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Communicating culture change


  • Jennifer Waterhouse
  • Dianne Lewis


Using a case study of a large public sector department the relationship between communication and change in a public sector department and the human resource implications of that relationship are considered. Senior administrators of the department signified their intention to change the culture from one that was considered to be bureaucratic, technically oriented and inward-looking to one more outward-looking, continually learning, more relationship-oriented internally and inclusive of broader ‘whole of government’ objectives such as commercialization, the environment, social justice and community relations. Findings from the research indicate that, despite an objective of shifting to a state of continual change with the mode of communication becoming two-way and dialogic, the communication mechanism has faltered due to a failure to address the need of lower-level staff for a set vision and stated future direction. Implications of these findings are drawn for public sector organizations in general.

Suggested Citation

  • Jennifer Waterhouse & Dianne Lewis, 2004. "Communicating culture change," Public Management Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(3), pages 353-376, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:pubmgr:v:6:y:2004:i:3:p:353-376 DOI: 10.1080/1471903042000256538

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    Cited by:

    1. Paula Matos Marques Simoes & Mark Esposito, 2012. "Improving Change Management: How Communication Nature Influences Resistance To Change," Working paper serie RMT - Grenoble Ecole de Management hal-00802173, HAL.

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