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Whole Foods Market’s Diagnostics: Congruence Model

Leavitt’s Model

The Leavitt’s model outlines the major variables within an organization that dictate its performance. The major variables include humans, tasks, structural aspects, and technological developments (Falletta, 2005). This model asserts that a change in one of these variables will definitely affect the others. This model is therefore used whenever introducing new changes capable of promoting positive behaviors. The change will definitely “result in a retaliatory (or compensatory) change in the other variables” (Falletta, 2005, p. 7). When implemented properly, the model can deliver new practices and eventually make the targeted organization successful.

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This model is advantageous because of its simplicity and applicability in different organizational situations. The model explains how specific aspects can be changed to produce desirable behaviors. Companies planning to implement new changes will find the model useful (Falletta, 2005). Unfortunately, the environmental forces affecting the effectiveness of an organization are ignored by the model thus making it ineffective.

Weisbord’s Six-Box Model

The role of this model is to guide managers to identify new business initiatives. The model can be used by leaders to pose diagnostic questions (Falletta, 2005). Such questions are usually aimed at identifying the existing gaps in an organizations and presenting new solutions to them. The model addresses the attributes and implications of a company’s external environment.

This model is easy to implement in a given organization. The posed questions make it easier for organizational leaders to identify the existing gaps and present new initiatives. The model can be used in different departments in an attempt to produce desirable outcomes. The main weakness of the model is that “it omits many interconnections between the boxes” (Falletta, 2005, p. 11).

Tichy’s Technical Political (TPC) Framework

This model focuses on an organization’s “inputs, throughputs, and outputs” (Falletta, 2005, p. 16). The framework treats an organization’s history and environment as the two major inputs. Resources are treated as powerful inputs capable of dictating a company’s performance. Throughput aspects include change levers that guide the performance of a firm. Some of these change levers might include human capital, tasks, business models, and organizational processes (Falletta, 2005). The model supports the use of evidence-based data to identify the role of different variables towards delivering positive results. The data is then used to identify where an alignment is required. This kind of alignment will ensure the firm formulates the most appropriate action plan.

This framework outlines the three variables dictating the performance of a given organization. It goes further to describe how different throughputs might be adjusted to improve performance. However, the model can fail to deliver positive results if the workers present inaccurate data (Falletta, 2005). That being the case, the model might not be applied adequately in different organizational departments.

McKinsey 7S Model

The 7S Model outlines two key variables within an organization. The hard variables include systems, strategy, and structure while the soft ones include shared values, staff, skills, and style (Falletta, 2005). The model suggests that companies should adjust these variables in such a way that they remain congruent. By so doing, the targeted organization will function adequately as a system (National Defense University, n.d.). The firm can promote new skills or values in an attempt to improve the organization’s effectiveness.

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The main strength of this model is that it treats companies as systems influenced by different forces. When such forces are adjusted in a professional manner, the system functions effectively thus delivering positive results (Falletta, 2005). However, the model fails to explain how the two groups of variables can be adjusted in an attempt to improve productivity.

The Congruence Model

This model indicates that organizations are characterized by different components. These include inputs, outputs, and system components (National Defense University, n.d.). The model focuses on the level of congruence to understand how a specific company performs. For example, skills and competencies should be matched with specific tasks in order to record positive goals. Managers can use this model to identify where there is lack of fit and make the most desirable adjustments (Falletta, 2005). The absence (or presence) of fit will significantly dictate the performance of the targeted organization.

This framework has a number of strengths. For instance, it outlines the major variables that govern the performance of a company. When applied effectively, the theory can support new changes and make more firms successful (Falletta, 2005). However, personal attributes and aspects of diversity are ignored in the model. This weakness explains why it has limited applications in the business world.

The Burke-Litwin Model

This theory uses twelve constructs to identify the issues affecting an organization. Such variables include “external environment, mission and strategy, leadership, organizational culture, structure, management practices, systems, work unit climate, task requirements and individual skills, motivation, individual needs and values, and individual and organizational performance” (Falletta, 2005, p. 26). The model treats the external environment as a powerful variable that should be considered to achieve the desired goals. When done correctly, the input can play a positive role towards producing positive outcomes. It is agreeable that the use of such inputs will support the performance of different individuals and eventually produce positive results.

