Correctional Workers in the Organizational Change Process Research Paper

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The amassed literature on organizational change casts little doubt that change is a premier topic in the scholarship on organizations. Despite a litany of studies focusing on the organizational change process and outcomes, cumulative knowledge about change is in its relative infancy. Perhaps this stems, at least in part, from the considerable debate in prior and ongoing research about how best to define and study organizational change. On one side, scholars present change as a rupture to existing and stable organizational environments. In this view, organizations operate by adhering to a sequential order where a distinct set of events or routines form the basis for organizational operations. When revised or new events upend current practices through planned or spontaneous actions, the organization and its workers endure change. In this input-process-output or unfreezing-moving-refreezing model, “synoptic” accounts present organizational change as an accomplished or failed event, or set of events, rather than an ongoing process.

An alternative view of organizational change presents organizations as a series of continual processes that together create an organizational entity with its own identity. In this view, culture sense-making and resistance provide three of the many ways organizational actors continually grow and develop to help organizations fortify or redesign their identity. In this model, change is a dynamic and fluid process that is a normative part of organizational life. Organizations and organizational actors continually adjust to changes as they occur and/or possess enough agency (capacity of individuals to act independently and to make their own free choices to bring about change themselves. Scholars in this framework consider the dynamic interactions present within workers’ micro-processes (tacit/everyday knowledge) carried out in practice and routines (repetitive behavioral patterns that are habitual and often stagnant for forging understanding about how change processes operate). Although not every change is successful, processual change is an organizational certainty.

Within the second theoretical and conceptual framing outlined above, empirical research on organizational change within criminal justice, and particularly correctional systems, regularly considers how organizations and their workers manage change. This research paper focuses exclusively on three prominent themes present in organizational change research at the individual level of analysis: (1) culture/climate, (2) individual and group resistance, and (3) sense-making/perception. The following paragraphs outline what is known about how workers, particularly correctional workers, perceive, understand, and navigate organizational change. In conclusion, what remains unknown is discussed while providing some suggestions for future directions.

The Organizational Change Process

Generating intentional organizational change through policy or practice reform or implementation is a complex and often lengthy process that requires extensive planning and training for those involved. If even one department within an organization is not ready for change, implementation efforts will likely fail. Key to success is staff willingness and ability to adopt and implement an innovation or change into their existing routine. Major challenges associated with generating organizational change include facilitating change within the existing organizational culture/climate, helping staff understand and make sense of proposed changes, and overcoming staff resistance. To date, prior research on organizational change within correctional agencies and institutions has paid scant attention to change processes among correctional workers (e.g., correctional officers, parole/probation officers). That is, there is considerably more literature about workers during the change process within non-correctional industries. However, relatively little is known about how correctional workers perceive, understand, adapt, adopt, implement, and, at times, resist changes and reforms within their workplaces.

Workers And Change In Correctional Settings

Why Study Change In Correctional Settings?

Historically, US correctional goals have oscillated between rehabilitative and punitive ideals. In the period before the late 1960s, much of American corrections focused on offender rehabilitation. However, due to a growing concern that rehabilitation was ineffective at reducing recidivism and producing better post-custody citizens, corrections shifted toward a more punishment-oriented approach with an eye on retributive and deterrence goals. Throughout these shifts, the significance and function of prisons – as a part of the larger justice system – have also changed over time with restructured and reinterpreted goals and practices in response to the temporal problems and issues that interest society at any time. At present, financial strain has again shifted correctional goals toward reducing prison populations and accompanying costs with an outcome goal of recidivism reduction. In line with the growing weight of accountability, many correctional agencies are coupling their rehabilitation goals with evidence-based practices (EBPs) that use cognitive-behavioral approaches and risk management strategies. The resulting redesigned correctional models incorporate both rehabilitation and punishment creating a complex new goal structure that requires correctional organizations to undergo change.

Successful EBP implementation of new or revised practices and procedures requires a change in daily operations and a shift in business mentality. Prior work on change suggests successful implementation rests in the presence of three key components. These include (1) motivated and committed leadership, (2) organizational development involving the reworking of mission statement and values, resulting in an organizational culture transformation, and (3) collaboration between criminal justice agencies and supporting service providers, public safety agencies, and other stakeholders. Within these components, one of the biggest challenges facing organizations when implementing EBPs is altering the existing organization in ways that successfully support the new practice. In corrections, this may mean changing the organization’s core ideology and goals from a focus on authority and control to more therapeutic, rehabilitative environments. For example, Simon (1993) discusses how parole has changed over time from a “disciplinary parole” model that focuses on punitive and controlling methods, “clinical parole” which focuses on individualized treatment, to “managerial parole” which focuses on achieving internal efficiency. Individual workers rely on workplace culture and climate to make sense of the shifting organizational emphases. That is, as parole changes, successful implementation means that workers also shift their understandings of their duties and the parolees they supervise. If this does not occur, change is unlikely.

