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7s analysis

Page history last edited by FOLIO Team 13 years, 5 months ago

Managing Change for Health Information Professionals (MCHIP)  


7S analysis


7S Analysis is a tool for analysing organizational resources and competences under seven headings: structure / strategy/ systems/ style/ staff / skills/ super-ordinate goals). Waterman and colleagues devised the technique in the 1970’s. It attempts to integrate an organisation’s structure with its strategy.  The individual components are:




Structure: what is the organisational system? Is there a hierarchy, to what degree is it centralised, is there an internal market?


Strategy: what action plans are in place to identify and achieve objectives, within finite resources?


Systems: what sort of operational systems does the organization have: managerial, financial, IT?


Style: what is the predominant style of management: top down, devolved, consensus? How is control achieved?

Staff: what sort of people does the organisation attract, recruit and retain? What factors motivate staff? What sort of opportunities do staff have for training and a career development? What sort of internal lines of communication exist and how are staff involved in the decision making process?

Skills: what are the key skills the organisation has. What sort of skills does it value?

Super-ordinate goals: what are the fundamental ideas about the organisation’s role and what is its vision for the future? Sometimes also called “shared values.”


The 7S model can be used to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of an organisation: in this model individual S’s are not categorised as strengths or weaknesses on their own, but rather how they support (or otherwise) the other S’s. The model also helps to see the organisation as whole, by exploring how changes in one S may affect others. So, a new strategy may require a new skill mix and changes in  staff recruitment and training priorities. Some observers group the seven factors into “soft” ones (style, staff, skills and super-ordinate goals) and “hard” ones (strategy, structure, systems).



For more detail see:


Waterman RH, Peters TJ,  Phillips JR (1980) Structure is not organisation Business Horizons (June) Foundation for the School of Business, Indiana University


Peters TJ, Waterman R (1982) In search of excellence New York: Harper and Row



For the case study, you will use either the PEST analysisor the 7S Analysis to examine the scenario and draw up a list of the main issues, under these (either four or seven) broad headings.



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