Harold Leavitt’s diamond shaped model

18 Jan

As my fellow bloggers 04ac, cmcoughlan and lucid21 (https://sopinion8ed.wordpress.com/category/is-success/) have already mentioned the DeLone and McLean’s model for IS success, I believe that another framework that should be studied is (1965) Harold Leavitt’s model. Many of the current models are based on this model. Leavitt’s diamond shaped organisational systems model helped to establish a platform for thinking about organisations as interdependent systems. Leavitt considered change by observing that the four major components all interacted and were interdependent with one another. The four major components were task, people, technology and structure. Task is the organisations purpose to provide a service. People are those who carry out the task. Technology can include tools and computers. Structure is the workflow, communications and decision making authority. Leavitt noted that any alterations in any of these components results in the alteration in the other three. [1]

Harold Leavitt’s diamond shaped organisational systems model (1965) (DeLone,W.:2009).

Within “The Determinants of Information Systems Success,” by William H. DeLone (2009), he believes that the success of IS is possibly affected by the interaction among task, technology (IS), people and structure. He also considers that the antecedents of IS success must contain the components identified by Leavitt. William H. DeLone also believes that the causes of IS success is:
• Task characteristics
• Technology characteristics
• Organisational characteristics eg: Structure
• User characteristics eg: People
• Project characteristics eg: structure
• Social characteristics eg: people [2]

When considering a suitable framework for IS success, it is also important to note that success is a continuous journey and failure can easily occur. Therefore it is extremely important to create a framework wisely in order for IS success. A you tube video that I found interesting is Richard St. John: “Success is a continuous journey”, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgNx9Bgac1I) Within this video he discusses that success is a constant journey. Sometimes when we reach success we tend to become lazy and as a result we could end up failing. In this video he lists the main 8 principles he believes help to reach success. These principles are passion, hard work, focus, push, create ideas, improve, serve and persist. Success is not a one way street, it is a continuous journey and if we want to avoid success to failure syndrome we keep following the 8 principles to sustain success. [3]

What do others think of Leavitt’s diamond shaped organisational systems model? Although DeLone and McLean’s model for IS success seems to be the main model, it would be good to study other different models. What are other models for IS success?

[1] Source 1: Burke,W.(2002) “Organization Change: Theory and Practice.”
[2] Source 2: DeLone,W.(2009) “The determinants of Information Systems Success.”
[3] Source 3: You-tube: Richard St. John: “Success is a continuous journey”, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgNx9Bgac1I


One Response to “Harold Leavitt’s diamond shaped model”

  1. Raj Kumar January 13, 2015 at 8:02 pm #

    Hi. I came here as I was looking for literature on Leavitt. Perhaps the key to success is not a model but a force. A model requires you to provide the energy to progress and that is the critical missing ingredient of success, not a model. A force, once you are able to ride it, as in launching into a current, has the capacity to take you to places. Leavitt’s diamond hides a force because it reveals a system of negative feedback. Overcome the feedback and you harness the force. Fascinating.Regards/ Raj Kumar,

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