Title

Adaptive and maladaptive responses of managers to changing environments: a study of Australian public sector senior executives

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Matthews, J, Ryan, N & Williams, T 2011, 'Adaptive and maladaptive responses of managers to changing environments: a study of Australian public sector senior executives', Public Administration, vol. 89, no. 2, pp. 345-360.

The publisher's version is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9299.2010.01866.x

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

This paper examines data collected from senior executives in two Australian government agencies to identify patterns of adaptive and maladaptive responses to change in public sector environments. The conceptual categories of passive maladaptive, active maladaptive and active adaptive responses are all supported by the interview data, with half of the executives expressing predominantly active adaptive responses to external change and uncertainty and half displaying various kinds of passive and active maladaptive responses. The implications of the findings for managers as agents of organizational learning and adaptation in public sector environments are discussed.