Talking the Talk or Walking the Walk? The Leadership of Planned and Emergent Change in a Public Organization

Van der Voet, J., Groeneveld, S.M. & Kuipers, B.S. (2013). Talking the talk or walking the walk? The leadership of planned and emergent change in a public organization. Journal of Change Management. Advance online publication. DOI: 10.1080/14697017.2013.805160

46 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2013

See all articles by Joris Van der Voet

Joris Van der Voet

Leiden University

Sandra Groeneveld

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

Ben Kuipers

Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs

Date Written: May 10, 2013

Abstract

The implementation of public management reform may entail radical change for public sector organizations, as it implies changes in the values of the organization. Although such organizational changes are widespread and prevalent in the public sector, the processes through which such changes take place are largely overlooked in the public management literature. By means of an embedded, comparative case study, we analyze both a planned and an emergent process of change. Our analysis indicates that changes come about through careful reinterpretation and reframing of organizational commitments, rather than replacement of the old by the new values. Moreover, there are important differences in the leadership activities in planned and emergent processes of organizational change. We highlight the need for an increased understanding of the role of leadership in emergent processes of change. In order to successfully change public organizations, we find that the approach to change and corresponding leadership activities should be congruent with the content of the desired organizational change. Managers must dare to go beyond talking the talk and start walking the walk.

Keywords: leadership, planned change, emergent change, public sector organizations, public management reform

Suggested Citation

Van der Voet, Joris and Groeneveld, Sandra and Kuipers, Ben, Talking the Talk or Walking the Walk? The Leadership of Planned and Emergent Change in a Public Organization (May 10, 2013). Van der Voet, J., Groeneveld, S.M. & Kuipers, B.S. (2013). Talking the talk or walking the walk? The leadership of planned and emergent change in a public organization. Journal of Change Management. Advance online publication. DOI: 10.1080/14697017.2013.805160, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2337474

Joris Van der Voet (Contact Author)

Leiden University ( email )

Schouwburgstraat 2
The Hague, 2511VA
Netherlands

Sandra Groeneveld

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3000 DR Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland 3062PA
Netherlands

Ben Kuipers

Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs ( email )

Postbus 9500
Leiden, Zuid Holland 2300 RA
Netherlands

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