Managing change through participation: Developing Shared Construction Guidelines in 26 public organisations
Paper in proceeding, 2012
Increasingly public sector clients are being asked to do more for less and are pushed to achieve higher levels of transparency and accountability. Thus, organisations' ability to address challenges like these has become increasingly important. As a result, a range of models have emerged to help organisations successfully manage this development. The research presented in this paper draws on an exploratory case study of an ongoing change process in the City of Gothenburg, where 26 municipal organisations are developing a shared process (Shared Construction Guidelines) for how to conduct building and infrastructure projects in the City. The aim is to describe this case of participatory change and to shed light on its complexities. Findings show that there is a high degree of commitment and participation in the case of Shared Construction Guidelines. However, there seems to be a gap between top management and the rest of the change organisation and resources are limited, especially in terms of time. Also, several findings indicate challenges regarding the understanding of the change. Altogether, this might explain why all members do not feel that they can fully affect the process, even though it is based on broad participation. Finally it is highlighted how the existing literature on change management falls short when describing complex participatory change processes.