grow-model

What Is The GRPI Model? The GRPI Model In A Nutshell

The GRPI model was created by American organizational theorist Richard Beckhard in 1972. Although the model is almost 50 years old, its simplicity and effectiveness mean it is still in use today. The GRPI model is a tool used by leaders to diagnose the cause of team dysfunction and increase productivity, quality, and efficiency through four key dimensions that cause conflict: goals, roles, processes, and interactions. 

Understanding the GRPI model

Fundamentally, the GRPI model highlights the various interrelated aspects that contribute to team functioning and success.

These include goal identification, role clarification, responsibilities, processes, and interpersonal relationships.

When a project team understands the interrelatedness of team function and team dysfunction, it can better pinpoint the source of conflict to maximize project efficiency and output.

The model can be used for any dysfunctional team where the leader is forced to review different aspects of team operation.

For maximum impact, however, it should be utilized during the process of assembling a team and planning the work.

Alternatively, the GRPI model can be deployed at the first stage of the DMAIC process.

dmaic-process
The DMAIC process is a data-driven improvement cycle for optimizing and stabilizing business processes and designs. 

Or as part of the Six Sigma change acceleration process (CAP) toolkit.

six-sigma
Six Sigma is a data-driven approach and methodology for eliminating errors or defects in a product, service, or process. Six Sigma was developed by Motorola as a management approach based on quality fundamentals in the early 1980s. A decade later, it was popularized by General Electric who estimated that the methodology saved them $12 billion in the first five years of operation.

The four dimensions that characterize a team

GRPI is an acronym of four key dimensions that cause conflict: goals, roles, processes, and interactions. 

Research conducted by management consultant Noel Tichy in 2002 highlighted how conflict cascaded across each dimension according to the 80:20 rule.

Tichy also found that ambiguity at one level impacted lower levels, while problems at lower levels were often symptomatic of problems higher up. 

For example, unclear goals cause conflict and uncertainty to arise regarding individual roles. Conversely, poor interpersonal relationships may be a symptom of improperly defined roles and responsibilities. 

To understand the context of Tichy’s findings, let’s take a look at each dimension below:

Goals

80% of team conflict is attributed to unclear goals – thus, it stands to reason that clear goals provide a team with direction and allow each member to unite toward a common objective.

Without a clear, shared, and agreed-upon goal, team development is a waste of time. As always, the goal should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-sensitive.

Roles

16% of team conflict is due to unclear roles – roles can be described by authority, responsibility, and tasks and should support stated goals.

Each member of the team should understand, accept, and agree to their assigned roles or responsibilities.

It is also important team members cooperate to achieve goals and are accountable for their actions, individually and collectively.

Processes

3.2% of team conflict is due to unclear processes – in theory, processes are a tool used to overcome inefficiencies associated with decision-making, control, communication, and coordination.

The team must formulate processes that are repeatable and predictable in terms of output quality while allowing for sufficient operational flexibility.

In the GRPI model, processes help teams deal with conflict by stimulating the actions necessary for conflict resolution.

Interactions

0.8% of team conflict is due to poor interpersonal relationships – this section of the model seeks to establish trust, open communication, and feedback to create a robust working environment and culture.

These standards, like goals and roles, must be guided by rules or a specific format understood and agreed to by all.

However, interpersonal relationships can be improved very simply by listening carefully, smiling, asking for advice, honoring promises, and apologizing where necessary.

Key takeaways

  • The GRPI model is a tool used by leaders to diagnose the cause of team dysfunction and increase productivity, quality, and efficiency. It was developed by organizational theorist Richard Beckhard in 1972.
  • The GRPI model describes the various interrelated aspects that contribute to team dysfunction and by extension, team dysfunction. The framework has since been applied to the DMAIC process and Six Sigma change acceleration process toolkit.
  • The GRPI model is characterized by four key dimensions that cause conflict: goals, roles, processes, and interactions. Research by Noel Tichy suggests 80% of all team conflict is caused by poorly defined goals which then impact the other three dimensions.

Connected Concepts

Core Leadership Styles

leadership-styles
Leadership styles encompass the behavioral qualities of a leader. These qualities are commonly used to direct, motivate, or manage groups of people. Some of the most recognized leadership styles include Autocratic, Democratic, or Laissez-Faire leadership styles.

Transformational Leadership

transformational-leadership
Transformational leadership is a style of leadership that motivates, encourages, and inspires employees to contribute to company growth. Leadership expert James McGregor Burns first described the concept of transformational leadership in a 1978 book entitled Leadership. Although Burns’ research was focused on political leaders, the term is also applicable for businesses and organizational psychology.

Lightning Decision Jam

lockes-goal-setting-theory
The theory was developed by psychologist Edwin Locke who also has a background in motivation and leadership research. Locke’s goal-setting theory of motivation provides a framework for setting effective and motivating goals. Locke was able to demonstrate that goal setting was linked to performance.

Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model

kotters-8-step-change-model
Harvard Business School professor Dr. John Kotter has been a thought-leader on organizational change, and he developed Kotter’s 8-step change model, which helps business managers deal with organizational change. Kotter created the 8-step model to drive organizational transformation.

Value Disciplines

value-disciplines-model
The Value Disciplines Model was developed by authors Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema. In their model, the authors use the term value discipline to represent any method a business may use to differentiate itself. The Value Disciplines Model argues that for a business to be viable, it must be successful in three key areas: customer intimacy, product leadership, and operational excellence.

