Friday, September 3, 2010

Review of Roger Kaufman's Organizational Elements Model

     Rodger Kaufman developed a holistic organizational analysis model that emphasizes differentiating between a company’s means (what it uses and does), and its’ ends (what it produces). By taking a holistic approach to analysis the company is aligned from top to bottom with their customers’ demands. There are five levels in the OEM; Inputs (human labor, equipment, budgets, etc), Processes (what you do to produce the product), Products (what work groups complete), Outputs (what the company completes as a whole), and Outcomes (the products effects on the customer and society. When using this model, you start by looking at the inputs and determining “what is” or how are things now? Once that is determined, you move on to the next level, processes, and do the same thing. Continue through the continuum until you get to outcomes. Then turn back around and ask “what should be?” at the outcomes level. Next, take a look at the outcomes and ask “what should be?” Once that’s determined, look at the outputs and ask “what do we have to do at the output level to achieve “what should be” at the outcomes level?” So it will look something like this:

 Rodger Kaufman’s Organizational Elements Model (OEM)
When you begin asking “What Should Be?”, compare it to “What Is?”. The differences are your performance gaps.

Kaufman, R. (1981). Determining and Diagnosing Organizational Needs. Group and Organization Studies, 6(3). 312-322


  1. Hi Chester: Might want to correct the spelling of Dr. Kaufman's first name, it's Roger. He has written many other articles/books since 1981, but this is a good high level summary. I studied under Kaufman at Florida State. He retired a few years ago, but is still active in the professional community. Stuart Weinstein, Sr. Managing Consultant, IBM Learning Solutions.

  2. Thanks for catching that Stuart! I'm hoping to get more in depth on some of these theories when I get a little more free time.

  3. There are six basic building blocks that managers can use in constructing an organization which also known as elements of organizing or organizational structure.

  4. Hi Shadhin,

    I looked at your link. It looks like the building blocks for constructing an organization are addressing something different than my post here. The Organizational Elements Model is more related to SIPOC and process mapping. It's about what happens in an organization during each element - as opposed to how an organization is structured.