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UUM COB. A Causal Model of Organizational Performance & Change (Burke & Litwin Model). By Suhel Khan. Introduction. B-L model suggests linkages that hypothesize how performance is affected by internal and external factors .

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A Causal Model

of Organizational Performance & Change

(Burke & Litwin Model)


Suhel Khan

  • B-L model suggests linkages that hypothesize how performance is affected by internal and external factors.
  • It provides a framework to assess organizational & environmental dimensions that are keys to successful change and how these dimensions should be linked causally to achieve a change in performance.
  • The causal model links what could be understood from practice to what is known from research and theory.
  • Burke-Litwin believe environmental factors to be the most important driver for change. Indeed, most change can be traced back to external drivers for change.

(Burke & Litwin,1992)



  • The model not only discusses how different dimensions link with each other but also discusses how external environment affects the different dimensions in organization.
  • The model focuses on providing a guide for both organizational diagnosis and planned, managed organization change, one that clearly shows cause-and-effect relationships

(Burke & Litwin,1992)


The model revolves around 12 organizational dimensions

  • External environment
  • Mission and strategy
  • Leadership
  • Organizational culture
  • Structure
  • Management practices
  • Systems
  • Work unit climate
  • Task and individual skills
  • Individual needs and values
  • Motivation
  • Individual and organizational performance

(Burke & Litwin,1992)


Burke-Litwin: Understanding Drivers for Change

  • The Burke-Litwin model
  • shows the various drivers of change and ranks them in terms of importance.
  • The model is expressed diagrammatically, with the most important factors featuring at the top. The lower layers become gradually less important.
  • The model argues that all of the factors are integrated (to greater or lesser degrees). Therefore, a change in one will eventually affect all other factors.
  • The model also distinguishes between transformational and transactional organizational dynamics in organizations.
  • Transformational dynamics: the top half of the model with the performance variable.
  • Transactional dynamics: the bottom half of the model.

(Burke & Litwin,1992)