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How change agents mitigate tensions during institutional change through the use of temporary logics

Nijhuis, M. (2017) How change agents mitigate tensions during institutional change through the use of temporary logics.

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Abstract:In recent years a trend towards a more inclusive society is unfolded. This shift is perceived as a less expensive solution in which societies take care of their own inhabitants rather than simply rely on social services. This serves both interests of citizens participate more actively as well a potential decrease in healthcare costs and governmental expenses. This study focuses on this radical change process within the municipality of Enschede. This transformation is associated with certain institutional contradictions, which thereby leads to tensions among all actors involved. Emphasis was placed on how change agents within this organization tried to mitigate these tensions through praxis from a micro-level perspective. Observations followed up by a semi-structured interview revealed that change agents make use of a particular praxis in order to mitigate these tensions and eventually to change a dominant logic. This study unveils that change agents make use of a so-called temporary logic; this praxis have the purpose to serve the short-term interests in order to let employees slowly get used to a new logic and thus, achieving a radical change by applying incremental change processes. This step-by-step-change in logics has the purpose to mitigate tensions among the actors involved in the change process and simultaneously it provides change agents with the necessary tools to better coordinate the process (by providing concrete examples, mandatory use of new systems and unambiguous communication) and eventually better monitor the development of the change process. Where older change literature is focused largely on the conceptual and institutional perspective, this study elaborate on this by providing better insights into the coherence between contradictions, tensions and praxis initiated by change agents from a micro-level perspective. In practice, this study aims to assist change agents in mitigating tensions among changing organizations in order to replace a dominant logic and smoothen this transformation process. In addition, the results of this study are reflected and compared to the existing literature, what eventually accentuate the importance of appropriate tools for potential change agents and this ultimately announce multiple opportunities for future research.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Municipality Enschede, Enschede, The Netherlands
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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