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MGMT 604- Week 4 Discussion – Diagnostic Models

Aug 24, 2023

Week 4 Discussion – Diagnostic Models

Discussion Question(s) for Response: What are the major diagnostic models and techniques used in OD programs? How are these models used to identify system parameters and recognize, in turn, the symptoms, problems, and causes that result in ineffective organizations?

Week 4 Discussion – Diagnostic Models


The organizational diagnosis refers to the procedural evaluation of systems within an organization or company to understand key causes of failure within the organization’s environment. It also involves providing recommendations to remedy the issues within the company’s environment. Different models of organizational diagnosis have been derived to act as templates by which HRM practitioners performing OD may employ to break down the organization into basic components and visualize how they are synchronized together. They may then choose to use either model over the other based on the wants, needs, and goals they aim to achieve. An organizational diagnosis is a tool for promoting organizational development and sustainability by highlighting key discrepancies within the system and providing practical recommendations to remedy them. Different diagnosis models have thus been developed to act as templates for performing organizational diagnoses from which HRM practitioners performing OD may choose. The choice of the OD model will be dependent on the needs of the company (Demo et al. 2022, p.107). Nonetheless, a good OD model should first Offer a standard of performance against which the organization should gauge itself. Secondly Succinctly outline the type of information necessary to perform OD. Thirdly Facilitate comparison of organizational performance against an ideal standard and offer specific recommendations for improvement.

A few examples of such models are stated below-

The balanced scorecard OD model.

This model emphasizes the customer perspective, internal business processes, learning and growth, and financials as the key metrics for evaluation systems performance. This achieves a balanced representation of both financial and operational measures ensuring the analysis is comprehensive and unbiased. The model thus through critical analysis of the perspectives enables management to be customer-oriented, innovate, improve quality, focus on teamwork, shorten response time, and create value for shareholders. It also prevents confusion created by having too many metrics and instead gives focus to only the critical components of the business.

The Benchmarking OD model.

This model is preferred for the service industry since it allows a comparative evaluation of competitors within the industry. This model thus aims more at achieving and sustaining a competitive edge over the industry. This type of model allows discretion on what metrics the diagnosis may seek to evaluate including but not limited to, cost per unit time, quality, customer satisfaction, market share, revenue, etc. Based on the analysis the company can then identify which areas it needs to improve on to gain a competitive edge.

Lewin’s force field Analysis model.

This OD model is used to evaluate forces for and against the decisions. It thus focuses on a weighted balance of driving forces against restraining forces to inform how to transform from the current state to the desired state. Driving forces push for change while restraining forces act as a barrier to change (Zaffar, Naeem & Jamal, 2018, p.10). Once these are defined, the problem is thus identified and strategies are made to shift the equilibrium to the desired state. This is often done by employing strategies to strengthen and multiply driving forces and reduce the impact of restraining/opposing forces to get to the desired state.

Leavitt’s model.

This model focuses on four variables to analyze systems within the organization. These are; structural variables such as command hierarchies and communication systems, technological variables such as equipment and machinery, task variables, and human variables. Identifying and remedying gaps within each of these variables allows for complete optimization of the system and thus optimal organizational performance. This model also assumes that the variables are counterintuitive and thus change in one of the variables affects other variables as well that may or may not be desirable.

Other Organizational diagnosis models include the Quality management OD model, the knowledge management OD model, the learning organization OD model, and the Outcome-based evaluation model.


Demo, G., Costa, A. C. R., Coura, K. V., Oliveira, Á. D. F., & Gomide Júnior, S. (2022). Resilience at Work: Research Itineraries, a Critical Review of Measures, and a Proposal for Measurement of the Construct for Organizational Diagnosis. Assessing Organizational Behaviors, 107-124. 

Zaffar, J., Naeem, M., & Jamal, W. (2018). Organizational diagnosis using Weisbord model: a comparative study of the health sector in Peshawar. GMJACS8(1), 10-10. 

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