Handbook of Innovation in Public Services
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Handbook of Innovation in Public Services

Edited by Stephen P. Osborne and Louise Brown

Leading researchers from across the globe review the state of the art in research on innovation in public services, providing an overview of key issues from a multi-disciplinary perspective. Topics explored include: context for innovation in public services and public service reform; managerial change challenges; ICT and e-government; and collaboration and networks. The theory is underpinned by seven wide-ranging case studies of innovation in practice.
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Chapter 7: Managing the change process: the state of the art

Kerry Brown and Jennifer Waterhouse


The change management processes involved in providing a coherent framework to enable implementation of innovation in the public sector reflect both contemporary trends in organisational change management and changes to public service organisations. Managing the change process and implementing appropriate change programmes require understanding of the operating environment of modern public services, as these do not remain stable but undergo flux according to new influences and structures. State of the art change management programmes may then align with the latest operating frameworks and modes or seek to create new or hybrid contexts for public services. Further, the public sector context is challenging for implementing change management initiatives as the bureaucratic governance framework of public services may work against change and communication about change, resulting in change fatigue (Frahm and Brown 2007). The public services context, while capable of delivering highly innovative initiatives, however, may be particularly resistant to change (Brown and Keast 2005). A critical warning for organisations contemplating undergoing organisational change is that organisational change management programmes are prone to high failure rates (Beer and Nohria 2000).

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