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

The PAEI model was developed by Yugoslavian-American business consultant Dr. Ichak Adizes in the 1970s. The PAEI model is a framework defining four management roles that perform key functions within an organization through four roles: the producer, the administrator, the entrepreneur, and the integrator.

Understanding the PAEI model

Adizes argued no single manager could properly meet the needs of their organization or department. In other words, it was impossible for a leader – no matter how great – to embody multiple roles at the same time.

Instead, Adizes suggested effective management required a team of leaders working in harmony and using their collective knowledge to tackle the most complex issues or challenges.

The PAEI model helps leaders benefit from their natural strengths while identifying areas for improvement.

Furthermore, it increases collaboration as leaders learn to communicate more effectively with those embodying different leadership styles.

The four roles of the PAEI model

The PAEI model is an acronym of four management roles specified by Adizes and critical to organizational success:

The Producer

Organizations exist to produce results aligned with meeting customer needs.

The Producer tends to be highly delivery-focused, working long hours in the belief that hard work is the answer to everything.

Since they consider themselves irreplaceable, they have a hard time delegating responsibility to others.

The Administrator

While the Producer focuses on what to do, the Administrator is concerned with how things get done.

They tend to focus on controlling, organizing, planning, and scheduling activities by focusing on processes, procedures, and systems.

The Entrepreneur

As the name suggests, the Entrepreneur is a visionary and innovative thinker that inspires those around them.

They are less risk-averse than other management roles because they believe in their vision and are comfortable with uncertainty. 

The Integrator

These leaders are warm, caring, trustworthy, and reliable.

They are more concerned with developing people and teams to make the organization more efficient and enhance company culture.

Advantages of the PAEI model

Management styles have been studied for over a century, producing a diverse range of management frameworks.

However, the PAEI model has some distinct advantages:


The model is simple, concise, easily understood, and can be applied by every member of an organization – regardless of whether they are a frontline worker or CEO.


The model can be used to assess or analyze a leader, group, or company.

It can also be incorporated into project and product management.


Practitioners of the PAEI model note that it encapsulates an accurate representation of how leaders function or behave in the workplace.

Key takeaways:

  • The PAEI model is a framework defining four management roles that perform key functions within an organization. It was developed by business consultant Dr. Ichak Adizes in the 1970s.
  • The PAEI model is an acronym of four management roles: the Producer, the Administrator, the Entrepreneur, and the Integrator. Organizational success can only occur when leaders embodying one style learn to communicate with those embodying a different style.
  • The PAEI model is one of many management frameworks. However, practitioners enjoy the model because it is simple to understand, versatile, and accurate.

Connected Business Frameworks

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Kotter’s 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.

Nadler-Tushman Congruence Model

The Nadler-Tushman Congruence Model was created by David Nadler and Michael Tushman at Columbia University. The Nadler-Tushman Congruence Model is a diagnostic tool that identifies problem areas within a company. In the context of business, congruence occurs when the goals of different people or interest groups coincide.

McKinsey’s Seven Degrees of Freedom

McKinsey’s Seven Degrees of Freedom for Growth is a strategy tool. Developed by partners at McKinsey and Company, the tool helps businesses understand which opportunities will contribute to expansion, and therefore it helps to prioritize those initiatives.

Mintzberg’s 5Ps

Mintzberg’s 5Ps of Strategy is a strategy development model that examines five different perspectives (plan, ploy, pattern, position, perspective) to develop a successful business strategy. A sixth perspective has been developed over the years, called Practice, which was created to help businesses execute their strategies.

COSO Framework

The COSO framework is a means of designing, implementing, and evaluating control within an organization. The COSO framework’s five components are control environment, risk assessment, control activities, information and communication, and monitoring activities. As a fraud risk management tool, businesses can design, implement, and evaluate internal control procedures.

TOWS Matrix

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Lewin’s Change Management

Lewin’s change management model helps businesses manage the uncertainty and resistance associated with change. Kurt Lewin, one of the first academics to focus his research on group dynamics, developed a three-stage model. He proposed that the behavior of individuals happened as a function of group behavior.

Organizational Structure Case Studies

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 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 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 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 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 (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 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’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 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 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.

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