Change institutionalization is an important aspect in change management that helps the managers to ensure that the changes introduced are embraced by employees as the new way to operate. The process of change is never easy. However, with proper guidance from the leadership and willingness of the employees to change, it is a worthwhile process for an organization.
Question 1: My understanding of institutionalization of change and how organizational characteristics affect institutionalization
I understand institutionalization of change as that management process that involves making changes introduced in an organization in terms of systems and behaviour the new norm in that organization. The three organizational characteristics that affect institutionalization are congruence, stability of the environment and technology, and unionization discussed as follows;
- Unionization: Unionized workers trust in the efforts of these unions to advocate good working conditions for them. In such an instance, any changes that go contrary to the policies laid down by the unions result in difficulties in change institutionalization (iEduNote, 2017). Furthermore, poor work relations between the unions and the managers of an organization will also result in resistance to change. However, good relations with the unions and new policies that are supportive of the union’s policies result in successful change institutionalization.
- Congruence: This refers to the extent to which the changes being made in an organization are in harmony with the organization’s mission statement, vision, core values, strategic plans, and philosophies (iEduNote, 2017). A high congruence means that there’s a positive relationship between the organization’s philosophies and the changes introduced which results in successful institutionalization. On the contrary, low congruence translates to unsuccessful institutionalization of the changes embraced by the organization.
- Stability of the environment and technology: According to Cummings and Worley (2005), change institutionalization is more successful in a stable environment and one that has supportive technological expertise. Unstable environments make it difficult to achieve permanence of the change introduced in the organization which is the main objective of institutionalization.
Question 2: Description of the assessment method used to determine if institutionalization is evident, as well as the outcomes and indicators that illustrate that institutionalization is evident
A method that is often used to assess the extent to which change institutionalization has taken place is called Feedback. Feedback comes from engagement of the employees and managers on their opinion about the changes made in the organization. Examples of ways in which feedback is obtained is through interviews and surveys.
- Interviews: It is used to get the detailed opinions of people on a subject. In this context, the target of the interviews could be the managers who run operations of the organization.
- Surveys: Surveys are questionnaires that are made up of questions about change institutionalization in the organization. These questions are circulated to the employees via email to get their responses.
According to Cummings and Worley (2013), the outcomes and indicators that illustrate that institutionalization is evident /successful include the following:
- Knowledge: It refers the awareness of the employees regarding the actions they are required to perform as a result of the process of change institutionalization. Successful institutionalization comes with sufficient information and knowledge for work performance. It also comes when the employees know that there are consequences of not behaving in the manner required by the organization.
- Performance: Performance refers to the extent to which new behaviour is actually performed by the employees and managers within an organization knowing that it is critical for change institutionalization. It is measured by comparing numbers of people who are performing the right actions and the frequency with which they engage in new behaviour.
- Value Consensus: refers to the agreement among the employees and the managers that the changes being instituted reflect the core values of the organization (Cummings & Worley, 2009). This outcome comes when the change being instituted is in accordance with the ethical values of the organization. Failure to align with the institutional values may result in lack of support for the change intervention.
- Normative Consensus: refers to the degree to which employees feel that the proposed changes are appropriate to achieving the mission and goals of the organization. Such an outcome is only evident when the initiators of change ensure that that the changes proposed embrace the core reason as to why the organization exists. Failure to do this results in resistance of the change.
- Preference: this indicator points to the individuals’ attitudes and acceptance of change intervention. Positive individual attitudes result in support of the change institutionalization whereas negative attitudes result in lack of employee support of the change process.
Question 3: Three institutionalization processes that would illustrate that institutionalization is not evident as a result of the change implementation process
These three institutionalization processes that can be used to assess whether institutionalization is NOT evident as a result of the change implementation process are as follows;
- Sensing and calibration: Refers to the process of assessing the progress in so far as change institutionalization is concerned and making necessary adjustments to ensure there is smooth transition. Essentially, it involves looking at the expected standards of operation and the actual operations to see whether there are any negative deviations. Negative deviations result in Change institutionalizing is NOT evident when there is no provision of a system of sensing and calibration.
- Reward Allocation: Rewards systems are important in institutionalizing change because employees need to be motivated to embrace the new way of doing things. Otherwise, the employees will feel that what they are required to do is contrary to the previous job descriptions and they may want to resign or resist change. Reward allocation may be in the form of non-monetary or monetary rewards or both. No reward allocation means that institutionalization is NOT evident.
- Commitment: Commitment of both workers and managers to the changes introduced in the organization is essential to the institutionalization of these changes (Centre for Creative Leadership, 2019). Right from the onset of the change process, employers need to communicate expected changes and seek to get written communication from the employees and managers indicating their support and commitment to the changes. Lack of commitment is evidence that no change institutionalization has taken place.
Question 4: How managers could create the capacity for continuous change, learning, and improvement.
Managers could create the capacity for continuous change, learning and improvement by doing the following;
- Embracing diversity of thought: Managers need to start building the capacity for continuous change, learning, and improvement by embracing diversity of thought and encouraging their employees to do the same. An understanding that people see things differently will enable people to embrace each other’s ideas and be willing to integrate them into the organization’s systems (Llopis, 2014).
- Continuous improvement: Terry (2019) suggests that continuous improvement is the best way to streamline workflows and minimize project costs. Continuous improvement is basically making little improvements that result in the overall continuous improvement of processes.
- Continuous Learning: Continuous learning involves reading books, watching documentaries and enrolling for courses that help in embracing the new ways of doing business. It also includes trainings and short online courses provided by the organization to help the employees to keep in step with the trends in the business world and in their specific areas of expertise.
- Platform for continuous new ideas creation: Mangers should provide environments that encourage employees to be creative. An example of a way they could do this is to have forums where people freely give suggestions for new methods of work performance and rewarding the best ideas.
Question 5: Future trends that may impact upon the role of the manager in relation to institutionalization of change
Based on the current trends, the future is likely to present more frequent changes within organizations. Some of the future trends that will affect the roles of managers include globalization, environmental awareness, culturally diverse workforce, and increased technological innovations. As a result, managers will have to prepare themselves for new roles such as;
- Being Corporate Social Responsibility mobilizers: With every passing day every human is getting concerned about the environment and its posterity. As a result, managers in the future will have to come up with structures that promote clean energy, good waste management policies, water conservation, and minimizing pollution of every kind. For example managers will have to institute the use of clean energy instead of coal energy to reduce emission of greenhouse gases (Kweku et al., 2018).
- Supporting a culturally diverse workforce: Globalization has resulted in the world being a global village. As a result, employees in the future will come from every part of the world. Thus, managers will have to institutionalize culturally-diverse-friendly environments at the workplace to be able to attract the skilled workforce.
- Creating environments that encourage innovations: Innovation will be a hallmark in the future as can be seen by the many innovations today. Managers will need to closely monitor innovations related to their field of operations and make appropriate changes to keep doing business. To this end, managers will need to institutionalize innovativeness as part of their organisations’ cultures such as focus groups and innovation days.
- Creating brands that have a global face: Managers will also have to create products that have a global face rather than that meant to only satisfy customers in a particular local region (Ready, 2016).
All these factors point to the fact that managers will have to be flexible to the changes that are bound to come along in the future.
The study of change institutionalization in this module has helped me to understand that it is not enough to ensure planned changes take place. It is also important that these changes become the new norm of operations within an organisation. I have also noted that good managers embrace change and become positive about them for the employees to have positive attitudes towards change too.
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