The Greiner Model, developed by Larry Greiner, proposes a sequence of six phases of growth that organisations experience, each marked by a period of evolution and revolution. These stages include: ‘Creativity’, ‘Direction’, ‘Delegation’, ‘Coordination’, ‘Collaboration’, and ‘Alliances’.

In the ‘Creativity’ phase, the emphasis is on creating both products and markets, with communication being informal. The revolution that follows is a crisis of leadership, as the informal communication is insufficient for the growing organisation.

‘Direction’ is the second phase, characterised by sustained growth through the addition of professional management. The subsequent crisis is one of autonomy as lower-level managers seek greater independence.

‘Delegation’ sees managers gaining more freedom and responsibility, leading to a crisis of control, as top management struggles to regain control without losing the benefits of delegation.

‘Coordination’ involves the use of formal systems to achieve greater control, leading to a crisis of red tape as these systems become overly complex and bureaucratic.

The ‘Collaboration’ phase sees an attempt to break down the bureaucratic systems, with the ensuing crisis being one of internal growth, as the organisation struggles to grow beyond its current size.

The final ‘Alliances’ phase involves the company forming partnerships and alliances with other companies, leading to a potential crisis of identity as the company struggles to maintain its own identity within these partnerships.

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