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The Star Model

The Star Model

The Star Model is a framework that was developed to help businesses design their businesses in a manner that suits their business models. Galbraith (2002) posits that design policies fall into five categories; strategy, structure, process, rewards, and people. The strategy determines the business’s direction, the structure determines the organization’s decision-making power, the process determines the flow of information, rewards help to inspire the right kind of behaviors, and the selection of the right people ensures that the organization is able to reach its goals (Goetsch & Davis, 2014). Many organizations have been using these elements to enhance their performance. I have personally been able to witness the use of these elements in organizations that I have worked for in the following ways.

Examples of the Application of the Star Model


I worked for a retail company whose main strategy was its pricing. The business always ensured that it had a pricing advantage over other sellers in the area.  As a result, the business managed to attract people who were looking for good quality items at affordable prices. The strategy of a business makes its direction because it gives it an advantage in the market. For this business, it was the costs of goods that determined its success.


            The business had a matrix structure in that the employees had more than one reporting relationship. The organization structure has a hierarchy in management but there are different departments that the employees answer to (Noe et al., 2006). This structure helped to enhance efficiency without affecting the functional structure of the organization. Thus, it enhanced productivity.


This organization had specific processes for performing various activities, which were maintained by supervisors in every department. The processes help to create a specific way of doing things that pushes the business closer to its goals and objectives.


There were several types of rewards to enhance the productivity of employees. For example, there was an employee of the month who received financial incentives. This encouraged employees to work hard so that they could be named the employee of the month.


This organization puts a lot of importance on the ethical characteristics of its employees. Ethical misconduct was taken seriously because they wanted their employees to reflect the culture of the organization. The kind of people that an organization employs determines its prospects for success because it is the stakeholders that perform all the activities that lead to success. Thus, it is important for organizations to be careful with the types of people they hire as this organization did.

Discussion and Conclusion

            As seen in the examples above, the Star Model is very important in the creation of a high-performing organization. Each of the elements is very important in creating a high-learning organization and enabling productivity. For instance, the strategy is what creates the main framework that the organization will use to reach its goals. For example, the use of a low-price strategy is what attracts customers to this business. The structure of the organization determines how its members interact with each other to achieve their goals and those of the business. They get to understand who to answer to and the best way of making important decisions. The processes of the organization also guide the activities of its members. The rewards and people help to create a workforce and stakeholders who are productive. Therefore, it is important that all organizations have such a model in place to achieve success.


Galbraith, J. R. (2002). The Star Model: In Designing Organizations: Strategy, Structure and Process and the Business Unit and Enterprise Levels.

Goetsch, D. L., & Davis, S. B. (2014). Quality management for organizational excellence. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Noe, R., Hollenbeck, J., Gerhart, B., & Wright, P. (2006). Human Resources Management: Gaining a Competitive Advantage, Tenth Global Edition. McGraw-Hill Education.


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The Star Model

The Star Model

Based on Galbraith’s star model, cite examples from your current or previous organization that fit into the elements of strategy, structure, process, rewards, and people. How might this model help in the design of a high-performing learning organization, and why is there a need for the different elements of the system to be created and seen as a whole?

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