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Inside institutional change: A case study in transformation

William H. White (Independent consultant to corporations, governments, and other organizations, focusing his work on changing organizations. He has written other articles on organizational change and is a frequent speaker on the corporate lecture circuit. He holds advanced degrees and has more than 20 years of professional work experience as a change agent for corporations and other organizations.)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Article publication date: 1 March 2005




To describe examples of institutional change to help others appreciate the difficult but crucial nature of this process.


A seasoned consultant describes, using frank, first‐hand account, examples of institutional change.


Shows how institutional change is often forced on organizations by shifting external forces that render old niches obsolete. Also shows the difficulty in mobilizing to confront the need for serious change, and how leadership transitions are often a central part of the change process.


The author points to three main lessons from this case study. Institutional change may be arduous, but it can also leave people feeling amazed at how long they tolerated the old system. The author also notes that institutional change is a natural process, proceeding with a life all its own. The author concludes with some thoughts on how to initiate this process when an organization appears ready.



White, W.H. (2005), "Inside institutional change: A case study in transformation", On the Horizon, Vol. 13 No. 1, pp. 54-58.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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