The 7s Model in Theory

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The 7s model is only a theory

The 7s Model was introduced for the first time in 1981, by Richard Pascale and Anthony Athos. McKinsey, an American consultancy bureau, adopted the model, used it frequently and made it one of the best-known management models in the world. The 7s Model stands for seven aspects where an organization should pay attention to, in order to function successfully: Staff, Style, Structure, System, Strategy, Skills and Shared Values. These 7 aspects have to support and reinforce each other to achieve the goals of an organization. The 7s model is easy to remember and it seems to cover al the aspects of management. But is this model so great? Does it indeed cover all the aspects of management? No.

For one thing, it excludes a lot of important factors that also should be integrated in a management model, for example flexibility, quality and efficiency of an organization. That these terms do not begin with an S does not mean that they do not have to be included in a management model. Because of this the 7s model is incomplete. Secondly, the 7s model was a fashion model. The model had a nice English title, was visual attractive, it was presented with confidence. Guaranteed success in America! Also, the founders of the 7s Model were leading business men and very confident about their invented model. Because of their reputation as good managers, people assumed that the model would be good and did not investigate the usefulness of the model in real life. In third place, the 7s Model is confusing. Take for example the norms and values (culture) of an organization. These aspects can be found within the S of Staff, but they could also be a part of the S from Shared Values. The 7ses overlap with each other, this makes it an unclear model. Fourthly, The 7s Model has aged. The science of management is still developing, new models are discovered everyday and old models are changed frequently. The 7s model is not an exception. The 7s Model is...
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