Organizational diagnostics

From CEOpedia | Management online

The models for organizational diagnostics:

  • Leavitt's Model (1965),
  • Likert System Analysis (1967),
  • Weisbord's Six-Box Model (1976),
  • McKinsey 7S Framework (1981-82),
  • Tichy's TPC Framework (1983),

Leavitt’s Model (1965)

Harold Jack Leavitt was an American management psychologist. He dealt with the analysis of interaction schemes and group communication, as well as interference in communication. He studied the characteristics of the leaders' personalities. He distinguished three types of managers[1]:

  • Type 1 manager,
  • Type 2 manager,
  • Type 3 manager.

Type 1 manager is a visionary and charismatic leader. He is characterized by originality, brilliance and uncompromising. Often it is also eccentric. It seeks to break with the status quo and enter a new path. Historical examples of this type of leaders were Ghandi, Hitler, Gladstone or Ayatollah Khomeini.

Type 2 manager is a strong rationalist, analyst, he sticks to facts that he values especially when presented with numbers. He is systematic and able to control effectively. Examples of this type are Clement Attlee, Robert Peel or Jimmy Carter.

Type 3 manager is a pragmatist, contractor of plans, skillfully solving difficulties. Leaders of this type usually do not show vision. They strive to subjugate people to their will. Historical examples: Bismarck, Lenin, Stalin, Lyndon B. Johnson.

Likert System Analysis (1967)

Rensis Likert was an American social psychologist who is primarily known for developing the 5-point Likert scale, a psychometric scale that allows people to respond to questions of interest, in order to measure people's attitudes (such as personality and attitude tests).

The format of a typical five-level Likert scale has points from strongly agree to strongly disagree.

This analysis is focused on 7 organizational dimensions[2][3][4]:

Weisbord’s Six-Box Model (1976)

The six-box model is a framework developed by the American analyst Marvin Weisbord to assess the functioning of organizations.

The six-box model is comprised of the following components (boxes)[5]:

  1. Purposes: What 'businesses' are we in?
  2. Structure: How do we divide up the work?
  3. Relationships: How do we manage conflict (coordinate) among people? With our technologies?
  4. Rewards: Is there an incentive for doing all that needs doing?
  5. Leadership: Is someone keeping the boxes in balance?
  6. Helpful mechanisms: Have we adequate coordinating technologies?

McKinsey 7S Framework (1981-82)

The model takes into account the intangible features of the organization[6]:

"Hard" elements:

  • Strategy (strategy) - actions planned and undertaken in response to external changes, economic and social goals of the organization, long-term vision of the organization's operation: goals, ways of acting and rules of behavior.
  • Structure (structure) - a formal relationship between the parts that the organization consists of.
  • Procedures (systems) - ways to conduct supporting the strategy and implementing the structure. Financial systems, employment rules, evaluation and promotion, communication systems.

"Soft" elements:

  • Style (style) - the manner of acting of members of the organization in mutual contacts, management style.
  • Staff (staff) - raising the awareness of the management staff, the rules of introducing new employees, supporting the employees' professional careers.
  • Skills (skills) - skills of the entire organization and its individual employees in the field of implementation of tasks outside and inside the company and activities supporting the development of these skills.
  • Shared values - basic ideas around which the business concept is developed.

Tichy’s TPC Framework (1983)

"The TPC framework raises 4 questions which are vital to organizational diagnosis[7]:

  • How well are the parts of the org. aligned with each other for solving the organization's political problems?
  • How well are the parts of the org. aligned with each other for solving the organization's cultural problems?
  • How well aligned are the 3 subsystems of the org., the technical, political and cultural?
  • How well are the parts of the org. aligned with each other for solving the organization's political problems?
  • How well are the parts of the org. aligned with each other for solving the organization's cultural problems?
  • How well aligned are the 3 subsystems of the org., the technical, political and cultural?".