This model can be applied in a wide range of organizational settings to deliver better results. The theory has been found to consider each and every aspect of an organization (Falletta, 2005). The theory is founded on concrete organizational behavior (OB) ideas thus making it applicable in different settings. However, the theory is non-exhaustive and encourages researchers to examine how various variables can be interconnected to produce meaningful results.

Issues Facing Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods Market uses its business model to deliver healthy foodstuffs to its customers. Its products do not have artificial chemicals, sweeteners, fats, or flavors (Harbin & Humprey, 2015). The company has managed to open more stores in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. The company liaises with different suppliers in order to deliver healthy food materials to more customers. The employees are empowered and guided to support the company’s mission. The company focuses on the changing needs of its global customers in order to produce acceptable food materials. This strategy has played a positive role towards making Whole Foods Market a leader in the grocery store industry (Harbin & Humprey, 2015).

However, some issues continue to affect the company’s business performance. The first unique challenge is that of competition. Although Whole Foods Market is a leader in the industry, it faces numerous challenges from companies such as Wal-Mart (Harbin & Humprey, 2015). This means that the firm might lose its position unless new measures are undertaken. The current human capital should be developed in order to identify new competitive advantages (Harbin & Humprey, 2015). Such approaches will make it easier for the company to tackle the problem of competition, attract more business partners, and eventually become profitable.

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According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Whole Foods Market is one of the companies engaging in admirable business practices (Harbin & Humprey, 2015). However, this recognition can only be attributed to the company’s focus on natural food products. Some companies marketing a wide range of food materials have continued to engage in different projects aimed at protecting the natural environment. Whole Foods Market might lose its position as a leader if it does not align its business model with new sustainable practices (Harbin & Humprey, 2015). This means that the business partners, suppliers, marketers, and stakeholders should be encouraged to support the concept of sustainability. Whole Foods Market can use the approach to attract more customers and eventually realize its potentials.

Best Model to Use

Each of the above models can be used by Whole Foods Market to address the issues affecting its profitability. Such models propose powerful approaches that can be used to identify the competitive advantages and gaps of the company (National Defense University, n.d.). This identification will ensure the firm implements the most desirable action plans and initiatives (Falletta, 2005). The ultimate goal should be to identify new initiatives that can improve the company’s approach to sustainability and competitiveness.

However, the Congruence Model appears to work more effectively for Whole Foods Market. According to the Congruence Model, business firms tend to have a wide range of components. The systems components should be aligned with the inputs in order to deliver the most desirable outputs. That being the case, Whole Foods Market can use the model to analyze the existing level of congruence. The current level of business performance will reveal the relationship between each two components. By so doing, the managers will identify new approaches or inputs that have the potential to transform the organization’s performance (Falletta, 2005). The adjustments will be guided by the gaps or strengths associated with the company. The employees will be informed about the targeted changes. The workers will be willing to support the newly-implemented objective.

As mentioned earlier, the Congruence Model has the potential to diagnose the major issues affecting Whole Foods Market. This model indicates that organizations are characterized by various components that work harmoniously. A certain level of congruence is critical towards supporting the performance of an organization (Falletta, 2005). Since competition is a major threat to the company’s goals, new practices and skills can be identified in order to empower the workers. The managers and salespeople will adjust accordingly in an attempt to improve the company’s competitiveness.

The issue of sustainability as a core business attribute will be reexamined. This means that the company will analyze where there is lack of fit and make the best adjustments (Falletta, 2005). New core values will be communicated to the employees and suppliers. This strategy will create a powerful model that seeks to improve the company’s approach to sustainability (Falletta, 2005). When used in a professional manner, the Congruence Model will make it possible for Whole Foods Market to become the most profitable firm in the grocery store industry.


Falletta, S. (2005). Organizational diagnostic models: a review and synthesis. Web.

Harbin, J., & Humprey, P. (2015). Whole Foods Market, Inc. Journal of Case Research in Business and Economics, 1(1), 1-19.

National Defense University. (n.d.). Systems thinking and learning organizations. Web.

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