Project Management

What is the Burke-Litwin Performance and Change Model?

The Burke-Litwin Performance and Change Model, created by two organisational change consultants in 1992, is a framework for understanding an organization’s component pieces and how they interact throughout the change.

According to Burke and Litwin change in one factor will affect all of the factors. The model focuses on identifying and dealing with the drivers of change.

The failure of a change project is frequently caused by the inability to account for all sections of the organization affected by the change. As a result, utilizing this approach may indicate which aspects of the organisation are impacted and interconnected. The model also depicts the hierarchical structure of components inside an organisation and the influence flow from one element to the next. The concept is an example of ‘open systems theory,’ implying that outside factors influence change.

According to the authors, the model depicts “…the key factors that must be addressed in any attempt to forecast and explain an organization’s overall behaviour output, the most significant interactions between these variables, and how they impact change.”

The four elements that make up an organization are the external environment, transformational, transactional, and performance. The various parts of the organization are then divided into groups. The diagram depicts which parts belong to which group, how they interact, and the organization’s general structure.

Burke-Organizational Litwin’s Transformation Model elaborates the fundamental elements that influence any change. It provides a valuable framework for orienting managers’ thoughts and strategies in organizational change management.

Factors Driving Change in Burke-Litwin Model

External Environment

This encompasses markets, laws, competition, and the economy, among other issues. All of these will have repercussions for organisations, and as a change manager, you must constantly scan the environment for challenges that may impact you and your team. For instance, in the field of accountancy, International Accounting Standards and International Financial Reporting Standards are prevalent.

The Reporting Standards will have a substantial effect on how businesses manage their finances and report their performance. In the public sector, legislation changes across health, local government, and other services directly affect the needed work of organisations.

Mission and Strategy

The mission of an organisation explains why it exists. It is the basis for everything that should be done. The strategy then explains, in broad strokes, how the organisation will do what it needs to do to reach its mission. A lot of the time, the strategy will be made because of environmental changes and will have a big effect on your work. As a change manager, you need to know about strategy changes and be able to tell your staff what they mean.


This looks at the attitudes and actions of senior colleagues and how the organisation sees those actions. The top team will greatly impact how changes are made and how people in the organisation react to them. Does your team think that senior coworkers are committed to change, or is it just another idea that will be forgotten in six months?

Organisation Culture

Culture in an organisation can be thought of as “the way we do things around here.” It looks at the beliefs, norms, values, and practices that are most common in an organisation. Cultural change does not happen overnight. It changes over time because many other things in the organisation also change. As a manager, you should keep in mind what you want the organisation to be like, how you want people to act (and how they shouldn’t act), and what the organisation thinks is important. You need to ensure that your actions always match these standards, and that you “walk the walk.”


Changes in the organization’s strategy can often lead to changes in its setup. This can change the way people work, their relationships, and their responsibilities. Your job is to figure out how the structural change will affect things and make sure your team knows why it needs to happen and what it means for them.

Work Unit Climate

This considers how employees feel about their immediate coworkers and the work environment. Our immediate work environment often shapes how we feel about the organisation and how satisfied we are with our jobs.

Changes to the immediate work environment need to be handled with care because they will likely make employees feel and act differently. This is especially true when change means moving to a new place, changing the people who work there, or changing the terms of service, such as the hours they work.

Task Requirements and Individual Skills

When things change at a higher level in an organisation, it’s often necessary to change how work is done and what skills are on the team. As the change manager, you must determine if the team has all the right skills, if they can learn them, or if you need to bring them in from somewhere else.

Individual Needs and Values

When people join or leave a team, it can change how it works. In a perfect world, we’d be able to find people who are just right for our teams in terms of personality, skills and the mix of those skills. But in real life, this isn’t always possible. It’s your job to find any risks in this area and reduce them as much as possible.

Employee Motivation

Thinks about how important individual and organisational goals are. Motivation is the key to change that works. The real challenge of a change project is to keep people motivated throughout, especially since people don’t always like change.

Advantages of using the Burke-Litwin Casual Model

In contrast to most simply descriptive models, the model provides causal linkages. The listed essential criteria, as well as their interdependencies, have a high practical significance in practice. With the help of experts, consultants, and researchers, the model has been created and modified over time. Furthermore, the strategy has been put to the test for the past five years at British Airways, one of the world’s most prestigious airlines.

Disadvantages of using the Burke-Litwin Model

Only the model identifies the external environment as the primary cause of organisational change. Internal variables such as changes in senior management and changes in the firm’s strategy or mission are not considered probable fundamental causes.

The authors focused too much on leadership, corporate culture, systems (especially remuneration), management practices, microclimate, motivation, individual needs and values, and performance, and not enough on the mission and strategy, structure, and relationship between the individual’s tasks and skills.

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Hi, My name is Kartik. I have expertise in Technical and Social Domains. I love to write articles that could benefit people and the community.

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