Models of Organization Diagnosis

Introduction The primary purpose of this essay is to understand various models of organization diagnosis and their differences also well as their similarities, and also evaluate their strength and weakness. In order to understand these OD models we will need to know what is organizational diagnosis. What is Organizational Diagnosis? This is a strategy implemented by organizations to increase its effectiveness. This involves assessing an organization’s existing levels of performance, to design a suitable change that will achieve the expected performance.
In organizational diagnosis, diagnostic activities should centre its focus on 2 main areas: – Subsystem areas (management, group, individual unit) – Organization processes (decision-making process, communication model, relationships between groups and the setting of goals. Organizational diagnostician carries out this process of diagnosis considering the whole organization as a total system. They use data form internal and external sources for this purpose. The organizational diagnosticians direct their focus on the activities they think are the vital for the existence of the organization.
When performing the diagnosis whole organization is put into focus when drastic changes are needed (French & Bell, 1995). Lastly in the organizational diagnosis process, all the data collected are communicated back to the organization’s management in order to begin the organizational change phase (Harrison 1987). Uses of Organizational Diagnosis Models Organizational diagnosis models help to clearly understand inefficiencies and diversions from organizational goals and targets.

Organizational diagnosis models also provide a systematic way together, categorize and understand data. Models identify crucial organizational variables which are theorized to exist according to previous research. Models also reflect the nature of relationship between important variable. Without such models it would be hard to collect and interpret data. Here I will analyse three such organizational diagnosis model, – Weisbord’s Six Box Model – Sharp-image Diagnosis model – The Congruence Model Weisbord’s Six Box Model
This model of organizational diagnosis consist six elements which are purpose, structure, relationship, rewards, leadership and helpful mechanism. The model focuses on the areas of dissatisfaction as a starting point. The areas of dissatisfactions considered are from the customer point (external), internal point of view (management and employees). The main advantages of this organizational diagnosis model have been its easy to understand and adopt. The model draws from a number of management theory schools -organisation design, behavioural, psychology and organisational learning.
Due to its very simplistic approach it has a lack of theoretically basis to determine the actual gaps, degree of change and inefficiencies in an organization. Weisbord’s model also fails to provide the actions needed to close gaps, degree of change and inefficiencies of organization structure. Harrison and Shirom (1999) says that Weisbord’s model, on identification of gaps, “for each of these elements, consultants has to diagnosis the gaps and degree of changes. – Gap between what exists now and ought to be – Gaps between what are actually done and what the mangers say is done.
The Congruence Model The Congruence model considers data from internal and external of the organization, strategies employed, product and services (output) and how the people of the organization are organised to convert the inputs into outputs. In order to understand the organization system and also how these factors influence in achieving intended results. The Congruence model’s most important element is the concept of fit. Organization success depends on the alignment of each factor (people, work, structure and culture) to one another.
The tighter they fit the greater congruence and higher performance is achieved. Sharp-image Diagnosis model This model is a combination of open system and political frame, which aims at a border view of the organization initially but later focus on core problems and challenges (Harrison and Shirom 1999). Sharp-image diagnosis model uses 3 steps to evaluate: 1. Gather data to identify problems 2. Uses theoretical models targeted to specific problems 3. Development of a diagnostic model to identify the root causes of problems Weakness of this model has been The lack of predetermined tools to carry out the organizational diagnosis – Need for highly experienced practitioners to develop customised diagnosis models The strengths of this model has been – The customised diagnosis models targeted at specific problems – Deals with high levels of feedback to managers to understand the diagnostic results. Main Similarities All three, the six box model, sharp-image diagnosis and the congruence model are based on action research models. Action research involves data collection, feedback of data to management and planing for change based of data.
These models focus on inefficiencies to bring about change in those areas, will bring benefits the organization. Apply Weisbord’s Six Box Model to “Lentil as Anything” Marvin Weisbord identified a process with six steps to assist business to diagnosis its business operations. These steps identified by him are purpose, leadership, reward, structure, relationships and helpful mechanisms. These steps were introduced to assist organizations to improve their internal processes. “Lentil as Anything” and ordinary business with an extraordinary mission, which as has been giving a new meaning to pricing of meals.
