10 May 2022


Affinity Diagram and Root Cause Analysis

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Academic level: University

Paper type: Essay (Any Type)

Words: 495

Pages: 2

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Defining the problem

The organization has been experiencing several issues ranging from low staff morale and low productivity. In the past one year, the company has lost its competitive edge and has been performing dismally. After the first quarter, the management thought that the challenges were caused by salaries that were disproportionate to the amount of work and the lack of automation of most processes. However, even after addressing such issues, the challenge has even becoming worse. High employee turnover has been witnessed. The management seeks to understand the real problem affecting the organization in order to have an amicable solution. 

Determining the Reasons for the Problem

Brainstorming is imperative in determining the main problem affecting the organization. In order to do this, the management/decision makers can have a list of all the possible causes of the possible causes of the problem. Sticky notes with specific and different potential causes of the problem can be used. In the above scenario, the following might be main causes of the problem. 

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Determining the Underlying Conditions

The third step involves narrowing down the causes of the problem. While there could be various sources of the problem, there is normally the major cause. The brainstorming in step two will assist the management to have certain specific themes that could be the main causes of the problem. The following diagram demonstrates the main themes perceived to be the main causes of the problem: 

Designing a Solution

By focusing on the items under the themes of leadership, unclear vision, and poor communication, one can tell where the main problem lies. Poor communication and leadership are the main challenges affecting the organization. Communication plays an imperative role in fostering growth and development in an organization. Engaging employees in the decision making process fosters productivity and job satisfaction (Montana & Bruce, 2008). Effective leadership is important in enhancing employee morale and productivity. Effective leaders clearly define goals and eliminate any form of confusion (Schultz & Schultz, 2010). As a result, employees know exactly what is expected of them. 

Establishing the Root Cause of the Problem

While the causes of the problem have been narrowed down, the main cause is yet to be established. In order to achieve the goal, the Five Why root cause analysis below is important: 

Why is the company experiencing low employee morale and low productivity? 

Employees feel disillusioned and disconnected

Why is that?

Employees do not have clearly defined goals 

Why is that?

There is little or no supervision and interaction with employees 

Why is that?

There is poor communication and employees are not engaged in decision making 

Why is that? 

The management does not think employees should be an integral part of decision making 

Why is that?

There is a leadership crisis 

Evaluating the Success of the Solution

Conducting a survey can be used to determine whether leadership crisis was the main problem in the company. Leadership encompasses all the potential causes mentioned before. Effective leadership, such as transformational leadership will enhance communication between the employees and management (Lussier & Achua, 2010). The leadership will also create a favorable working condition for employees to develop their career and enhance their creativity. In conclusion, it is expected that if the leadership challenge is addressed, the organization will have resolved the challenge of productivity. 


Lussier, R. N., & Achua, C. F., (2010). Leadership, Theory, Application, & Skill Development . (4th Ed). Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning

Montana, J & Bruce, H. (2008). Management. Hauppauge, New York: Barron's Educational Series, Inc. ISBN 0-944740-04-9.

Schultz, P. & Schultz, S. (2010). Psychology and work today: an introduction to industrial and organizational psycholog y (10th Ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall. p. 171

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 16). Affinity Diagram and Root Cause Analysis.


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