Birkinshaw's Four Dimensions of Management

Developing an Appropriate Management Model

Birkinshaw's Four Dimensions of Management

Learn how to manage people more effectively in four key areas.

© iStockphoto/Sashkinw

Price, specialization, quality, and service – these are just some of the ways that you can gain an advantage in your industry.

But have you ever thought that you could be more successful by tailoring your organization's approach to management to fit your business strategy?

You can explore this with the "Birkinshaw's Four Dimensions of Management" model. We'll look at the four dimensions in this article, and we'll explore how you can use them to develop a more effective management model for your business.

About the Four Dimensions

Julian Birkinshaw, Professor of Strategic and International Management at the London Business School, published his Four Dimensions of Management in his 2010 book, "Reinventing Management."

The framework (see figure 1, below) highlights four dimensions that represent key management processes and practices.

Each dimension has two opposing principles – these principles are "assumptions or beliefs about the way something works or should work." These principles underpin the routine actions that your organization's managers take.

The principles on the left side of each dimension are traditional principles: these are the approaches to management that organizations have used for many decades. The principles on the right are alternative principles: these are newer ways of thinking about management.

Figure 1 – Birkinshaw's Four Dimensions

Birkinshaw's Four Dimensions of Management

You can use the framework to think about the approach to management that you're currently using, and to explore whether you can develop a more effective management model – one that suits your strategy and the way that you want to do business.

Let's look at each dimension, and the corresponding principles, in more detail.

1. Managing Across: Activities

This dimension relates to how managers coordinate activities with people over whom they have no direct control. The opposing principles are...

Access the Full Article

This resource is only available in full within the Mind Tools Club.

Learn More and Join Today

Already a Club member? Log in to finish this article.
Add this article to My Learning Plan

Where to go from here:

Join the Mind Tools Club

Click to join Mind Tools
Printer-friendly version
Return to the top of the page

Your Score
Create a Login to Save Your Learning Plan

This ensures that you don’t lose your plan.

Connect with…

Or create a Mind Tools login. Existing user? Log in here.
Log in with your existing Mind Tools details
Lost Username or Password
You are now logged in…

Lost username or password?

Please enter your username or email address and we'll send you a reminder.

Thank You!

Your log in details have been sent to the email account you registered with. Please check your email to reset your login details.

Create a Mind Tools Login
Your plan has been created.

While you're here, subscribe to our FREE newsletter?

Learn a new career skill every week, and get our Personal Development Plan workbook (worth $19.99) when you subscribe.

Thank You!

Please check your Inbox, and click on the link in the email from us. We can then send you the newsletter.