Existing Research On Change In Correctional Settings

Research examiningorganizational change in correctional settings, focusing on staff-levelvariables throughout the change process is limited. Table 1 displays anoverview of the studies reviewed that examine the experience of correctionalstaff throughout the change process. Although a systematic literature searchwas not completed, preliminary findings presented in this research paper offerevidence of scarce attention to correctional workers in the change processrelative to what is available regarding other criminal justice workers, namely,police. In the sections that follow, research is presented on correctionalworkers during the change process. This work is imparted in accordance with thethree themes noted previously: culture/climate, sensemaking/ perception, andresistance.

The Change Process In Corrections: Culture And Climate

Perhaps one of themost elusive yet monolithic concepts in organizational studies is culture orclimate. Defined as the marriage of an organization’s formal and informalstructures combined with organizational actors and both intra- andinterorganizational contingencies, an organizations’ culture or climatecombines ideals, practices, routines, goals, norms, and influences. This uniquemix creates a normative environment where organizational actors both developand adhere to formal and informal cultural guidelines. As an importantfacilitator of or barrier to organizational change, organizational culturerepresents both the “way things get done” and the way things become entrenched.

Research withincorrectional settings suggests that culture may assist with changeimplementation under certain circumstances. For example, evidence-basedpractice reforms occur more often in correctional organizations that presentopen learning environments with a focus on performance. Likewise, correctionalworkers who give primacy to treatment quality and are committed to theirorganization are more likely to use evidenced-based, effective treatmentpractices. Additionally, correctional staff who embrace cultural shifts towardrehabilitation are generally more likely to achieve successfulcognitive-behavioral change.

In an examination of juvenile probation officers, Farrell et al. (2011) find that officers working in organizations with lower levels of staff cynicism for change and more favorable perceptions of supervisory leadership are more likely to use the service-oriented practice innovation their organization was implementing. Similarly, greater organizational integration with community-based service providers also relates to the greater use of service-oriented practices among juvenile probation officers (POs). Farrell et al. (2011) found no significant relationship between office climate or the perception that the organization is open to new ideas and innovations, and the use of the innovation.

Likewise, other features of the organization may also matter. Hepburn and Albonetti (1980) found that role conflict among correctional staff in a maximum-security prison did not determine whether staff fulfilled treatment or custodial roles. However, role conflict was predictive according to organizational goals. Culture also links to other factors important in organization change such as readiness for change and resources. In one study of correctional culture, Rudes et al. (2011) find that culture impedes correctional change when staff in an adult reentry facility undergoing change report low readiness for change. Likewise, prior work suggests that the amount of resources organizations provide (e.g., wraparound services – additional complimentary services in conjunction with current treatment), often aligns with organizational cultural norms. That is, organizational workers spend resources (e.g., money, time) on activities and outcomes that best align with existing organizational cultural norms.

In recent years, a focus on what criminology scholars refer to as “The New Penology” provides another way of considering organizational culture and the metaphoric pendulum that scholars’ discuss swinging back and forth between the oppositional justice goals of rehabilitation and incapacitation. The new penology presents a slow change to broad organizational culture that moves community corrections agencies, like parole, from a focus on rehabilitation and/or law enforcement toward a new focus on people processing, waste management, and actuarial management systems. In this framework, correctional workers’ objectives are “to sort and classify, to separate the less from the more dangerous, and to deploy control strategies rationally” (Feeley and Simon 1992: 452). Combined with statistically formulated classification schemes and the use of intermediate sanctions, the new corrections’ approach focuses on “managing and recycling selected risk populations” (Feeley and Simon 1992: 465) in a way that minimizes risk while setting aside community reintegration goals.

Finally, studies measuring organizational climate via change processes have done so through surveys that assess the degree to which employees perceive their organization as supportive of new ideas and open to change. An organization’s climate can signal to employees what is expected of them and potential consequences for different behaviors. Scott and Bruce (1994) found that employees who perceived their organization as supportive of innovations were more likely to support and implement new ideas and strategies themselves. Similarly, Friedman et al. (2007) found that organizational climates more conducive to learning relate to greater use of evidence-based practices.

