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Title: Chorus before singer : elements of readiness for change within the Canadian public service : a bottom-up approach
Author: Chavremootoo, Marie Désirée Belinda
ISNI:       0000 0004 7969 4657
Awarding Body: Edinburgh Napier University
Current Institution: Edinburgh Napier University
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis explores the lived experiences of public servants in the Canadian federal public service during organisational change to contribute to the organisational change literature by exploring and evaluating the factors to enhance readiness for change and by providing recommendations to further enhance readiness for change in the Canadian public service. The study is qualitative in design and uses a mixture of focus groups and interviews (n= 36 for main study and n = 5 for pilot study). It uses Interpretative Phenomenology Analysis (IPA) for data immersion and data engagement and thematic analysis with a critical realism philosophical approach to identify and analyse the findings and mechanisms within the change phenomenon. The study adopted an original bottom-up approach to gather the "voice" of employees who are recipients of organisational changes, at three levels (managers, directors and non-managerial employees), as opposed to collecting the data from the change leaders who drive change initiatives in a hierarchical way in the public service. The study provides a contribution to methodology through its process of identifying the probable critical realism mechanisms for readiness for change. The study also provides a new conceptualised framework using the employee lens based upon the research findings and the probable mechanisms for readiness for change in the public service. This new conceptualised framework reflects the probable causes, motives and choices affecting readiness for change in the public service from the perspectives of the change recipients. The advantage of this new conceptualised framework is that it illustrates the cognitive, affective and behavioural aspects of change from the employees' perspective. In addition, the study makes various contributions through its findings including the existence of ambivalence of emotions (hope and fear) simultaneously, readiness for change not being dichotomous, powerlessness and helplessness of public servants causing them to hate their jobs, failures of organisational changes being partly due to lack of leadership which should be better defined and assessed, curiosity to be encouraged in organisations going through continuous organisational changes and the importance of peer support for the younger generation. Thus, the study provides the definition of a new term, perceived peer support. Finally, the study provides a comprehensive framework to help senior management and practitioners to understand the lived experiences of change recipients and to inform them of the factors to avoid and the factors to enhance to help change recipients better support organisational changes in the public service.
Supervisor: Whitecross, Richard ; Hassanien, Ahmed Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.B.A.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: organisational change ; public service ; employees ; managers ; directors ; hierarchy ; readiness for change ; 658 General management ; HD28 Management. Industrial Management