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Diagnostic surveys can be described as ways that are used to look into organizations’ functionalities to evaluate them to find out how they work and where they can be corrected to come up with the best ways of doing business within the organization. Most organizations have a systematic way of working under which communication within the organization happens. The staff members have created a working relationship that brings about monotony within the organization. This aspect defines what most organizations imply when they state, ‘This is how we do it.’ Routine is usually monotonous, thus bringing repetitive results without any room for improvement. Therefore, in their pursuit for better results, the organization will try to find out where to improve and hence the need for organizational diagnosis as a way of pointing out where there is any need for change together with the specific change as addressed by various theories such as the Burke- Litwin model.
Diagnostic surveys are usually done in organizations as a way of evaluating the different functions that might need or not need any change in the end. Different models employ different approaches that the developers of the models believe they can attain the desired results. At the same time, organizations employ different approaches towards diagnosis with some organizations taking the self-diagnosis approach while others contract consultants to do it for them (Alderfer, 1980, p. 60). There are different stages involved during diagnosis. They include the entry stage, data collection stage, and the feedback stage. The entry stage determines the unit factors of the organization that will be used to do the diagnostic. It identifies the persons, groups, or departments that will be used to find the benchmark in terms of the organization’s performance.
The second stage is data collection. Data collection involves collecting information that can be analyzed to obtain meaningful findings that can be relayed to the client as feedback. Falletta (2008) states, “In this instance, diagnosis should be done by an outsider who will strive to understand how the organization works and do a thorough analysis without bias (p. 16). The third phase of diagnosis is the feedback stage where the client is given the feedback of the whole process. At this stage, the client is handed the findings from the consultant who will have come up with an opinion about the organization. As stated above, change interventions are meant to rejuvenate the organization in the way it works to make it achieve more objectives than before. In the business world, change interventions are meant to come up with operational methods that will make the business more competitive to survive in the world of competition. Diagnosis is meant to bring about change. However, it should not be taken as planned change because all it strives to do is to take a critical look at how the organization is made up to point out the areas that can be improved for the best of the organization.
The Burke-Litwin model has been hailed as one of the greatest diagnostic models because it holistically approaches organizational diagnostics by trying to incorporate all angles that can be found in an organization’s existence. It does not follow a narrow path towards this outcome but rather a comprehensive view of all elements that make up the organization. The Burke-Litwin model can be described as one that uses data mostly from the human experiences of the organization. The model lays out the factors that affect the individual and the organization. The factors are defined as the external environment (Falletta, 2008, p. 18). The external environment constitutes an important factor to consider when doing diagnostic because such an environment is dynamic in a way that forces the organization to change for its survival. Burke-Litwin model stands out because it uses organizational variables made up of 12 constructs to come up with a platform for evaluation.
This makes it a very comprehensive model for this matter. The model goes further to differentiate what makes up the organizational culture and organizational climate. The organizational culture is the established way on which the organization can be uniquely identified to be operating (Weiner, 1981, p. 454). On the other hand, the organizational climate is the day-to-day interpersonal relationship within the organization. This link tends to influence the way people in the organization make their decisions. It also creates a ground for perception from both within and without the organization. As stated above, the external variables make up the input into the organization. From this, the organization will react. The reaction can be considered as the output. Therefore, the Burke-Litwin model evaluates the organization by coming up with possible outcomes that can be generated from the environment. The model stands out because it derives its approach from previous models that precede it together with other empirical studies that have been conducted before.
Diagnostic models have been developed as a way of approaching change through a predictable scientific and a dependable way. Most models such as the Burke-Litwin model provide an incisive approach to diagnosing the organization by evaluating different components that affect the internal and external environment.
Alderfer, C. (1980). The Methodology of Organizational Diagnosis. Professional Psychology, 11(3), 459-468.
Falletta, S. (2008). Organizational Diagnostic Models: A Review & Synthesis. Leaders Sphere, 1(1), 1-48.
Weiner, N. (1981). A Model of Corporate Performance as a Function of Environmental, Organizational & Leadership Influences. Academy of Management Journal, 24(1), 453-470.