University of Twente Student Theses


#Change @government : a plan of approach for implementing 'the new way of working' in the context of the Dutch central government

Adrichem, J.C. van (2011) #Change @government : a plan of approach for implementing 'the new way of working' in the context of the Dutch central government.

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Abstract:This thesis discusses the change process towards ‘the new way of working’ for organizational units within the Dutch central government. Because of goals like cost savings, a better position on the labor market and provide better integral services in a more efficient way, the Dutch central government decided to stimulate the implementation of ‘the new way of working’ within their organizational units. The main question of this research is: What is the recommended approach to implement ‘the new way of working’ within organizational units of the Dutch central government? Organizational change often fail because the implications for employees are overlooked. A literature study shows several implications for employees when ‘the new way of working’ is implemented. The main implications are empowerment, work-life balance, effectiveness of communication and losing the social contexts of work. These implications raise job demands and are a potential source of resistance to change. To prevent this resistance, additional job resources are identified. In the last phase of the literature study, six steps for successful organizational change are presented. In addition to the literature study, a mindmap session was performed. These sources of information were the input for ‘rough answers’ to my research question. The next phase was to test these answers in practice. Fourteen interviews with project managers and experts in the field of ‘the new way of working’, mostly from within the Dutch central government, were performed. Besides, I also took my experiences and observations from my Internship within the Dutch central government into account. By using a grounded theory approach, the data is processed through coding. ‘The new way of working’ is split up into three categories: flexible offices, working independently of time and place and better cooperation. The development of the mental work environment of individual employees and organizational units seems to be the crucial success factor for implementing ‘the new way of working’ and thus making ways of working more effective, efficient and enjoyable. The plan of approach is based on a teleological change process where consensus is the driver. Four sequential events of teleological change are described. The outcomes of these events are fostering consensus and developing the mental work environment of employees. This environment consists of the individual mindset of ‘the new worker’ and the (sub)culture of the organizational unit. The first event is focused on how the categories of ‘the new way of working’ can support the mission, vision and strategic goals of the organization. The next event is about involvement of employees in the change process by communication and a dialogue. The third event is about implementing goals. Because of developments within or outside the organization, dissatisfaction about the situation can occur; this is the fourth event of teleological change. The assumptions about job demands and job resources are less relevant within this plan of approach, because these characteristics seem to be hard to generalize over different contexts. ‘The new way of working’ is related to concepts in the existing literature, like social innovation, process innovation and high performance work systems. Systems of HR practices can support the mindset of ‘the new worker’. Therefore it is recommended to investigate whether these systems are worth full the investments. ‘The new way of working’ can be conflicting with organizational structures within the Dutch central government. It is recommended to research whether conflicting structures can be adjusted.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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