Jay Galbraith developed his "Star Model™" framework for analyzing organizations in the 1960s. The Star Model™ is the foundation on which a company bases its design choices. The framework consists of a series of design policies that are controllable by management and can influence employee behavior. The policies are the tools with which management must become skilled in order to shape the decisions and behaviors of their organizations effectively.

In the Star Model™, design policies fall into five categories. The first is strategy, which determines direction. The second is structure, which determines the location of decision-making power. Processes have to do with the flow of information; they are the means of responding to information technologies. Rewards provide motivation and incentives for desired behavior. And finally, the selection and development of the right people — in alignment with the other policies — allow the organization to operate at maximum efficiency.

The Star Model™ shows the levers that managers can control, and as a result, can affect employee behavior. By choosing the desired behavior, managers can influence the organization's performance as well as its culture.

Implications of the Star Model™:

  • Organization design is more than just structure
  • Different strategies lead to different organizations
  • For an organization to be effective, all the policies must be aligned with one another
  • For more information on the Star Model™, download the summary below
  • StarModel.pdf
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  • "Jay Galbraith is no doubt the world’s leading expert in organization design. Jay joined us at International Paper for a major redesign effort in one of our key international regions. In a very short period of time, he was able to lead the management group through a design process that resulted in a more focused, customer-centric organization."
    — Diana Bell, Director, Global Talent Management and Executive Development, International Paper.

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