Quinn and Rohrbaugh Model

While Quinn and Rohrbaugh (1983) agreed with the fact that effectiveness or performance is a core element that calls for consideration in organizational analysis, they are of the opinion that the definitions of the factors contributory to effectiveness bring about confusion rather than clarity in understanding the underlying principles of effectiveness. This has in effect hampered the construct of a simple organizational model that will easily predict performance. This paper is an effort on the part of the authors to resolve this issue.

In developing simple ‘effectiveness construct’, three underlying organizational domains are necessary – focus, structure and means-ends (Quinn and Rohrbaugh, 1983). Focus emphasizes on the interplay of forces between internal well-being of employees and external robustness of the organization itself, structure is a function of the interplay between maintaining stability and opting for flexibility and the means-ends domain describes what is emphasized as means and ends within the organization setting.

This simplification brings about the definition of four models – human relations model, open system model, rational goal model and internal process model. A critical look at this outcome of this paper also suggests that the underlying principle behind model development is to check out what organization stands for. This talks about the statements of visions, guiding principles and regulations, operating rules and so on. In summary, this is akin to MacIntosh and MacLean’s (1999) deep structures. The ‘Deep Structures’ – the Guiding Light for Developing Simple Organizational Models

The papers reviewed in this work show an almost consistent view across board. Though the time interval of the papers ps through a period of over a decade, the views presented, when critically examined, display a level of consistency that goes beyond mere coincidence. Consequently, it can be posited that one major thing that needs be considered in developing simple operating models within the complex outlook of organizations is to consider the deep structures as defined by MacIntosh and MacLean (1999).


Anderson, P. , Meyer, A. , Eisenhardt, K. , Carley, K. and Pettigrew, A. (1999). Introduction to the Special Issue: Applications of Complexity Theory to Organization Science. Organization Science, 10(3), 233-236 Brown, S. L. and Eisenhardt, K. M. (1998). The art of continuous change: Linking complexity theory and time-paced evolution in relentlessly shifting organizations. Administrative Science Quarterly. 42:1-34 Kauffmann, S. A. (1993). The origins of order; self-organization and selection in evolution.

In R. , MacIntosh and MacLean, D. (1999). Conditioned Emergence: A dissipative structures approach to transformation. Strategic Management Journal. 20:297-316 MacIntosh, R. and MacLean, D. (1999). Conditioned Emergence: A dissipative structures approach to transformation. Strategic Management Journal. 20:297-316 McKelvey, B. (1999). Avoiding complexity catastrophe in co-evolutionary pockets: Strategies for rugged landscapes. Organization Science, 10(3), 294-321 Pregogine I, and Stengers, I (1984).

Order out of chaos; man’s new dialogue with nature. In R. , MacIntosh and MacLean, D. (1999). Conditioned Emergence: A dissipative structures approach to transformation. Strategic Management Journal. 20:297-316 Quinn, R. E. and Rohrbaugh, J. (1983). A spatial model of effectiveness criteria: Towards a competing values approach to organizational analysis. Management Science, 29(3), 363- 377. Williamson, O. E. (1979). Transaction-cost economics: The governance of contractual relations, Journal of Law and Economics, 22(2), 233-261

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