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Analysing an organisation using Nadler and Tushman’s model Report

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The main responsibility of the management is to ensure smooth operations of a firm. In addition, the management must ensure that the goals being pursued by the organisation are attained. Essentially, the goals of the organisation can only be reached when the inputs are transformed into the final products and services (Burke 97).

In other words, the major function of the management is to ensure that they put in place strategies that will ensure effective transformation of the organisation’s inputs into the desired outputs. In addition, the management must also be efficient in all other operations related to the company’s functioning (Burke 97).

However, managing the organisation effectively has remained a challenge for the most of managers. Understanding the dynamics occurring within the organisation including the group and individual behaviours, changing processes as well as the relationships that exist between the processes is complex (Stacey 207).

Despite the complexity of these processes, the changes occurring within the company must be managed. Inevitably, the organisation’s goals will be achieved through the efforts of all workers whether in groups or individually by applying the available technologies (Stacey 207). Therefore, taking cognisance of the changing processes that occur within the workforce as well as other processes is critical to the roles of the management.

Effective changes require a greater understanding of the tools as well as theoretical framework that tend to explain the transformation processes in a company (Burke 97). One of such tools examples could be called the Nadler and Tushman’s analogical representation of change. Consequently, this paper aims at examining the organisation’s change management processes through the application of Nadler and Tushman’s congruence model taking the case of Toyota.

First, the paper will examine Toyota through the application of Nadler & Tushman’s congruence model categorising the key components or subsystems of the firm including the environment, strategy, tasks, formal system, and key individuals. Moreover, the paper will focus on the desired output of the firm and whether the outputs have been attained.

Secondly, the paper will clarify whether the firm’s strategies are in accordance with the environmental inputs. In this regard, there will be provided careful examination of the transformation process taking into consideration the company’s key tasks, formal and informal organisations as well as key individuals.

Also, it will evaluate whether these components are aligned to the organisation’s strategy and how they interact to produce the output. Third, the paper will tend to identify issues that the company should address at the organisational, individual, and group levels. Finally, the paper will aim at clarifying resources that can be applied by the company to help in understanding of difficult aspects of the corporation.

The congruence model

The congruence model, as depicted by Nadler and Tushman, asserts that an organisation is a system that applies inputs drawn from both internal and external environment and convert them into useful components or outputs through sub-systems that are mutually dependent (Burke 297). The organisation is capable of converting inputs into outputs using components that include people and work. In addition, the model takes into consideration the interwoven characteristics of the formal and informal organisations (Nadler and Tushman 196).

In essence, the congruence model of change brings out the processes that occur in an organisation during the transformation period. The model also indicates the way sub-systems including formal and informal organisations, work and people interrelate during the transformation period (Nadler and Tushman 196).

The model portrays a company as an open arrangement in which both the internal and external environments influence the subsystems to produce an output. The organisation utilizes inputs that are drawn from sources considered both internally and externally. The organisation’s sources of inputs include strategy, environment as well as the resources (Nadler and Tushman 196).

It is important to note that the inputs are changed into useful final product, for example, actions and conduct. The transformation process is driven by the organisation’s subsystems like work, prescribed and un-prescribed organisations and people.

According to Nadler and Tushman, the work sub-system cover the actions performed by the firm’s employees on a daily basis (195). On the other hand, people comprise the subsystem that represents the organisation’s capabilities as well as the skills possessed by the employees. In addition, people or key individuals represent the organisation’s expected goals and its formation background (Burke 297).

Evidently, the formal parts of the subsystem are the guiding principles: strategies, design, rules, and course of action that would enable the firm to achieve the set goals. The informal subsystem part of the organisation is comprised of cultural aspects, power structure, behaviours as well as other subjective aspects that are likely to change over time. According to the model, organisation’s change can only be successful when all these subsystems or components work in a coordinated manner (Nadler and Tushman 196).

The key components or subsystems of the firm

Viewed from the perspective of the model, the organisation possesses important components producing the required behavioural patterns that enhance the increased performance. These elements are categorised as inputs or outputs. In fact, while analysing the subsystems, it is critical to understand the various inputs, the outputs as well as the change process itself (Nadler and Tushman 197).

In other words, how the inputs interact through the transformation process to produce the outputs. It is worth noting that Inputs are the requirements that must be factored in for the organisation to run smoothly (Tushman and Romanelli 1145). Moreover, inputs have to be in existence for the organisation to operate. Further, inputs are of different types each providing advantages to the company.

The environment

The environment is the first key input of the organisation. It encompasses all other factors that are found outside the company (Tushman and Romanelli 1145). In fact, the organisation exists within a larger environment, which in effect influences the firm’s operations.

