...)
1 reactions
Measuring the Scores on each S of the 7S Framework
Hello all, have there been parameters developed to measure and/or track the 7 elements of the McKinsey 7S framework in d (...)
4 reactions
7S Data Collection and Analysis
What are some of your data collection methods for the 7 S model when using it as a diagnostic tool. The questions provid (...)
3 reactions
Best Practices

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The top-rated topics about the 7-S Framework. Here you will find the most valuable ideas and practical suggestions.

How to Link 7S Model with Leadership and Management
How do you link the 7 s framework with leadership and management. Because when discussing leadership and management most (...)
5 reactions

Why are Shared Values in the Center of 7's?
Why are Shared Values (or Superordinate Goals) in the Center of 7s? Please help me... Thank you..^^. (...)
11 reactions

7S McKinsey for ISO 14001
How is the 7S Model from McKinsey used as framework for ISO 14001 implementation? (...)
1 reactions

Using McKinsey 7-S Model for Organizing Innovation
I am interested in the application of the 7-S model on organizing innovation structurally in a company. For instance: w (...)
4 reactions

Applications of the 7-S Framework
While some models of organizational effectiveness go in and out of fashion, one that has persisted is the McKinsey 7S fr (...)
5 reactions

7 S model in the Post Merger Phase
I'm a Masters student looking at the post merger phase of a university. How can I apply the 7 S model in studying the po (...)
3 reactions

Communication Problems in the 7S Model of McKinsey
How do you link the 7S Model to problems related to communication in a work place? (...)
1 reactions

Limiting choice of 'S' in 7S Framework?
While reading for my management course, I couldn't help but wonder if the choice of an alphabet limits the scope and ske (...)
5 reactions

7-s Model as Basis for a Project Audit
Could McKinsey's 7-s model be used as a standard/norm for auditing control over projects in organizations. Anyone with e (...)
4 reactions

Does the 7-S Model still holds true today?
Does the 7-S Model still holds true in today's business environment? Companies are increasing outsourcing their function (...)
14 reactions

Guiding a Change Program with 7-S Model
How can the 7-S model be used to inform or guide a change program? (...)
11 reactions

Extra S-es in the 7S Framework by McKinsey
I was able to utlize the 7S model very effectively to conduct the assessment of the state of the public health system fo (...)
3 reactions

Involving Staff in 7-S Framework
Implementing the 7-S can be challenging especially without the buying in of staff and management. How can these people b (...)
4 reactions

Competitive Edge with 7S Model?
(How) Can a firm achieve a competitive advantage with the 7S framework? For me its the shared values and style that mak (...)
4 reactions

One More S: Solidarity
I think this is a sound model but Solidarity is missing in this model. It should be the 8S model. Solidarity is a concep (...)
7 reactions

Expert Tips

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Advanced insights about the 7-S Framework. Here you will find professional advices by experts.

7S Checklist with Questions for Each S

Firm Analysis, Organizational Analysis
Here's a list of questions you can use to analyze an organization in terms of the 7S Framework: STRATEGY: - What is ou (...)

Categorizing the S-es in McKinsey's 7-S Model

Strategy, Strategic Change, 7S Implementation
The seven S's can be broken down into: - 3 Hard S-es (Strategy, Structure and Systems) which are relatively easy to ide (...)

How to Identify Potential Problem Areas in 7S?

Strategy, Strategic Change, 7S Implementation
You can create a 7S Confrontation Matrix with all 7 S-es listed both horizontally and vertically. In the cells or inters (...)

Improved 8S Framework for Strategy Execution

Strategy, Strategic Change, 7S Implementation
As the business environment becomes more complex and more changeful, James M. Higgins suggests the introduction of the (...)
Information Sources

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Various sources of information regarding the 7-S Framework. Here you will find powerpoints, videos, news, etc. to use in your own lectures and workshops.

Original Article Introducing the 7S Framework

History of 7S Framework
The 1980 Business Horizons article "Structure is Not Organization " by Robert H. Waterman, Jr., Thomas J. Peters and Jul (...)

McKinsey's Approach to Problem Solving

Consultancy, Organizational Analysis and Change
Presentation about some of McKinsey's thoughts on problem solving, thereby including the 7S-model of McKinsey. Besides t (...)

7-S Framework

Analyzing the state of an organization
Presentation about the 7S framework. (...)

Compare with the 7-S Framework: Causal Model of Organizational Performance and Change  |  Ashridge Mission Model  |  Strategic Alignment  |  McKinsey Matrix

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