The concept that Lentils as Anything functions under is “No Pricing”, here customers can decide what they think their meals valve or how much they can afford to pay. “Lentil as Anything” first started with two employees and in one location but now after 8 years it has over 100 staff and operates in 4 locations in Melbourne. Its purpose being to serve its customers with food wether they can afford or not as become a reality. The next step in the model is structure. Structure is where an organization splits workloads between staff members, as every member cannot do all types of work.
Everyone in the organization has to know and understand what there are required to do and what they are suppose to do. If staff does not know what is expected form them, there would chose and no work would be done efficiently. “Lentil as Anything” has mainly 3 departments, which administration dept, front of house and back of house. All of them have specific jobs at Lentils. Admin dept coordinates the purchases, supervision and other admin duties. While the back of house is responsible for preparing quality meals and the front of house is responsible for delivering quality customer service and maintaining the restaurant floor.
Another step in this model is rewards. Rewards systems include bonuses, vacation time, awards, promotions and recognition. According to Michael le Boeuf, “you get more of the Behaviour you reward’. If business wants to achieve success and have satisfied employees there should be a reward system in place. In “Lentils and Anything” the reward system as been in the way of promotions to employees. Which as kept most of the staff happy and content with the recognition give to their hard work? The next step in the model is leadership.
According to Weisbord, Leadership’s tasks are to set goals, scan the environments for opportunities and keep performance to defined objectives. Lentil as Anything has a laid back leadership style. This fits this environment as there are no rule and special guide line that staff as to follow at Lentils. Shanaka Fernando has being able to get his staff to carry out his vision successfully. The former Secretary of State, Colin Powell once said, “…the essence of leadership is the willingness to make the tough, unambiguous choices that will have an impact of the fate of the organization. Another step of the model is relationships. This one of the important factor in an organization, this allows management to solve conflicts between top management and staff. At Lentil, even though the relationship between the managers and other staff is good there are some thinks that need to improve. That is from the side of the founder Shanaka, who does not like to take others opinion and advice when making decisions. This has lead to managers leaving the organization. The last element of this model is helpful mechanisms.
Helpful mechanisms refer to the policies, programs, meetings, systems, and committees. Those facilitate concerted efforts to meet goals. They include budget systems and planning and control mechanisms. At Lentil as Anything management meeting are rare and there has not been any staff meeting held to discuss any sought of issues. And also there are no mechanisms for employee feedback but there is strong informal grapevine is used to communicate issues. Lentils do not provide any training for its employees, it basically fits in the staff where work need to be done. Conclusion
While six box model uses a simple and straightforward method and predefined models look at the organizational strategy, structure, rewards, leadership, relationships and helpful mechanisms. The sharp-image diagnosis model uses customised model to depending on the problem. While the congruence model considers data from internal and external of the organization, strategies employed product and services (output) and how the people of the organization are organised to convert the inputs into outputs. Despite their differences these models derive from action research.
When applying the organizational diagnosis model to Lentil as Anything, the best and easy model was Weisbord’s Six Box theory. This model allowed to see the inefficiencies that were at every level of the organization. Now it’s up to the Lentil as Anything management to implement the necessary changes where the inefficiencies were highlighted. References: Kotelnikov,V. (2001), “Effective Reward Systems. ” E-coach. 19 December 2010 Powell, C. (2001) “18 Lessons for Leaders. ” 1000 advices. 19 December 2010 Weisbord, M. (2005-2008) “Six Boxes. Proven Models. 19 December 2010. Harrison, M. I. (1987). Diagnosing organizations: Methods, models, and processes. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Nadler, D. A. & Tushman, M. L. (1980). A model for diagnosing organizational behavior. Organizational Dynamics, French, W. , & Bell, C. (1999). Organization development: Behavioural science interventions for organization improvement. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Harrison, M. I. & Shirom, A. (1998) Organizational Diagnosis and Assessment: Bridging Theory and Practice, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

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