An Exploration of Organisational Readiness for Change within a Municipal Utilities Company

Roth, Nina A (2015) An Exploration of Organisational Readiness for Change within a Municipal Utilities Company. DBA thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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Abstract

The research presented in this thesis is an exploration of readiness for change within a municipal energy supplier. The literature review revealed a particular gap of the concept of organisational readiness for change in the context of public sector companies with specific characteristics that may impede change. With a high rate and intensity of change due to radical changes within that industry, especially energy suppliers are under increasing pressure to adapt. Increasing forces for change combined with little change experience created an extreme context for the research presented. The concept of organisational readiness was chosen as the research focus with the aim to account for these characteristics and environmental specifics. The work of key authors in this field, including Armenakis and collaborating authors (Armenakis & Harris, 2009, 2002; Armenakis, Bernerth, Pitts & Walker, 2007; Armenakis & Bedeian, 1999; Armenakis & Fredenberger, 1997), Holt et al. (2007) and Mossholder et al. (2000) provided the main theoretical basis for the research. The research objectives were to gain a richer understanding of managers’ and other employees’ perceptions and beliefs concerning Stadtwerke Bielefeld’s readiness for change and key issues for successful change implementation. I adopted a constructivist paradigm with the focus on meanings and understanding using a qualitative approach and a local knowledge case study as the research design. The main element of the data collection was semi-structured interviews with a sample of senior managers identified as key informants, in order to interpret the phenomena in their unique setting. This was complemented by a questionnairebased survey of non-managerial employees’ assessments of readiness for change. The focuses of the applied content analysis were the context and the understanding of the situation as a whole. A striking finding among the management sample was a predominant focus on the rational side of leadership and a lack of acknowledgement of emotional aspects of change and its implementation. While in broad terms the non-management employees generally shared the managers’ confidence that change could successfully be implemented, there were significant and thus enriching differences at the detail level between the perceptions and beliefs of the two groups. The research makes a significant contribution to the understanding of change in public sector organisations. A methodology for change readiness assessment and analysis for these companies is proposed and successfully implemented during the research project. A notable finding was the very different and sometimes contradictory perspectives of managers and employees regarding readiness for change, which demonstrated the value of conducting research within two different groups of organisation members.

Item Type: Thesis (DBA)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Watts, Geraldgwatts@glos.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Owen, Hilariehowen2@glos.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Uncontrolled Keywords: Change readiness; Municipal energy supplier, Germany;
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management > HD58 Organizational behavior, change and effectiveness. Corporate culture
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Business School > Business and Human Resource Management
Research Priority Areas: Applied Business Research
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2016 13:35
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2016 13:35
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/4130

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