Organizational change is difficult and challenging. However, once the change has been made and it is successful, there is one last step that is needed, which is institutionalizing the change. According to Fernandez and Rainey (2006), this is where employees learn and establish new behaviors and leaders institutionalize them so that new patterns of behavior become the norm. This has also been referred to by Cummings and Worley (2009) as refreezing from Lewin’s three stage change model where refreezing is to make the new practice routine. Therefore, institutionalization is an important part of any change program to maintain longer term success. An example of an organization that has institutionalized structural change within their organization is Hewlett-Packard.
According to Cummings and Worley (2009) there is an institutionalization framework that will affect an organization success in change programs. First there are the organizations characteristics and the intervention characteristics. These two factors then influence the institutionalization process which can be measured by the indicators of institutionalization (Cummings & Worley, 2009).
There are three main characteristics that include congruence, stability of environment and technology and unionization (Cummings & Worley, 2009). Unionization was not an issue for Hewlett-Packard, but congruence and stability were. Congruence is how well the intervention is believed to be aligned with the organization’s managerial structure and culture (Cummings &Worley, 2009). This was an issue for Hewlett-Packard when they changed from 50 autonomous product divisions that were decentralized to a centralized computer company. In addition, to being very autonomous and decentralized they had a culture of the “HP way” that supported participative management that was both teamwork oriented and rewarded individual input. Therefore, the interventions that were created to encourage communication and team work among the different divisions over time became cumbersome and inhibited their ability to make decisions quickly. Furthermore, stability was another issue for Hewlett-Packard since the demand for new technology was very high. Therefore, institutionalization of change was adversely affected because change was the norm.
In addition, to the three organizational characteristics there are five intervention characteristic that include goal specificity, programmability, level of change target, internal support, and sponsorship (Cummings & Worely, 2009). In regards to Hewlett-Packard, in 1990 a new intervention was developed to combat the delays caused by the last intervention. In addition to being more congruent with their “HP way” the new intervention also had goal specificity. There were two main goals with this intervention. First goal was to remove layers of management that would improve...