All told, scholars consider organizational culture or climate as a paradox that explains both everything and nothing within organizational environments. The rich, contextual nature of organizational normative ordering does provide some leverage for explaining how and why organizational change processes succeed or fail. However, culture and climate are excessively difficult to quantify, study, and understand for culture is only as valuable as the meaning it holds to the individuals that access it.

The Change Process In Corrections: Perceptions/Sensemaking

Organizational cultures are not intrinsic. Instead, staff play a large part in how cultures both develop and endure over time. As such, staff are an important part of change, reform, and implementation efforts within organizations. Part of the role staff plays in the change process includes their understanding or perception of the current culture alongside how and why that culture is changing. Staff sensemaking often has enormous bearing on the success of implementation efforts.

Grounded in the works of past symbolic interactionist scholars and more recently, Weick (1995) and Gioia and Chittipeddi (1991), sensemaking involves a continual, interpretive process individuals use to manage disruptions to existing ideologies, routines, and activities. While not confined to organizations, sensemaking is often the principal means workers use for negotiating workplace change, innovation, and reform. Sensemaking, then, is a framework for workers to process new information against existing information to construct and reconstruct meaning. Conceptually, sensemaking intimately entangles with organizational change, particularly in individual workers’ response. As such, sensemaking is a “springboard” “where meanings materialize and inform action” (Weick et al. 2005: 409). In studies of organizations, researchers often consider sensemaking among top and middle managers. At the management level, supervisors deduce change and then distribute their interpretations to subordinates. However, streetor linelevel workers make sense of policy and practice changes, too. In many cases, low-level workers act as policy interpreters. They do this by drawing upon their own experiences, beliefs, and workplace ideologies. In turn, their sensemaking influences their decisions and actions.

Worker sensemaking and perception rest in their understanding of current and changing goals, values, and practices and are rooted in their prior experiences and personal characteristics. Previous research on correctional staff suggests individuals with higher education, and advanced degrees are more likely to implement innovations. Other studies find that educated staff are more likely to view evidence-based therapies positively while also favoring the use of complex medically assisted treatments (e.g., buprenorphine and methadone) in combination with counseling.

Akin to research on employee sensemaking and perceptions of current and changing goals, values, and practices of the organization, prior studies have examined how individual-level factors (such as race, gender, tenure) affect the staff perceptions and attitudes. Specifically, qualitative research on gender differences among correctional officers (COs) finds that females deal with inmate confrontations using interpersonal communication skills that possibly exert a “calming effect” on inmates. Common perception of male COs, on the other hand, is that they are more capable of successfully carrying out the responsibilities of a CO, even when supervising female inmates. More generally, female COs are often believed to be less supportive of punishment and more supportive of a human services orientation as a means to reduce future crime. It is important to note, however, that there is a smaller, competing body of research that argues female COs are actually more strict, authoritative, and confrontational in their interactions with inmates.

Previous research has also found a link between race and perceptions, with several researchers reporting that white COs display more punitive attitudes, while nonwhite COs display attitudes aligned more with treatment and rehabilitation. Older correctional workers are often found more supportive of treatment and rehabilitation as opposed to younger COs. Along the same times, COs who have had a longer tenure on the job also tend to be less punitively oriented and more supportive of rehabilitation and treatment ideals. Finally, COs with more education typically hold more positive perceptions about the inmates they supervise.

While not directly linked to the perceptions of change, it is crucial to understand possible factors that influence the perceptions and attitudes of correctional workers. Positive attitudes and behaviors in general link to positive outcomes. These include (1) positive views of inmates and rehabilitation, (2) more pleasant relations between CO and inmates, and lastly (3) more positive conditions within the facility.

Although limited in number, several studies have considered correctional worker perceptions of a change approach within their organization. In one study of corrections’ workers, Steiner et al. (2011) surveyed parole officers to understand their perceptions of an agency transition to a sanction grid that imposed graduated sanctioning guidelines on parole officers. Survey results demonstrated a variety of different PO perceptions. One major PO concern was that the sanction grid placed restrictions on their discretionary decision-making abilities. These officers were less supportive of the innovation, overall. POs generally felt left out of the process used for choosing the sanction grid for their organization. They did not feel like anyone heard, or wanted to hear, their ideas or perceptions. In contrast, POs who felt respected as professionals and understood the intent and purpose of the sanction grid held more favorable perceptions of the innovation.

