Organizational Alignment Research LO6036

Scott R. Cypher (
Thu, 7 Mar 1996 23:00:24 -0400

I'm looking for some assistance in grounding my research with practical
experience. If you are willing to help, please respond directly to my
Email address. If your story is too long for an Email, I'm willing to
call you and pick your brain.

In studying methods of large scale organizational change, organizational
theory and design, learning organizations and organizational effectiveness
and performance, I see that the advocation of organizational alignment is
quite common. Specific Phenomena such as the productivity paradox, case
evidence of improvement system effectivess (MBO, Hoshin, etc.) on
organizational performance, and issues of levels in organizations also
have lead to the advocation of aligning improvement efforts across the

Senge in 5th D speaks to intra-team alignment, using a very similar
definition to myself, Harrison and others who discuss within
organizational alignment of improvement efforts.

Environmental Alignment (Fit, Competitive advantage, co-alignment) has
been studied, but often recommends research be directed to strategy
alignment within organizations.

My interest is alignment within the organization.

Little is said on WHAT specifically must be aligned, HOW is that alignment
created and managed over time, HOW DO I KNOW that I have created
alignment, and At WHAT LEVEL does performance improve.

It is intuitively appealing to assume that alignment within an
organization improves performance, but there is apparently a lack of
empirical evidence to support this assumption. In order to accurately
assess this assumption, we need tools and techniques to measure alignment
and how it is created.

Most improvement efforts are actually learning cycles, if done per theory.
Many models of individual learning processes follow a similar
Plan-Do-Study-Act Model that processes and organizations do. When managed
according to its design, any improvement process/cycle within an
organization is, in fact, a learning process/cycle.

I'm looking for your help. I am looking for stories on your experiences
in managing multiple levels of improvement efforts/learning cycles. If
you are aware of empirical studies/meta-studies into related phenomena, I
would appreciate references. Moreover, my leaning is to conduct scale and
instrument development, so any known instrument that might tap these
constructs would be appreciated.

My generic conceptual model is below, have done my literature review and
pulled out what theory says are key constructs. I'm looking to ground
this theory with practical experiences, and tap into the collective body
of knowledge on this list for this phenomena. Again, thanks to anyone
willing to assist me on this endeavor, and please respond directly to my
Email address. If there is interest, I'll post or make available the
summary responses and/or the research document itself...

(Creating        |    Consistency of Method   |  (Effects of Being Consistent
 Alignment       |      (among levels)        |   among levels on Performance)
 among levels)   |                            |
                 |                            |
                 |                            |
           Conditions that              Conditions that
         Moderate B&M Effects           Moderate Alignment Effects
           on Alignment                 on Organizational Performance


Very Respectfully, ------------------ Scott R. Cypher Project Manager The Performance Center @ Virginia Tech Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering Blacksburg,VA 24060 (540) 231-2773 (540) 231-6925 (Fax) ------------------

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