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Leading Change in Public Organizations

 

Public organizations are often engaged in the implementation of organizational change, for example in response to new policies or in an attempt to improve service delivery. However, there is little academic evidence about how organizational change is implemented in public organizations. Moreover, public organizations typically have characteristics that may make it difficult to change, such as dependencies on the political system, elaborate rules and procedures, or professionals with distinct views and norms about public service delivery.

My PhD dissertation “Leading Change in Public Organizations” examines the role of leadership in the implementation change in public organizations. The research on which the thesis is based in published in several academic articles, including a literature review (Public Administration), a comparative case study on leadership in planned and emergent processes of change (Journal of Change Management), a single case study on the role of environmental complexity during change (Journal of Organizational Change Management), and several quantitative studies on the relationship between leadership and employee commitment to change ( published in European Management Journal, American Review of Public Administration, and Public Management Review).

The implementation of organizational change in the public sector remains one my research interests. I am currently particularly interested in applying experimental methods in order to examine this issue. In this line of research, I supervised the master thesis of Joanne Langkamp (“What’s in a message? The
Effect of Framing Change Communication Messages on Change Resistance in
professional employees”) which won the 2016 Brasz Scriptieprijs for best Public Administration thesis in The Netherlands.