Within treatment settings – corrections’ organizational cousin – there is a large body of research examining organizational change. This research is important when discussing correctional workers as one of the goals of corrections includes a rehabilitative/treatment component. Examining the challenges associated with the change process in the treatment field provides insight into challenges correctional workers face that are further complicated by the coexisting opposing goals of corrections (incapacitation vs. rehabilitation). Staff training is again an important theme in this literature, as the more relevant and engaging the training, the more likely staff are to have positive perceptions and attempt to actually implement the innovation into their work. Greater treatment provider support for change is possible when staff perceive an actual need for the improvement as well as the opportunity for professional growth. Similarly, when staff members perceive leadership or the organizational culture positively, they are more likely to associate positive attitudes toward change. Treatment counselors are more open to change when they have greater confidence in their own skills and abilities, as well as when the benefits of the innovation are reinforced. Likewise, more educated treatment counselors are also more likely to accept change. Rowan-Szal et al. (2007) also report that allowing treatment staff to participate in the change process and help in the planning stage results in more positive perceptions and a greater willingness to implement the innovation into practice. A significant barrier to change within treatment settings includes a lack of time, specifically when serving a large number of clients. A perceived divergence between usual care and the proposed change can also hinder implementation efforts within treatment settings.

Aside from personal and professional characteristics affecting perception and sensemaking, sometimes correctional workers oppose change more strongly than just misunderstanding. In these cases, staff resist change.

The Change Process In Corrections: Resistance

Just as culture/climate and sensemaking/perception are assistive with organizational change, they also enhance, support, and facilitate worker resistance. Staff regularly resist change when they experience difficulty reconciling prior organizational goals and ideologies with new ones. As the natural opposite to organizational control, resistance represents contested power relations within an organizational structure whereby workers exhibit behavior that does not align with management or organizational change goals. At a formal level, resistance emerges in organizational life via strikes, collective action, grievance filing, and work stalling or stopping. At the more prevalent, yet less visible, informal level, workplace resistance is what some scholars dub “routine resistance.” This type of resistance is generally unplanned and is sometimes covert. Although informal resistance is more difficult to study because it is virtually imperceptible, it is here that mundane, everyday resistance takes shape. It is also here that workers make steady progress toward retarding or halting organizational change.

In correctional settings, the complexity of the change process is due in part to the well-documented and unfailing tension between two competing organization goals – treatment (rehabilitation) and security (incapacitation). Scholars note this robust goal rift in prisons, parole and probation. On a correctional ideology continuum, staff often connect to one of the two goals more closely. When change or reform proposes movement from one side of the continuum toward the other, correctional staff feel strain and try to find ways to reconcile or eliminate it.

How and why staff resist change and reform closely intertwines with how their organizational culture/climate and sensemaking frameworks align with the change. In this regard, prior work such as Turpin-Petrisio’s (1999) research on parole decision making–suggests that correctional workers, namely, probation/parole officers, often continue employing pre-change behavioral structures and related decisions despite reform efforts. In these studies, POs perceive reform as ineffective when it does not first consider their needs, prior decision-making patterns, or when they are less committed to their organization. Related work by Latessa (2004) notes the importance of how managers and supervisors communicate the change to individual workers in ways that help workers understand how the change will positively affect their work.

More specifically in correctional settings, Ferguson (2002) examined the experience of a probation department as they implemented a risk/needs assessment tool as part of their daily routine. While the department eventually experienced success with integrating the assessment tool into practice, significant challenges arose during the change process. One major hurdle was staff perceptions of the innovation. Staff were concerned that the use of this tool meant that they were losing their discretionary decision-making ability and no longer had any input when it came to writing presentence recommendations or case plans. Although this was a major challenge, trainers acknowledged this issue and focused on the idea that the structured assessment tool, combined with their professional judgment, is critical to an effective assessment. There was also some staff resistance to change, as workers expressed concern that as soon as they adjusted to the current change, more changes would follow. Staff also worried about managing their workload once the new change became routine. Trainers addressed this concern by emphasizing the risk/ needs tool as a new way of looking at offender risk and needs as opposed to creating additional work. Akin to Latessa’s (2004) suggestion for managers, trainers also explained how the tool assists POs in doing their jobs more effectively.

