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
Date Written: October 28, 2005
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: Suggested Citation