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New academic publication: Journal of Change Management

In June 2013, my article on change leadership in public organizations was accepted for publication in the Journal of Change Management. The article title is ‘Talking the talk or walking the walk? The leadership of planned and emergent change in a public organization.’

The article is based on a comparative embedded case study is a Dutch public sector organization and is co-authored by dr. Sandra Groeneveld and dr. Ben Kuipers at Erasmus University Rotterdam. The full version of the paper can be accessed by clicking

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.