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New Zealand public service leaders and organisational change inception: A framework for deciding what to change


  • Boone, David


Organisational change in the public sector is important to keep pace with the external environment and increasing customer expectations in order to maintain and improve the effectiveness of public service. This study analysed the change management experiences of eight public service leaders in New Zealand. Through conversations understanding was gained around the early stages of change management, in particular, how decisions are made about what to change. Analysis of relevant literature identified a gap relating to how change needs are diagnosed and how change management vision is established. Existing change management guidance is largely focused on management practice once the secondary state of an organisation, the state after change, has already been envisaged. The idealism “deliver change†is a common suggestion in change management literature, however the interpretation and guidance around delivering change is just that – change delivery, not change inception. To undertake an examination of how public service leaders go about diagnosing change needs, referred to in this report as change inception, the following research question provided focus for this study: How do public service leaders describe their experiences of change inception, and what can be learned from these experiences? A synthesis of the literature review findings and the data collected from interviewing public service leaders led to the development of a framework for change inception thinking. This framework is intended to be applied and adapted by future public service leaders in diagnosing the change needs of public service organisations.

Suggested Citation

  • Boone, David, 2016. "New Zealand public service leaders and organisational change inception: A framework for deciding what to change," MBA Research Papers 6137, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:vuw:vuwmba:6137

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Helena Alves, 2013. "Co-creation and innovation in public services," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(7-8), pages 671-682, May.
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    Change; Public; Service;
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