Abstract The main goal of this article is to contribute to change management literature in the public sector. A recent literature review argues that there is a gap in the literature on change management specifically using the public administration perspective. We therefore analyze resistance to change in the public sector using an interdisciplinary approach, combining insights from public administration and change management literature. From public administration, we draw on the policy alienation model, which consists of five dimensions: strategic powerlessness, tactical powerlessness, operational powerlessness, societal meaninglessness and client meaninglessness. These factors could influence resistance to change. We test this using two independent large scale samples. Based on Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) and Structural Equation Modeling (SEM), we show that societal and client meaninglessness proved very influential. Furthermore, perceived autonomy (operational powerlessness) strongly influenced resistance to change, whereas strategic and tactical powerlessness were far less important. Based on the results, we nuance this impact of employee influence and participation and highlight the value of meaningful changes/policies. Implications for scholars and a future research agenda regarding change management in the public sector is shown.

Change Management, Policy alienation, Public administration, Resistance to change, Willingness to change
Paper presented at the 11th Public Management Research Conference, Madison, Wisconsin, June 20-22, 2013. Panel hosted by Leisha DeHart-Davis
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Tummers, L.G. (2013). Connecting public administration and change management literature. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/40376