Environmental factors include people, social forces as well as the influences of other organisations. Specifically, the market forces or the forces of demand, the supply chain, economic and political forces influence Toyota’s operations. The other environmental factors cover labor or employment demands, regulatory entities in addition to high competition coming from similar firms.

Burke asserts that the environmental inputs contain some characteristics that can easily impact on the organisation (334). The first characteristic of the environmental inputs is that it exerts demand pressure on the company. For instance, the pressure from the environment may require the organisation to produce a particular product with specified quality or quantity. In other words, the environment determines the quality, quantity, and the design of the potential firm’s products.

The second characteristic of the environment is that it puts the limit to the firm’s operations (Burke 336). For example, the government regulations may require the firm to produce a specified quantity, quality and type of the products. So, the environmental forces have the capability of exerting constraints on the firm’s activities, which may range from the limited resources such as capital to the government regulations (Tushman and Romanelli 1145).

The third environmental trait is the opportunities made available to the organisation. In fact, the environment provides the organisation with many opportunities which could be considered fundamental contributor to the firm’s continuity, progress, and success.

Organisations that exploit the opportunities provided by the environment normally succeed (Brown and Eisenhart 8). Essentially, it is critical for the organisation to understand and put into consideration various environmental factors and to establish the way these features generate demand, limitations, and prospects, acting either separately or in collection.

The strategy

Strategy is the combination of all decisions made by the firm or the way the firm’s resources are organised to attain a particular output. Strategy, so to say, involves how the firm organises its resources against the environmental characteristics that include demand, constraints, and opportunities. In addition, the environmental characteristics must be arranged within the context of the firm’s history.

Strategy also involves aligning the resources of the firm with the environment or making the decision on the kind of business the organisation is involved in (Nadler and Tushman 197).

Therefore, examining the firm’s capabilities, strengths and weaknesses according to the environmental characteristics results into the kind of strategy the firm should adopt in pursuit of its goals or expected output. In most cases, Toyota’s strategies are consciously decided on. However, the firm’s history may also inform the kind of strategy that should be adopted (Stacey 303).

To minimise the gaps existing between the purported strategy and that being practiced, Toyota identifies various aspects of the strategy. First, the management must identify the core mission of the organistion and align the strategies according to the core mission (Brown and Eisenhart 11). In other words, the strategies must be established in terms of the way the company has defined its fundamental role within the wider environmental system.

For instance, the core mission of the organisation includes the manner in which the market should be served, the kind of services or products to be provided as well as the way the firm competes in the market. Second, the strategies contain some steps or sub-plans on how the firm will attain the outcome of its core mission. Finally, the strategies presuppose particular objectives on how to reach the specified outcome or performance objectives (Tushman and Romanelli 1146).

According to the model, strategies are significant inputs to the organisation. In one hand, strategy establishes the kind of tasks the firm should perform. On the other hand, strategic decisions determine the organisation’s productivity. It could be mentioned that strategy establishes the way the business acts in response to its essential efforts. The firm’s strategic decisions establish the type of action it should take as well as describing its outputs (Tushman and Romanelli 1146).

The tasks

Certain tasks must be put in place for the formulated strategies to be successful. Tasks are the kind of jobs that must be performed for the strategies to realise the desired outcomes. Most of these tasks are the organisation’s competencies or the success key factors that must be implemented by the company to realise the desired outcomes (Nadler and Tushman 197).

Toyota’s tasks can be defined discretely using the position of an individual or the duties of an individual. Conversely, tasks of the firm can also be described by the functions the department performs during the transformation process such as the marketing and production departments.

The formal systems

The formal systems involve the prescribed framework that the company’s executive puts in place to generate the preferred results. The formal systems can be considered the outcomes of the tasks and the strategies that the organisation has put in place.

The tasks and strategies are identified, described and collected to come up with a coherent correlation that becomes the basics of the formal organisation. In other words, it is from the strategies and tasks that the organisation’s structures are formed (Brown and Eisenhart 13). Consequently, the tasks determine the roles, divisions, departments, and the responsibilities that in effect determine the organisation’s chart.

The formal system is critical in the efficiency of the firm’s performance. Essentially, the formal systems are the organis’sation mechanisms that are significant for the attainment of the goals of the tasks. In addition, the formal systems channel the efforts of the employees towards the organisation’s goals (Brown and Eisenhart 13). Formal structure is a very important component of the firm, particularly where hierarchical power is needed to fulfill changes in the organisation.

The informal structure and systems

The informal structure and systems arise from uncertainties that occur during the implementation of the formal structures (Stacey 306). For instance, during the implementation of tasks to attain the formulated strategies, friendly relations between individuals enhance communication and understanding.

