Managing the change process: the state of the art

Document Type

Book chapter

Publication details

Brown, KA & Waterhouse, J 2013, 'Managing the change process: the state of the art', in SP Osborne, & L Brown (eds), Handbook of innovation in public services, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK, pp. 107-117. ISBN: 9781849809740

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The change management processes involved in providing a coherent framework to enable implementation of innovation in the public sector reflect both contemporary trends in organisational change management and changes to public service organisations. Managing the change process and implementing appropriate change programmes require understanding of the operating environment of modern public services, as these do not remain stable but undergo flux according to new influences and structures. State of the art change management programmes may then align with the latest operating frameworks and modes or seek to create new or hybrid contexts for public services. Further, the public sector context is challenging for implementing change management initiatives as the bureaucratic governance framework of public services may work against change and communication about change, resulting in change fatigue (Frahm and Brown 2007). The public services context, while capable of delivering highly innovative initiatives, however, may be particularly resistant to change (Brown and Keast 2005). A critical warning for organisations contemplating undergoing organisational change is that organisational change management programmes are prone to high failure rates (Beer and Nohria 2000).