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More of the Same? A Dual Case Study Approach to Examining Change Momentum in the Public Sector

Barker, L, McKeown, T, Wolfram Cox, J and Bryant, M ORCID: 0000-0002-0897-8092 2018 , 'More of the Same? A Dual Case Study Approach to Examining Change Momentum in the Public Sector' , Australian Journal of Public Administration , pp. 1-19 , doi: 10.1111/1467-8500.12306.

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Abstract

Despite the significant amount of change experienced by the public sector, there has been relatively limited empirical examination of how change agendas affect public sector employees in Australia. This article presents a comparative analysis of two Australian public sector organisations that implemented the same positive work change agenda, but experienced very different outcomes. Using a critical realist approach, we draw on a mix of qualitative techniques to suggest that textbook notions of ‘successful change’, which are often derived from large private sector expectations, may fail to capture the complex nature of how public sector change initiatives may unfold. In particular, we demonstrate how political, temporal, contextual, and process factors interact to shift change momentum. Illustrative examples are provided throughout and the findings are discussed in terms of their implications for theory building, for change facilitation, and for future research.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Barker, L and McKeown, T and Wolfram Cox, J and Bryant, M
Keywords: organisational change, critical realism, qualitative research
Journal or Publication Title: Australian Journal of Public Administration
Publisher: Blackwell Publ Ltd
ISSN: 0313-6647
DOI / ID Number: 10.1111/1467-8500.12306
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2018 Institute of Public Administration Australia

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