In another corrections study, Battalino et al. (1996) emphasize the difficulty that comes with generating change within a public organization, the California Department of Corrections (CDC) prison system. In their evaluation, the authors examine the implementation process of the Treatment of People Initiative (TOP), the goal of which is to transform the organizational culture of this correctional system from a more fear-based work environment to one that promotes constructive and supportive interactions and values the contributions of each employee (Battalino et al. 1996). The TOP initiative met staff resistance as employees felt it was impossible to operate within a correctional setting without using an authoritarian style. Some staff members believed that they had been using many of the TOP values already and felt that the current push for the initiative was an insinuation that they had done something wrong or that their organization had failed. Staff also perceived the change initiative to be “soft” and in opposition to the context of the existing organizational culture. This study on change within corrections highlights the complexity of generating change within a large, bureaucratic organization that traditionally operates with a competing goal structure (Battalino et al. 1996). It also indicates several triggers for staff resistance. Ultimately, the TOP initiative was unsuccessful in the CDC as the change was only attitudinal without linking to on-the-ground behavioral change.

Finally, Pullen (1996) evaluated the implementation of the reasoning and rehabilitation (R&R) cognitive skills development program in a Juvenile Intensive Supervision Probation (JISP) department. The RR program, a mandatory component of JISP, is an educational program provided by POs to teach cognitive skills such as problem-solving and critical reasoning to juvenile offenders in groups of six to eight. POs received training on delivering the R&R program by ensuring they understand the cognitive skills they would be teaching and helping POs to prepare lesson plans, overheads, and other class materials for the session. Through survey and observational data, Pullen (1996) found unsuccessful implementation of the R&R program. POs received the information given to them in the training, but did not develop the actual skills needed to run the program. POs often prepared right before the group session or had to do so at home, reporting that there was no decrease in other job responsibilities in order to make time for their new responsibilities. Pullen (1996) reported that POs delivered the content of the material but often read directly from the manual suggesting that they did not have a complete understanding of the material. POs also lacked enthusiasm for the program, focusing on the fact that it was mandatory rather than making it relevant and interesting to the juveniles (Pullen 1996). Pullen (1996) concluded that the shortfalls in the implementation of the R&R program can undermine the effectiveness of the program and cognitive skill development overall.

Resistance of many forms, from foot dragging to monkey wrenching, exists within organizational environments, and corrections does not escape this reality. Although workers may not admit or even allude to direct forms of resistance, resistance often occurs indirectly through lack of buy-in and commitment, feelings of mistrust, and questions about how and why reform is necessary and occurring.

Summary Of What Is Known About Change Among Correctional Workers

A common theme throughout these studies is that staff try to understand change while working within the framework of their own perceptions and their organizational culture/climate. They become resistant to change when they cannot align prior goals and values with new ones or when they perceive a loss of their discretionary decision-making capabilities or their ability to use professional judgment. For some staff, implementing change is burdensome and difficult to do while balancing already busy schedules, work, or caseloads. At these times, change seems not only unrealistic but also impossible.

Change progress, on the other hand, is possible when staff members understand the intent and purpose of the innovation. The research by Battalino et al. (1996) highlights a challenge unique to correctional settings in that correctional workers are resistant to altering the organizational culture to be less authoritarian because they felt it did not align with the goals and context of the organization as a whole. This research reveals that staff perceptions regarding how a change initiative will affect them personally, how it is implemented in their daily routines, and how it fits into their current understanding of the organization they are embedded in are influential in shaping their views concerning the efficacy of the reform and openness to implementing and adopting it.

Improving Change Processes And Outcomes Among Correctional Workers: Better Ways Of Studying Change

Given what is known about organizational change, Van de Ven and Poole (2005) suggest a typology of complimentary approaches for studying change that considers organizations as both things (nouns) and processes (verbs). In building their typology, the authors suggest that prior work on organizational change operates according to Mohr’s (1982) distinction between variance and process. In this thinking, organizational scholars generally study organizations in one of two ways: First, they consider how organizations vary (using variance theories) (Mohr 1982) looking at variables and causation. Second, they focus on organizational processes (using process theories), assessing historical and sequential narratives. Van de Ven and Poole (2005) formulate a four-part typology that suggests a way of expanding current knowledge by incorporating both process and variance theories into studies of organizations, that is, considering organizations as both a noun and a verb. In this framing, scholars would simultaneously consider differences between what Barnett and Carroll (1995) call content and process within organizational change. This would infinitely broaden the scope of current understanding of organizational change by considering the select dimensions within organizations that are changing, while also taking account of how and why the change develops and unfolds.

