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The Nadler-Tushman Congruence Model: Its Purpose in Business

Oct 07, 2022
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Your company may fail to perform at the expected level for several reasons, one being the absence of cohesion.

You can view your company as a machine. Though it has several well-designed parts, it won't deliver the required performance if all features can't work together as an effective unit.

So, how do you know if the different elements in your organization are a good fit? You can use an organizational analysis tool known as the Nadler-Tushman congruence model.

What Is the Nadler-Tushman Congruence Model?

A Nadler-Tushman congruence model is an analysis tool that helps companies to identify performance gaps by assessing the cohesiveness of their various sections. Michael Tushman and David Nadler created this tool based on the idea that the different parts of a business must work in unison to be successful.

The tool focuses on four vital elements of an organization's performance. These include the organization's culture, structure, people, and work. A company prospers when these elements are harmonious and vice versa.

Additionally, these four key elements determine how a company transforms inputs like strategies and finances into outputs like products and services. When applying the Nadler-Tushman congruence model, examine the relationship between these elements and identify problems. You can make the necessary changes to improve your organization's unity and performance.

For instance, your performance gap may be that your employees lack the skill needed to utilize the state-of-the-art you put in place.

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The Four Key Elements in the Nadler-Tushman Congruence Model.

We will break down each element in the Nadler-Tushman congruence model to help you understand it better. These elements are also known as critical drivers of performance.


Work refers to your company's operations. It examines the tasks done and how they are executed. It covers all the tasks performed before product or service delivery. You may ask questions about the importance, consistency, analysis of complex organizational problems, critical studies, efficiency, and effectiveness.


This element represents the people that carry out your business operations. It includes your employees, top management staff, and external stakeholders. You should evaluate their skills, experience, motivation, loyalty, etc.


As its name suggests, organizational structure refers to your company's setup. It includes your organizational structures, processes, and systems.

Do you have different business units or divisions? Are there different management levels? How do they communicate? You should also assess each level's policies, measures, incentives, rules, approaches, etc.


Culture is vital to all companies. However, organizational culture can be tricky to assess because you may get different answers depending on how you go about it.

You may examine your company's culture by looking at its core values, leadership styles, employee interaction, ethics, behavioral patterns, how employees are motivated, etc.

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Utilizing the Nadler-Tushman Congruence Model.

You can apply the Nadler-Tushman congruence model in your organization in three steps. We will break down each of these steps below:

Step 1: Examine the Elements.

We have explained what each element in the model represents. Examine and list the characteristics of each of them.

Step 2: Analyze the Relationship between Them.

After identifying the four critical elements influencing your company's performance, you may assess their interaction. You can create six combinations to analyze organizational interactions.

People and Work.

Look at how people interact with their work. Do they have the technical expertise and experience needed to perform their tasks? How can you help them work better? Are the jobs a good fit for the people performing them?

People and Culture.

How's the relationship between the people and organizational culture? Do the people like the culture? Does the culture affect employee output positively? What do the people think of the culture? Does the culture satisfy employee needs?

Structure and People.

The people and organizational structure interact daily. Are they a good fit? Does the system provide an ideal working environment? Can your teams communicate effectively in the system? Do the people understand the system? Can it be improved?

Structure and Work.

Examine the interaction between work and structure. Can work be done effectively and efficiently in your organizational structure? How does the design influence the job done? Can your processes, systems, and structures be improved?

Culture and Structure.

How do your organizational structure and culture relate? Does your organizational structure complement the culture? Are they compatible? Is a structural change necessary?

Work and Culture.

The relationship between work and culture is essential to performance. How does your organization's culture influence the job is done and vice versa? Is the impact positive or negative? Are the core tasks in line with your company's objectives? Will a change in the culture boost work performance?

Step 3: Improve Congruence.

The previous step has shown you the incongruences between the various elements in your organization. You can now proceed to make the necessary changes to eliminate them.

However, you should do this carefully to avoid creating new problems. A change in one relationship can affect other relationships. So, consider the after-effects of each change you make.

Your goal should be to boost congruence between organizational culture, structure, work, and people. If you can achieve harmony, you will see an increase in your organization's performance.

Benefits of Using the Nadler-Tushman Congruence Model.

Your organization will get several benefits from using the Nadler-Tushman congruence model. We have listed some below:

  • It is a vital tool for change management
  • It offers a rigorous framework for assessing complex organizational problems
  • A manager has no restrictions when designing organizational structures with this model
  • It ensures that the technical components align with the social components
  • It helps in filling performance gaps

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Drawbacks of the Nadler-Tushman Congruence Model.

Here are some of the downsides of using the congruence model:

  • The process can be exhausting for large organizations, in particular
  • It places more emphasis on internal factors. So, you will do well to pair it with a PEST analysis

Download a Nadler-Tushman Congruence Model Template.

We have a ready-made presentation template for the congruence framework. The template is professionally designed and fully customizable. So you will have your presentation ready in no time.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the four critical components of performance under the Nadler-Tushman Congruence Model?

The four components in the Nadler-Tushman congruence framework are work, people, structure, and culture.

What is an alternative to the Nadler-Tushman Congruence Framework?

Weisbord's 6 Box Model is an excellent alternative to the Nadler-Tushman congruence framework.

How does the congruence model work?

The congruence model assesses a company's performance based on its different parts' performance as a unit.

Related Articles:

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What is a fishbone diagram? 

What is a SWOT analysis?

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