The Effectiveness and Specificity of Change Management in a Public Organization: Transformational Leadership and a Bureaucratic Organizational Structure
Van der Voet, Joris, The Effectiveness and Specificity of Change Management in a Public Organization: Transformational Leadership and a Bureaucratic Organizational Structure. European Management Journal, Forthcoming.
40 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2013
Date Written: October 7, 2013
There is an extensive private sector literature on organizational change management. However, recent studies have suggested that the specific context of public organizations may have consequences for the management organizational change. This study examines to what extent different change approaches and transformational leadership of direct supervisors contribute to the effective implementation of organizational change in public organizations, and to what extent the bureaucratic structure of public organizations makes the implementation of organizational change specific. The implementation of an organizational change in a Dutch public organization is studied using quantitative methods and techniques. The results indicate that bureaucratic organizations may effectively implement organizational change with both planned and emergent change approaches. The contribution of transformational leadership depends on the type of change approach and organizational structure. Transformational leadership behavior of direct supervisors contributes little to planned processes of change, but is crucial in emergent processes of change in a non-bureaucratic context. Although the literature on change management mostly emphasizes the leadership of senior managers, the leadership role of direct supervisors should not be overlooked during organizational change in public organizations.
Keywords: change management, leadership, organizational structure, public sector organizations
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