Multiple Faces of Codification: Organizational Redesign in an IT Organization

Organization Science, Vol. 17, No. 2, pp. 191-201, March-April, 2006

28 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2011  

Emmanuelle Vaast

Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus, School of Business, Public Administration and Information Sciences

Natalia Levina

New York University

Date Written: October 28, 2005

Abstract

This paper details a longitudinal interpretative field study of an Information Technology (IT) organization in which a new Chief Information Officer (CIO) implemented a major organizational redesign. The redesign increased the degree of codification in activities of the IT organization so as to control, coordinate, and deliver services more cost effectively to its business clients. We examine different stakeholders’ views of the change, the implementation processes, and the consequences of the redesign.

The case analysis emphasizes specific challenges that designers of support organizations face when increasing the degree of codification. Key implications include the need for these designers to 1) pay as much if not more attention to the local organizational context as they do to the external environmental conditions; 2) communicate and negotiate constantly with various stakeholders concerning the appropriate degree of codification and control; 3) be wary of how a strict alignment of all design elements can blind the designer to important, unrecognized issues; and 4) consider that increased codification may help support organizations compete more efficiently with external vendors, but may also ease the process of outsourcing.

Keywords: Codification, IT implementation, Organizational Theory, Core Rigidity, Objectification, Organizational Design

JEL Classification: L00, L22, L80

Suggested Citation

Vaast, Emmanuelle and Levina, Natalia, Multiple Faces of Codification: Organizational Redesign in an IT Organization (October 28, 2005). Organization Science, Vol. 17, No. 2, pp. 191-201, March-April, 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1792741

Emmanuelle Vaast

Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus, School of Business, Public Administration and Information Sciences ( email )

1 University Plaza - H700
Brooklyn, NY 11201
United States

Natalia Levina (Contact Author)

New York University ( email )

44 West Fourth Street
New York, NY 10012
United States

HOME PAGE: http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~nlevina

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