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Target Corporation: Identify Key Throughput Processes
The transformation of every organization perceives to be drawn from various factors. These factors are defined as internal, referring to the organizational change or management systems, and external representing the environmental setting.
However, the process of transformation rationalizes the performance and efficiency of all organizational components as “throughput” or measurement that shapes the capabilities within an organization.
In ‘Causal Model of Organizational Performance and Change’ by Warner W. Burke and George H. Litwin (1992) rationalizes the “integration” of internal and external factors affecting the transformation processes in an organization. Thus, the organizational theories on Burke and Litwin Model will be discussed in this paper, correlating with the organizational life of Target Corporation.
Defining Burke and Litwin Model
The Burke and Litwin Model defined the integration of a variety of factors that measures the understanding how organizations can survive difficulties, in which the Burke and Litwin Model disputes on the “definite and consistent” underlying relationship on the categories of situation in an organization.
Moreover, Burke and Litwin differentiate “transformational factors” as the mission and strategy, leadership and organizational culture. While “transactional factors” are the structure, management practices, system policies, work unit climate, task and individual skills, motivation and individual needs and values (Burke & Litwin, 1992).
In addition, the situation or condition being confronted by an organization [basically in an “adverse environment”] enables “throughput” as an adaptable system or method that creates the “momentum” for achieving output and input. It may be described, the momentum could achieve an opportunity for the organization to “swing” or carry out its ventures into short and long term implementation, engaging measured and predicted investments, and execute strategic diversification plans.
Identifying key throughput processes
In relation with Salvatore V. Falletta’s (2005) ‘Organizational Diagnostic Models: A Review and Synthesis’, the presentation of various organizational theories has analyzed the performance of Target Corporation, wherein we may further examine the indicative results using the applicability of Burke and Litwin Model.
As mentioned above, the “transformational factors” differentiates the “transactional factors” as the rationality of key throughput variables, such as (1) structure, (2) management practices, (3) system policies, (4) work unit climate, (5) task and individual skills, (5) motivation, and (7) individual needs and values.
It may be noted in Burke-Litwin Model that organizational structure assimilates the fundamental system of an organization to make functional the operating components, like the workforces, capital budget and other activities integral to the organizational life.
This structural function can be exemplified by Target Corporation’s re-structuring of capabilities inside and outside of its organization, in which re-structuring its resources re-aligns to the targeted business value, types of consumers, market setting and sector of industry. To cite, Target Corporation’s enabling of “structured capabilities” has been achieved by diversifying the Dayton Company from a small retailer to a retail-wholesaler, gaining flexibility in discount purchasing as its competitive framework in the marketplace (Target Corporation, 2007). Another indication of Target Corporation’s capability to “swing the momentum” of its structural changes can be demonstrated by the diversity of workforce and combined stakeholders ventures that is a cornerstone of the business culture and corporate character.
Management practices and system policies
It may be deduced that management practices and system policies are “symbiotic elements” and causal to manage organizational change. Thus, Burke-Litwin Model emphasizes the management-centered and operational-focused leadership that consolidates the diverse nature of the workforce and the archetype of a workplace.
Associating this management practices and system policies with Target Corporation, we may cite that a “compliance audit” is strategically implemented [by systematizing computation of wages] to ensure compliance on fair labor practices and substantiate the working standards by providing due benefits or incentives. As further cited from the Target Corporation’s 2007 Responsibility Report, team members’ (employees) issues are critically met with a management practice of personalized-information-approach through interviews of employees, individual managers and payroll reviews (Target Corporation, 2007).
Work unit climate
It is said that a total quality management manifests a work unit climate of efficient and competent implementation of rules, regulations and values. This key throughput variable [being a transactional factor] patterns Target Corporation’s “global compliance”, in which we can cite the implementation and regular evaluation of “Target Sourcing Services (TSS) and Quality Assurance” essentially sustain “organizational awareness” on individual concern, employee-management-client relationship and quality standard service (Target Corporation, 2007).
Task, individual skills and motivation
Burke-Litwin Model implied the characterization of internal capability emanating from effective work delegation or tasking, deployment of skills and human development to motivate or develop personal confidence and interpersonal esteem. A holistic approach of Target Corporation for this variable points out to its two-pronged corporate governance, such as (1) enabling capability through human resource management program, and (2) social responsibility through participatory-community-social services. It may be analyzed that the “variable” depicts the transactional factor by engaging the accurate job (or task), individual skills and motivation equivalent to indicated results. The output-input-output cycle is perceived to be physically absorbed by the workforces that bring about efficiency-performance in a workplace.
Individual needs and values
As an organizational accountability, the overall elements comprising an organization refer to the workforce and stakeholder as part of capital investment. However, a profitable venture may no longer survive without sustaining individual needs and values. As cited, this variable of transactional factor is dynamically addressed by Target Corporation’s economic responsibility program that aims to “create substantially long-term values”, such as (1) providing consistent growth of earnings, (2) retaining a strong and flexible structured capital, (3) develop disciplined capital investment strategy , (4) upholding explicit corporate governance and best practices (Target Corporation, 2007). Thus, individual needs and values manifests critical throughput variable that indicates and predicts organizational change.
Findings and conclusion
The Burke and Litwin Model use an “integrated framework” that benchmark organizational performance. The internal and external factors indices the theoretical variables [between transformational and transactional factors] that is indicative of efficiency and co-efficiency of workforce and workplace. This finding in Burke-Litwin Model discern the variability of changing environment or trend [in workplace and marketplace] that affects or influences the operating systems of the management and interactions of individuals.
By finding and understanding Burke-Litwin Model, it may be conclusive that guiding fundamentals in organizational and management change be patterned. Whereas, Target Corporation’s relevance to Burke-Litwin Model may evolve in the transitional perspectives of enterprise units, overall supply chain, and the rapidly emerging industries in the global market.
Burke, W.W. and Litwin, G.H. (1992). ‘A Causal Model of Organizational Performance and
Change’. Journal of Management, Sage Publication. Retrieved 12 August 2008 from
Falletta, S.V. (2005). ‘Organizational Diagnostic Models: A Review and Synthesis’.
Leadersphere Incorporated. Retrieved 12 August 2008 from
Target Corporation (2007) ‘Target Corporate Responsibility Report 2007’.
Retrieved 12 August 2008 from
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