“Change is hard because people overestimate the value of what they have and underestimate the value of what they may gain by giving that up.”
The Burke-Litwin Model
What is it?
According to Burke (2011), The Burke-Litwin Model was the result of some studies on organizational climate conducted by George Litwin and others in the 1960s. Around the 1980s was the time when the model started to develop because Burke and Litwin started to work with some companies that were going through some changes, the worked with Citibank at first and then with the British Airways.
The model is composed of 12 boxes that are made of variables that they believe are the most important variables for an organization. This model is divided in top and bottom half. The top half is known for concentrating on things that happen on the external environment and is made of 5 boxes which are external environment, mission and strategy, individual and organizational performance, organization culture, and in the center is the Leadership box. The bottom half is known for focusing on the internal environment made of 8 boxes which are managements practices, structure, task requirements and individual skills/abilities, individual and organizational performance, individual needs and values, systems, and in the center will be two boxes, work unit climate, and motivation.
Why is it important?
The Burke-Litwin Model is important because it focuses on both internal and external environments making it easier to find how performance is being affected by those two factors. The external environment, the top half of the model, is also referred as the transformational factor by the fact that any changes that occur in those boxes are normally caused by external factors and ends up affecting some change on the behavior of organization’s members. This half is taken care of leaders within the company, like CEOs, because they are the ones following the changes on the external environment to keep the company going with those changes. It is also important to know that this top half is more about the culture within the organization. According to Burke (2011), transformational leaders are the ones that work on the top half of the box because they are known for never leaving things the way they found it, they make a difference on things they work with.
The bottom half is referred as the transactional factor. The transactional factor is focused on day-by-day activities, like rewards and status quo, focusing on the organization’s internal environment. This half is used the most by managers, because they are the ones that are watching what is going on in the organization, how employees are performing and the climate within the organization. It is also important to know that keeping employees motivated is what keeps the organization going. The managers are always focusing on improvements and quality, while the leaders are focusing on the whole system.
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