Examples of Organizational diagnostics

  1. The McKinsey 7S Model: This model was developed by McKinsey consultants to analyze and assess the internal structure of an organization. It looks at seven internal components: strategy, structure, systems, shared values, style, staff, and skills. It is used to determine how these elements interact and how they can be aligned to improve organizational effectiveness.
  2. The SWOT Analysis: SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. This model is used to identify an organization’s internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as external opportunities and threats. It helps to identify areas of improvement, prioritize initiatives, and develop strategies to achieve organizational goals.
  3. The Balanced Scorecard: Developed by Robert Kaplan and David Norton, the balanced scorecard is a performance measurement system that focuses on four perspectives: financial, customer, internal business processes, and learning and growth. It is used to monitor progress towards organizational goals and objectives.
  4. The Five Forces Model: Developed by Michael Porter, this model is used to analyze the external environment of an organization. It looks at five forces: competitors, suppliers, customers, potential entrants, and substitute products. It is used to assess an organization’s competitive position and develop strategies accordingly.

Advantages of Organizational diagnostics

One of the main advantages of organizational diagnostics is that it provides organizations with an opportunity to identify and assess strengths and weaknesses. It also helps them to identify current and potential problems that may impact their organization's performance. The following list presents various advantages of organizational diagnostics:

  • It allows organizations to identify the areas that need improvement and create strategies and action plans to address them.
  • It enables organizations to measure their performance and identify areas for improvement.
  • It helps in identifying solutions for existing and potential problems within the organization.
  • It helps to identify and measure organizational strengths and weaknesses and provides organizations with an opportunity to assess the current performance and make necessary changes.
  • It provides a platform for organizations to evaluate and compare the performance of different departments, divisions and teams.
  • It helps organizations to identify and address areas of inefficiency and waste.
  • It helps to identify potential areas of innovation and growth.
  • It helps organizations to identify and assess the effectiveness of existing processes, policies and procedures.
  • It helps to create a culture of accountability and transparency within the organization.

Limitations of Organizational diagnostics

Organizational diagnostics is a powerful tool for assessing the health of an organization and identifying areas for improvement, but it is not without its limitations.

  • Lack of objectivity: Diagnostic tools are often designed to identify problems from the perspective of the diagnostician, which can lead to bias and inaccurate results.
  • Difficulty in quantifying results: Diagnostic tools are generally subjective and qualitative, making it difficult to quantify the results of the assessment.
  • Lack of a holistic view: Diagnostic tools often focus on specific areas of the organization, such as organizational structure or performance, and may not provide a comprehensive view of the organization.
  • Cost: Diagnostic tools can be expensive to implement and maintain, especially if they require specialized software or extensive data collection.
  • Time: Diagnostic tools can be time consuming to complete, and it may take months or even years to complete the assessment and receive feedback.
  • Lack of actionable advice: Diagnostic tools often provide a detailed assessment of the organization but may not provide clear advice on how to improve the organization.

Other approaches related to Organizational diagnostics

Below are some other approaches related to organizational diagnostics.

  • Organizational culture assessment: This approach involves assessing the culture of an organization to identify strengths and weaknesses and uncover any areas of improvement.
  • Organizational development: This approach focuses on helping organizations to improve performance and effectiveness by developing strategies, structures and processes.
  • Organizational change management: This approach looks at how organizations can successfully implement and manage changes in their structure and processes.
  • Competency-based assessment: This approach involves assessing the skills and abilities of an organization's workforce in order to identify areas of opportunity.
  • Strategic planning: This approach focuses on creating a roadmap for an organization's future and helping organizations to develop a strategy that will achieve their goals.

In summary, other approaches related to organizational diagnostics include organizational culture assessment, organizational development, organizational change management, competency-based assessment, and strategic planning. These approaches help organizations to identify areas of improvement and develop strategies to achieve their goals.

Organizational diagnosticsrecommended articles
Strategic management systemChange management modelManagement by objectivesStrategic management7S modelChange managementStrategic management principlesStrategic issuesStructure follows strategy



  1. Firlej K. (2007), pp 1-19.
  2. Hall J. W. (1972), pp 586-590.
  3. Kašík J. (2011, pp 7.
  4. Boone H. N. , Boone D. A. (2012), pp 1-3.
  5. Weisbord M. R. (1976), pp 430-447.
  6. Firlej K. (2007), pp 8-11.
  7. Kašík J. (2011), pp 20.

Author: Daniel Żołna