OKR

what-is-okr
Andy Grove, helped Intel become among the most valuable companies by 1997. In his years at Intel, he conceived a management and goal-setting system, called OKR, standing for “objectives and key results.” Venture capitalist and early investor in Google, John Doerr, systematized in the book “Measure What Matters.”

Tipping Point Leadership

tipping-point-leadership
Tipping Point Leadership is a low-cost means of achieving a strategic shift in an organization by focusing on extremes. Here, the extremes may refer to small groups of people, acts, and activities that exert a disproportionate influence over business performance.

Amazon Leadership Principles

amazon-leadership-principles
Amazon fundamental principles that drove and drive the company are: Customer Obsession Ownership Invent and Simplify Are Right, A Lot Learn and Be Curious Hire and Develop the Best Insist on the Highest Standards Think Big Bias for Action Frugality Earn Trust Dive Deep Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit Deliver Results.

Porter’s Generic Strategies

porters-generic-strategies
In his book, “Competitive Advantage,” in 1985, Porter conceptualized the concept of competitive advantage, by looking at two key aspects. Industry attractiveness, and the company’s strategic positioning. The latter, according to Porter, can be achieved either via cost leadership, differentiation, or focus.

Read Next: Lewin’s Change Management.

Related: StrategyBusiness ModelsTech Business ModelsJobs-To-Be DoneDesign ThinkingLean Startup CanvasValue ChainValue Proposition CanvasBalanced ScorecardBusiness Model CanvasSWOT AnalysisGrowth HackingBundlingUnbundlingBootstrappingVenture CapitalPorter’s Five ForcesPorter’s Generic StrategiesPorter’s Five ForcesPESTEL AnalysisSWOTPorter’s Diamond ModelAnsoffTechnology Adoption CurveTOWSSOARBalanced ScorecardOKRAgile MethodologyValue PropositionVTDF Framework, BCG MatrixGE McKinsey Matrix.

Organizational Structure Case Studies

Airbnb Organizational Structure

airbnb-organizational-structure
Airbnb follows a holacracy model, or a sort of flat organizational structure, where teams are organized for projects, to move quickly and iterate fast, thus keeping a lean and flexible approach. Airbnb also moved to a hybrid model where employees can work from anywhere and meet on a quarterly basis to plan ahead, and connect to each other.

eBay Organizational Structure

ebay-organizational-structure
eBay was until recently a multi-divisional (M-form) organization with semi-autonomous units grouped according to the services they provided. Today, eBay has a single division called Marketplace, which includes eBay and its international iterations.

IBM Organizational Structure

ibm-organizational-structure
IBM has an organizational structure characterized by product-based divisions, enabling its strategy to develop innovative and competitive products in multiple markets. IBM is also characterized by function-based segments that support product development and innovation for each product-based division, which include Global Markets, Integrated Supply Chain, Research, Development, and Intellectual Property.

Sony Organizational Structure

sony-organizational-structure
Sony has a matrix organizational structure primarily based on function-based groups and product/business divisions. The structure also incorporates geographical divisions. In 2021, Sony announced the overhauling of its organizational structure, changing its name from Sony Corporation to Sony Group Corporation to better identify itself as the headquarters of the Sony group of companies skewing the company toward product divisions.

Facebook Organizational Structure

facebook-organizational-structure
Facebook is characterized by a multi-faceted matrix organizational structure. The company utilizes a flat organizational structure in combination with corporate function-based teams and product-based or geographic divisions. The flat organization structure is organized around the leadership of Mark Zuckerberg, and the key executives around him. On the other hand, the function-based teams based on the main corporate functions (like HR, product management, investor relations, and so on).

Google Organizational Structure

google-organizational-structure
Google (Alphabet) has a cross-functional (team-based) organizational structure known as a matrix structure with some degree of flatness. Over the years, as the company scaled and it became a tech giant, its organizational structure is morphing more into a centralized organization.

Tesla Organizational Structure

tesla-organizational-structure
Tesla is characterized by a functional organizational structure with aspects of a hierarchical structure. Tesla does employ functional centers that cover all business activities, including finance, sales, marketing, technology, engineering, design, and the offices of the CEO and chairperson. Tesla’s headquarters in Austin, Texas, decide the strategic direction of the company, with international operations given little autonomy.

McDonald’s Organizational Structure

mcdonald-organizational-structure
McDonald’s has a divisional organizational structure where each division – based on geographical location – is assigned operational responsibilities and strategic objectives. The main geographical divisions are the US, internationally operated markets, and international developmental licensed markets. And on the other hand, the hierarchical leadership structure is organized around regional and functional divisions.

Walmart Organizational Structure

walmart-organizational-structure
Walmart has a hybrid hierarchical-functional organizational structure, otherwise referred to as a matrix structure that combines multiple approaches. On the one hand, Walmart follows a hierarchical structure, where the current CEO Doug McMillon is the only employee without a direct superior, and directives are sent from top-level management. On the other hand, the function-based structure of Walmart is used to categorize employees according to their particular skills and experience.

Microsoft Organizational Structure

microsoft-organizational-structure
Microsoft has a product-type divisional organizational structure based on functions and engineering groups. As the company scaled over time it also became more hierarchical, however still keeping its hybrid approach between functions, engineering groups, and management.

Main Free Guides:

About The Author

Scroll to Top
FourWeekMBA