What Is Missing? Next Steps

While prior studies of organizational change highlight organizational culture/climate, staff perceptions/sensemaking, and resistance as key contingencies for change, prior research does not adequately address the specific complexities present within correctional agencies. Culture and perception are both critical factors affecting implementation, particularly when staff consider the compatibility of a change with existing practice. They may look for the value added or may look for ways to make both old and new policies or practices work simultaneously. While some prior work establishes that staff education level and prior experience affect willingness of staff to accept reform efforts, little is known about the processes staff go through to perceive, understand, and, at times, resist workplace change. Prior studies also do not address how staff think or perceive reform in environments where staff are not well educated – which is common in correctional organizations such as prisons.

Specifically, frontline staff are a pivotal part of the change process as they are often principally responsible for policy and practice implementation. At present, the limited knowledge of change processes among correctional workers does not include much scholarship on staff perceptions as part of the overall organizational culture and as a pathway toward or from resistance. This research paper presents information on the perceptions and attitudes of correctional workers generally. One hypothesis might include a question about how perceptions and attitudes regarding treatment and rehabilitation align with openness and staff perceptions of change. This, though, is just one area warranting additional attention.

That attention requires forethought. The history of scholarship on organizational change among correctional workers and within the broader organizational literature builds upon studies that answer the “what” question (e.g., what change occurred and what were the causes and effects of the change). However, more studies that use a longitudinal design to answer the “how” question are needed. These studies will explore process issues that consider the temporal and contextual richness of change processes and environments. Of course, these studies, mostly qualitative in nature, come with specific challenges including labor intensity, stretching researcher capacity and resources, and (when qualitative) concerns about generalizability, reliability, bias, and validity. However, with appropriate and transparent sampling, coding, and analysis strategies, the yields from studies of this nature far outweigh the challenges.

Another possibility for advancing research on correctional workers in the change process involves a different lens for examining workers role in change. Martha Feldman (2000, 2003) is nearly alone in her work on mindfulness with organizational environments, specifically within change processes. Whereas much of the prior work on change suggests that agency-less workers engage in change processes by mindlessly accepting it, apathetically ignoring it, or overtly or covertly resisting it, Feldman (2000, 2003) suggests that workers use mindful actions that are a source of, rather than a barrier to, change. Future work on change processes may consider this conceptualization as a framework for studying change. Doing so may require a grounded theory approach and an analysis strategy that allows for exploring workers’ perceptions and behaviors using nontraditional lenses.

Another possible route for advancing change work in corrections comes from Iverson (1996). He suggests that change acceptance increases with organizational commitment, harmonious climate, education, job motivation, job satisfaction, job security, and positive affectivity. He also finds decreased support for organizational change accompanied by union membership, role conflict, tenure, and environmental opposition. Although prior work considers many of these factors, there is little research about the role union membership plays in correctional change processes except Page’s (2011) book on the California Correctional and Peace Officers Union (CCPOA), which does not explore change processes directly.

Finally, scholars of organizational change processes must consider increasing focus on organizational communication via knowledge creation process through “continuous dialogue between tacit and explicit knowledge” (Nonaka 1994: 14) and through middle managers’ “role as key interpreters and sellers of strategic change. At both the streetand management-levels, communication is a conceptual partner to perception/ sensemaking and culture/climate. Horizontal and vertical information flow within organizations and among key and non-key organizational actors presents a critical mechanism for understanding how and why change occurs or fails to do so. Studies that consider networks, knowledge transfer, and organizational learning would improve knowledge of how communication works within change processes.


One obvious unstated point in this research paper on correctional workers in the organizational change process is the importance of viewing change through both a criminological (social science) and organizational lens. As Pettigrew and colleagues (2001) note, “Dynamism has been difficult to study, and social science has developed quite comfortably as an exercise in comparative statics” (697). What is needed in studies of organizational change processes are research projects that do the harder work of formulating designs and collecting/analyzing data that speak to the historical and processual changes that occur within organizational contextual environments. Examining culture/climate, perception/ sensemaking, and resistance is not an easy under taking. However, the payoff for improving knowledge about how change works among correctional workers is large. This knowledge can vastly progress practice or policy implementation through improved training programs – affecting both content and design. Organizations who know more about how their workers understand and cope with change can also do more to work with workers on related issues that could be resistance points if unknown. Finally, considering not just the independent and dependent variables but thinking through the interactional dynamics of organizational change provides a crucial link for understanding how and why workers make the choices they make during organizational change processes and how to make those choices work in the organization’s best interest.


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