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Burke-Litwin Causal Model- Industrial Services of America

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In this segment of our ongoing case, you will be identifying key transformation or throughput processes and looking at the relationships between them. To do this you will be drawing on the Burke-Litwin Causal Model.

The Burke-Litwin is a complicated model and is, perhaps, too big for an analysis of this size. For this reason, you are going to limit your analysis to those transactional variables identified.

The seven transactional variables are:
â?¢ Structure (Burke-Litwin describes structure as the arrangement of the functions, people responsibilities, authorities, communication and interactions in a way that supports the organization's mission, goals and strategy. Identify the organizational structure of Industrial Services of America, Inc. and comment on how well it fits - or not - with its strategy. Be sure to specify the structure by type: matrix, team based, functional or product departmentalization, organic/mechanistic, etc..)
â?¢ Tasks and Skills (Unique or core competencies)
â?¢ Management practices (e.g. participative or centralized decision making)
â?¢ Systems and Policies (information systems, financial, marketing, production, human resources, etc.)
â?¢ Work unit climate
â?¢ Motivation
â?¢ Individual needs and goals

Individual and Organizational Performance is influenced by the Motivation factor. And, the Motivation factor interacts with three factors: Task and Skills, Individual Needs and Values, and Work Unit Climate. It also shows other interactions.

Research Industrial Services of America, Inc. on its throughput variables. This may take some digging, since companies do not usually provide this inside information liberally. You may have to make some inferences.

ASSIGNMENT:
Make a Case that the amount of Motivation in the chosen company has a direct effect on the Performance. You need to show that the Motivation in the company is a primary factor in generating this performance. In order to make this case, you need to generate some backing evidence and data.

In order to make your case you need to:
1. Identify and briefly discuss each of the throughput variables in the company.
2. Explain how these variables interact.
3. Determine how these interactions generate the amount of Motivation in the company.
4. Make a Case for your proposition on how Motivation affects the companyâ??s Performance.

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Solution Preview

A more effectively formatted solution is attached.

-Benjamin

Introduction
Much academic effort focuses on assessing business organizations as open systems?akin to living organisms. Like living organisms, business organizations operate in, and are affected by, the aggregate environment. For all the research on this relationship, it can miss the key element of any organization?it?s internal processes or throughput. Without effective motivation operating efficient transformational processes, any organization will wither and die?regardless of how effective the strategy might be. The internal workings of an organization are comprised of two parts? the processes themselves and the motivation that powers those processes.
Of the two, motivation has vastly more profound impact on the performance of the organization. US Army General George Patton is credited with a quote during World War Two that summarizes perfectly: ?A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan applied ten minutes later.? As we?ll see looking into Industrial Services of America (ISA) as case study?motivation comprises the critical consideration to an organization?s performance.

Burke-Litwin Model
The Burke-Litwin Model addresses an organization as a whole assuming the organization operates in an open system. That is, the organization is affected by its environment on both sides of the throughput?both input and output. This makes for a very comprehensive model, but also adds considerable complexity. For the purposes of this case study, only the internal factors? that Burke and Litwin term ?transactional factors? are considered. These are illustrated in Figure 1, and comprise the internal value-adding processes of any organization. While the organization of the elements in Figure 1 is not chronological or in priority order, the directionality
of the arrow is noteworthy. For example, ?Work unit climate? affects ?Motivation? but ?Motivation? also affects ?Work unit climate.? Because all of these arrow are bi-directional,
any one element leverages effects on all other elements.

Figure 1: Burke-Litwin Model Transactional Factors (Burke, Litwin, 1992. Pg. 532)
Industrial Services of America Organizational Structure
The company?s organizational structure is based on its two primary product segments?
waste management and recycling operations. These segments are subdivided into four divisions:
recycling, alloys, logistics, and WESSCO, (ISA, nd, A). These are a divisional structure
concerned with placing various skills and abilities as they are needed across the ...

Solution Summary

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