McKinsey 7-S Framework LO28607

Date: 05/25/02

Replying to LO28605 --


Thank you for creating this opportunity for me to talk about a topic of my
interest. I take interest in the doctoral process. That is why I was
attracted to answering your query. 'Frameworks' tend to have a place in
doctoral work, but typically in one (or more) of the following ways:

 1. The framework is supposed to bind together a number of past and future
observations. Such frameworks allow prediction. Research can aim at
developing/refining such frameworks. The test of quality of course is to
see how well this binding together happens, so that the information
extracted from past observations help us reduce the effort required for
future observations.

 2. The framework tells us what we should observe, typically backed by
some social (or institutional) authority (e.g., one framework says, I am
an Indian male). Such frameworks allow study of the properties of large
number of entities, defined to be similar by the framework (thus creating
a population). The test of quality of course is to see if studying a small
section of the population can help us avoid studying the whole population.

 3. The framework tells us what we may do in order to observe certain
things. Such frameworks help us 'produce' new observations, typically by
bringing forth new things/situations (which are instances of objects or
systems which are desirable but generally not found). The test of quality
of course is to see whether the desired observations (observations of the
desired things/situations) indeed happen in a consistent (and efficient)
way without too many (undesirable) side effects.

Although I am quite familiar with the 7S, I suspect, Peters and Waterman
mean it as a framework of the first type. That is why, so many observers
have pointed out that it the 7S does not achieve the necessary 'binding'
very well. Therefore, and this is my suggestion to you, you may consider
the 7S as a different type of framework (second or third), and see whether
a different interpretation is possible.

Keen to hear from you.

With love,


PS: "Asking for help is the best way for making friends," said a Chinese
friend recently. I think, this comes from (or indicates) a framework of
the third type.

>... I would like to know what are areas of further research on the
>McKinsey's 7-S framwork, mostly if one want to do a doctoral research...


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