Transformational and transactional change
Big Business
Transformational and transactional change

Transformational and transactional change
A model to look at different aspects of change and interdependencies in organisations

The big idea

This tool provides a model of organisational performance and change that looks at how businesses are influenced by and respond to changes in their external environments. External changes impact on what Burke and Litwin (1992) have referred to as the transformational organisational factors: mission, strategy, leadership and culture. In turn this influences the transactional factors: structure, systems, management and climate. The combination of these factors then influences motivation and ultimately performance. It’s an approach to looking at both the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ of organisational change.


This tool helps to identify interdependencies between aspects of your business and how changes in one area are likely to impact on another. The model should allow you to identify the level of change you are considering and the core elements involved. For example, if you are doing an internal process review, say implementing a new IT system, you will need to take account of your management practices and work climate and be aware of the impact it will have on individual needs and values.

The Tool

The tool will take you through a number of steps in identifying the nature of the change and the elements you need to consider. It can be done on your own or with a group. The tool is suitable for micro-businesses/SMEs and larger organisations. The time taken to use the tool will depend on the scale of the change project.