Organizational Effectiveness  and Organizational Efficiency

“Effectiveness evaluates the extent to which multiple goals – whether official or operative – are attained” (Daft, 1995, p. 53). 


Richard L. Daft

“Organizational efficiency is the amount of resources used to produce a unit of output” (Daft, 1995, p. 53). Bess and Dee (2012) describe nine conceptual models that help organizations explain effectiveness.

To determine which effectiveness model should be used to determine organizational effectiveness Bess and Dee (2012) suggest the following questions be considered:

1. Whose perspective should dominate the assessment of organizational effectiveness?

2. Which domain of activity is the focus of the evaluation?

3. What is the appropriate level of analysis?

4. To what use will the results of the effectiveness evaluation be put?

5. What should be the appropriate time frame, i.e., long term or short term, and who should set the parameters of the time frame?

6. What are the appropriate types and sources of data?

7. What is the standard or benchmark against which effectiveness is to be assessed?

Additionally, an efficiency assessment should consider the perspective of the observer and the observer's understanding of the priorities of the organization.

The nine models and the corresponding measure of effectiveness are shown in the table below.

Model 1: Goal Model

An organization is effective if it achieves its long term goals. Official goals often reflect the organization’s mission and state the organization’s present and future mission. Operational goals reflect measureable outcomes and can be further defined as output goals and process goals.

Model 2: System Resource Model

An organization is effective if it has a competitive advantage and survives

Model 3: Internal Process Model

An organization is effective if personnel cooperate with each other

Model 4: Strategic Constituencies (Stakeholders) Model

An organization is effective if it satisfies external stakeholders

Model 5: Phase Models

An organization is effective if it focuses on current needs, anticipates its future needs and takes steps to modify organizational behavior

Model 6: Fit or Congruence Models

An organization is effective it is has consistency across the parts of the organization

Model 7: Competing Values Model

An  organization is effective if it maintains internal efficiency and addresses conditions of the external environment

Model 8: Quality Model

An organization is effective if it focuses on accreditation and quantitative measurements

Model 9: Other Models

Other approaches to determining effectiveness by looking at ineffectiveness such as gross malfunctioning analysis and revelatory analysis (Perrow, 1977)


Social Construction Model:  Organizational effectiveness is based on values versus measureable objectives (Scott, 1998).

Postmodern Perspective: Organization effectiveness is framed based on surfacing and discussing the various narratives of the organization (Buchanan, 2003).

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