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Empowerment and involvement play a key role, but there are additional tools that can be used to institutionalise a change and to make it sustainable. None of these tools should be used as a way of forcing change but they are all useful tools for embedding the change in the organisation. Figure 1 describes some of these tools.



Training plan

Staff will need to be properly trained in new skills or roles

Extra training budget

Any training with respect to the change project is in addition to normal training requirements

Changes to appraisal systems

If staff are doing a different job, they will need to be measured against different criteria

Changes to reward systems

If staff are doing a different job, they will need to be rewarded against different criteria

Changes to reporting lines

If the organisation structure changes, this should be reflected in the official reporting lines of the organisation

Figure 1: Additional tools for embedding change

Essentially, all these tools do is to help you align normal organisational systems and structures with the changes that have been made. For example, Bolton Council's Contact Centre implementation included a training plan and also defined changes to appraisal and reward systems.

Orlikowski's Account of Norms and Values

A classic account of the importance of attuning norms and values to a change programme was given by Wanda Orlikowski. She recounted how a consultancy company installed a Lotus Notes system to facilitate and grow the sharing of knowledge within the company. The project failed for a number of reasons, a key one being that to share knowledge cut across the norms and values of the consultants themselves. They were used to working in a competitive environment and were rewarded for the value of the business they brought to the company. In such an environment the idea of sharing knowledge was alien and could never work, no matter what the technology. Only a change to these core norms and values (e.g. through different reward systems) could hope to achieve the goal of knowledge sharing.

Orlikowski, Wanda J. and Hofman, Debra J. An Improvisational Model of Change Management: The Case of Groupware Technologies , Center for Coordination Science Technical Report #191, February 1997.

The consequences of not using Institutionalisers will be:

  • staff will not be trained and therefore will not have the skills to perform their new roles
  • staff will be working to outdated job goals and targets
  • staff will be motivated by irrelevant rewards systems and not motivated to aim for the targets of the new system
  • staff will be reporting to managers who cannot or will not be able to support them in their new roles

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