The eased communication enables the individuals and groups to provide the necessary support as well as adapt to procedures that would enable increased productivity. In most cases, the informal system touches the organisation’s culture, the values of individuals and the organisation, their beliefs and managerial style (Stacey 306).

The key individuals

The key individuals are people within the organisation assigned to perform defined tasks. The key individuals include employees, executives as well as other stakeholders. The key individuals perform the defined tasks within the organisation’s formal structures. In addition, the key individuals utilize their capabilities, competencies together with skills to perform the defined tasks (Brown and Eisenhart 13).

Managers should understand key individuals at personal level to have knowledge on how changes could be effected. In fact, some key individuals are important for the success of the organisation. For instance, supervisors or leaders are of crucial importance in the attainment of the company’s mission (Brown and Eisenhart 13). However, people with technical skills or special competencies are considered crucial in the attainment of the company’s objectives.

The desired output of the firm

The desired output covers the products and services that the firm offers to the consumers or that the firm applies to meet other objectives (Nadler and Tushman 199). The capabilities of satisfying the stakeholders, the attainment of growth and development as well as the ability to satisfy the customers are also the desired outputs.

The outputs of the firm are quantified in terms of returns on investments, quantity produced and the number of customers served. The output is the form of feedback the firm uses to update its history, check whether its resources are utilized effectively, define its strategy and determine the nature of transformation. In addition, the firm uses the output to provide the direction in which the transformation of its operation and processes will be held (Nadler and Tushman 199).

Whether the firm’s strategies are in line with the environmental inputs

Over the years, the company has been successful as indicated by the ability to generate the desired outcomes. The company’s products and services satisfy the customers and other stakeholders. The company has also been able to generate returns to the shareholders. It can be noted that the success of the output indicates how the firm’s strategies have been successful in the past.

However, the success also indicates how promptly the company corresponds to the needs of the environment and how effectively the inputs are converted into output. To examine how the firm’s strategies are aligned to the environmental inputs, it is important to understand the transformation processes within the firm.

The firm’s transformation processes

The transformation process entails changing the firm’s inputs into outputs, or how the firms strategies are implemented to produce the desired outcomes. In case of Toyota, the inputs are transformed through its major components or systems. As indicated in the task component, the firm’s tasks or the work processes are arranged in such a way that they do not overlap.

Each department and individual have defined tasks that complement each other. The work processes also allow effortless flow of production procedures from the manufacturing stage to the assembly stage. In the task design, factors such as cost advantages are also taken into consideration.

In addition, the company’s employees are individuals with skills and capabilities. So, the company applies to come up with products that satisfy the customers. While recruiting, the company considers factors such as individual demographics, expectations, background and the required knowledge and competencies. The factors mentioned above are critical in building a competent staff that ensures the company’s goals are achieved.

Moreover, the company’s short vertical and long horizontal structures increase managerial efficiency in supervision. Furthermore, the managerial procedures enable individuals to perform their tasks in an effective manner. In fact, formal arrangement that includes the firm’s structural alignment, job design, work environment, control and coordination encourages fruitful production of the desired output.

In spite of the effective formal arrangement of the firm, the individuals’ culture, perceptions as well as values are enhanced. The organisation’s management takes into account the cultural diversity among the employees and incorporates it into a wider corporate culture. The individuals’ aspirations are also aligned with the organisation’s desires and objectives. Thus, the informal arrangements components work together with other components to turn the strategies into the desired outcomes.


The organisation should be perceived as a set of systems like key individuals, formal and informal systems, the tasks and the strategies that act together to produce the outcome.

Moreover, the environment, resources and the firm’s history form the major inputs that are converted through the interactions of the systems into the desired results. In addition, all the systems must comply with the organisation’s inputs to produce the desired results. According to the analysis, Toyota has no issues that should be addressed at the organisational, individual, and group levels.

Works Cited

Brown, Shona and K. Eisenhart. “The art of continuous change: Linking complexity theory and time paced evolution in relentlessly shifting organizations.” Administrative Science Quarterly, 42.1 (2007): 1–34. Print.

Burke, Warner. Organizational change: Theory and practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2002. Print.

Nadler, David and M. Tushman. “Organizational frame bending: Principles for managing reorientation.” Academy of Management Executive, 3.3 (2001): 194–204. Print.

Stacey, Ralph. Strategic management of organisational dynamics: The challenge of complexity. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2003. Print.

Tushman, Michael and E. Romanelli. “Organizational transformation as punctuated equilibrium: An empirical test.” Academy of Management Journal, 56.9 (2004): 1141–1166. Print.

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