Managing institutional change: architectural technology as a profession in society
AbstractThis study sets out to explore the need for institutional change management within the setting of a professional body: the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists – CIAT. Even though research has established that there are successful models and processes designed to depict the dynamics of organisational change, these tend to be generalised and nothing specific to professional body institutions. Professional bodies are coming under increasing pressure to maintain their utilitarian values in the face of changing technology, legislation and sustainability issues. Therefore the need to redefine the traditional role of the CIAT as a ‘not-for-profit’ organisations demanded understanding on how the membership perceived its relevance in its current form. This intention was balanced by evaluating the existential models on management change, primarily, to bring about a positive change and to improve the viability of CIAT to its broader membership. A stratified sample frame of least 1280 members was identified based on simple randomisation of respondents according to the designated membership level; this constituted 320 Chartered Technologists; 160 Technicians; 160 Honorary and 240 students. The first set of data analysed enabled the study to extrapolate exogeneity drivers, which reflected the desire for increased loyalty through sustained membership subscription. Analogous to this was the call for CIAT to focus on the initiatives aimed at widening membership beyond the traditional routes, by capturing new emerging fields such as BIM-design and to further attract individuals from other professions seeking to belong to more than one professional body. Endogeneity drivers were also identified as driven by initiatives more likely to promote the reputation of the institution. Chief among these was the revelation of the broad membership’s desiring to feel embraced more as ambassadors of the institution and as such, deserving more access to all the brands of design-services which CIAT seeks to promote. However, for these calls to bear fruits, CIAT needed to take a new ambidextrous structure by adopting initiatives targeting support for small to medium design outfits. These are continually seeking affordable access to design licensing tools. However, using non-parametric methods for the analysis of variance revealed that respondents who supply architectural services and those who run their design practices have this same shared expectation. In essence, they define value-desirability for their membership through sustained loyalty to CIAT only because membership enables them to retain a competitive edge, and are readily recognised among industry-relevant-clients. In the light of this, CIAT must foster initiatives that increase its relevance and international reputation as well as diversify more the services on offer to its membership while keeping an eye on existential factors of adopting a business-like model. As a professional body, CIAT needs to retain its obligations as a ‘not-for-profit’ organisation with a responsibility to its members and the public. These areas emerged as existential areas likely to be in the way of a successful institutional change. In order for change to succeed, understanding the sources which might offer some resistance to change remains critical. Correspondingly, the focus for improving the value-desirability factors that can inspire new entrants, hinges on strengthening the international reputation of the institution and above all the simplification of the progression routes to chartered membership. A conceptual framework that embodies the process of change for CIAT is presented. The limitation of the study is that the results are based on UK membership only. The study also recommends that to achieve the desired change management, recognition of packages for SMEs design outfits will improve the value-desirability perception, most memberships seek in their professional body.
PublisherUniversity of Wolverhampton
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Wolverhampton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
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