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More of the same? A dual case study approach to examining change momentum in the public sector


Barker, L and McKeown, T and Wolfram Cox, J and Bryant, M, More of the same? A dual case study approach to examining change momentum in the public sector, Australian Journal of Public Administration, 77, (2) pp. 253-271. ISSN 0313-6647 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2018 Institute of Public Administration Australia

DOI: doi:10.1111/1467-8500.12306


Despite the significant amount of change experienced by the public sector, there has been relatively limited empirical examination of how change agendas affect public sector employees in Australia. This article presents a comparative analysis of two Australian public sector organisations that implemented the same positive work change agenda, but experienced very different outcomes. Using a critical realist approach, we draw on a mix of qualitative techniques to suggest that textbook notions of ‘successful change’, which are often derived from large private sector expectations, may fail to capture the complex nature of how public sector change initiatives may unfold. In particular, we demonstrate how political, temporal, contextual, and process factors interact to shift change momentum. Illustrative examples are provided throughout and the findings are discussed in terms of their implications for theory building, for change facilitation, and for future research.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:organisational change, critical realism, qualitative research
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Strategy, management and organisational behaviour
Research Field:Organisational planning and management
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in commerce, management, tourism and services
UTAS Author:Bryant, M (Professor Melanie Bryant)
ID Code:123800
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:TSBE
Deposited On:2018-01-29
Last Modified:2018-12-04

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