Institutionalization is an important part of any organizational development change process because it implies that there is a commitment, acceptance, and assimilation of the changes. Once organizational changes have been designed and implemented, employees will need to adapt to those changes and develop new patterns and habits. At this point, an organization will hopefully settle into a new set of balances and relative stability. During the institutionalization stage of a change process, employees begin to view the change not as something new but as a normal and an integral part of the organization’s processes, systems, and structures. John Kotter’s theory of institutionalization states that change can only be considered successful when it becomes the new ‘way we do things around here’ (Kotter, 1995
When experiencing changes and transitions, it has been suggested that employees will tend to go through a predictable sequence of stages similar to those outlined by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross in her work on grieving. Kubler-Ross’s model was based on the theory that people will work through issues until they finally accept a change. In the final stage of Kubler-Ross’s model people become more comfortable and accepting of a change, internalize it, and move on. (Kubler-Ross, 1969).
In the case of Hewlett Packard, many factors have played a key role in the success of their ability to institutionalize changes. Following is a list of a few of these factors and their impact on HP’s institutionalization process:
Congruence: According to Cummings congruence is “the degree to which an intervention is perceived as being in harmony with the organization’s managerial philosophy, strategy, and structure” (Cummings & Worley, 2009, p. 204). A unique characteristic of Hewlett-Packard, “the HP Way has been both a constraint to and a facilitator of change” (Cummings & Worley, 2009, p. 208). HP’s code of ethics, known as the HP Way, was originally drafted by David Packard and has been cited as the source behind much of Hewlett Packard’s success. “Leaders die, products become obsolete, markets change, new technologies emerge, and management fads come and go, but core ideology in a great company endures as a source of guidance and inspiration” (Harvard business review on change, 1998, p. 25). The HP Way was drafted around five core values including; a deep respect for the individuals, a dedication to affordable quality, and reliability. This ideology is what has held the organization together as it grew, developed, and expanded. However, opponents argue that the HP Way has also contributed to some of the company’s difficulties in institutionalizing structural and behavioral changes. “Founders Bill Hewlett and David Packard were renowned for emphasizing teamwork and respect for co-workers. But in recent years, that has translated into a bureaucratic, consensus-style culture that is at a sharp disadvantage in the Net-speed era”. (Burrows & Elstrom, 1999, p....