Change Management: Factors Governing Use of Organization Development Interventions in the Public Sector

By Jean A. McRae.

Published by The Organization Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This is a qualitative study of public sector organizations on the east coast of the United States. These are small town and county government agencies, and small nonprofit organizations. Small organizations are at a disadvantage due to limited resources, greater time pressures with fewer staff, and lack of access to new information. Organizations at the federal, state, and large city level have many more resources, and have used such interventions for some time. The purpose of the interviews was to determine major factors governing the use of organization development (OD) interventions in making change and in maintaining vitality. The interventions considered were: Human Process, Human Resources Management, Technostructural, and Strategic. Major driving forces in the use of interventions were: positive group dynamics, openness to innovation, good strategic planning, willingness to reassess processes and staff roles, good volunteers (for nonprofits), and a proactive board (where present). Major barriers were: lack of openness, haphazard planning, organizational defensiveness and insecurity, low priority given to innovations, and a poorly functioning board (where present). In conclusion, small public sector organizations will use organization development interventions if barriers can be overcome. This is valuable information for management consultants and others who work with and plan for public sector organizations.

Keywords: Organization Development, Small Public Organizations, Nonprofits, Change Management

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 8, Issue 9, pp.35-42. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 522.810KB).

Prof. Jean A. McRae

Professor, School of Social Work, Howard University, Washington, DC, USA

I teach courses in nonprofit management, organizational systems analysis, and community development. I consult with organizations on change management and setting up training programs. I am also interested in the integration within organizations of people of color, women, different age groups, and people with disabilities.

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