Mediating change for public-sector professionals

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Publication details

Brunetto, Y 2001, 'Mediating change for public-sector professionals', International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 14, no. 6, pp.465 - 481.

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Examines the impact of organisational culture on the responses of one group of professionals to change processes. Draws upon literature relating to policy implementation and organisational behaviour, in order to gain abetter understanding of the power and processes associated with the impact of culture on professional employees. The context of the study is an analysis of the responses of academics within Australian universities to changes resulting from the implementation of policies affecting teaching decision making and practices. Recent policy changes affecting the accessibility to resourcing and operations of academics’ three functions – teaching, research and community service – has provided the impetus for organisational change. To assure the quality of teaching to a growing and increasingly diverse student population, a quality initiative was implemented. This study examined the impact of organisational culture on academics’ responses to its implementation. The findings suggest that despite significant reform aimed at changing the work practices of all professional employees, senior academics undertaking management tasks still have some power to mediate the way organisational changes are implemented within the faculties. One contributory factor may be the existence of a well-established organisational and professional culture.

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