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Creating coherence in a public sector organization - A study of the common value system in a municipality

Östberg, Jonas and Andersson, Daniel (2010)
Department of Business Administration
Abstract
Abstract Purpose: The main purpose with this thesis was to describe the complexities involved when public sector organizations initiate changes in their organizational culture. This research also aims to depict how managers in a public organization interpret the implementation of two separate “shared value systems”, that originates from different parts of the organization. Research design: This thesis employs an interpretative approach, where our understanding gradually evolved during the process of investigation. This falls well in line with the hermeneutic process that lay as a foundation for this thesis, the hermeneutic circle was used as a circular process where first the theoretical framework and the methodology was used as a... (More)
Abstract Purpose: The main purpose with this thesis was to describe the complexities involved when public sector organizations initiate changes in their organizational culture. This research also aims to depict how managers in a public organization interpret the implementation of two separate “shared value systems”, that originates from different parts of the organization. Research design: This thesis employs an interpretative approach, where our understanding gradually evolved during the process of investigation. This falls well in line with the hermeneutic process that lay as a foundation for this thesis, the hermeneutic circle was used as a circular process where first the theoretical framework and the methodology was used as a dialectical process in which the pre-understanding develops into new understanding. Secondly the interviews and phenomenon influenced the pre-understanding, creating a gradual movement towards a deeper understanding of the studied phenomenon. To grasp the empirical material a critical perspective was also employed in order for the researchers to get closer to the truth, meaning to not take statements at face value but to always ask the question of why. The research design built mainly upon 13 semi-structured interviews which were conducted with 11 managers in the investigated municipality. Secondary material was also used as a means for validating the data and also to get background information about the studied phenomenon. The empirical material was treated as a case study and also presented as a general case study which only served as a means for describing the investigated cultural change effort Theory: The theories that were chosen were developed into a framework describing organizational cultural change as a dialectical process. This framework consists of theories describing organizational culture, organizational identity, identification, and power. These theories were chosen as a way of describing the inherent complexities connected to organizational cultural change efforts. The theoretical framework did not present an exhaustive account of all theories; rather it will show which theories and research lay as the foundation for the analysis and how these are connected to each other. The framework was used to analyse the change effort as a dialectical process. Findings: The analysis describes that when colliding initiatives aims to influence the same organizational variables in the organizational culture, there are complex responses from the organizational members. The effects were found to be connected to a multitude of different theories but one important feature was found to be understanding. Even though the empirical material and the following analysis showed a complex situation as being a result from colliding cultural change initiative, a possible solution was derived from a dialectical change perspective. Originality: Approaching a public sector organization with an interpretative approach will enhance the understanding of what inherent complexities could be found in the context of public sector organization implementing cultural change efforts. There is also an aspect that could be described as contribute to the world of academia in the sense that a dialectical change perspective might be well suited to explain the complexities connected to organizational cultural change efforts. Dialectical change might also hint at possible solutions for possible problems. (Less)
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author
Östberg, Jonas and Andersson, Daniel
supervisor
organization
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
Organizational identity, organizational image, organizational culture, value system, municipality, Sweden, Management of enterprises, Företagsledning, management
language
Swedish
id
1678560
date added to LUP
2010-06-04 00:00:00
date last changed
2012-04-02 18:29:12
@misc{1678560,
  abstract     = {Abstract Purpose: The main purpose with this thesis was to describe the complexities involved when public sector organizations initiate changes in their organizational culture. This research also aims to depict how managers in a public organization interpret the implementation of two separate “shared value systems”, that originates from different parts of the organization. Research design: This thesis employs an interpretative approach, where our understanding gradually evolved during the process of investigation. This falls well in line with the hermeneutic process that lay as a foundation for this thesis, the hermeneutic circle was used as a circular process where first the theoretical framework and the methodology was used as a dialectical process in which the pre-understanding develops into new understanding. Secondly the interviews and phenomenon influenced the pre-understanding, creating a gradual movement towards a deeper understanding of the studied phenomenon. To grasp the empirical material a critical perspective was also employed in order for the researchers to get closer to the truth, meaning to not take statements at face value but to always ask the question of why. The research design built mainly upon 13 semi-structured interviews which were conducted with 11 managers in the investigated municipality. Secondary material was also used as a means for validating the data and also to get background information about the studied phenomenon. The empirical material was treated as a case study and also presented as a general case study which only served as a means for describing the investigated cultural change effort Theory: The theories that were chosen were developed into a framework describing organizational cultural change as a dialectical process. This framework consists of theories describing organizational culture, organizational identity, identification, and power. These theories were chosen as a way of describing the inherent complexities connected to organizational cultural change efforts. The theoretical framework did not present an exhaustive account of all theories; rather it will show which theories and research lay as the foundation for the analysis and how these are connected to each other. The framework was used to analyse the change effort as a dialectical process. Findings: The analysis describes that when colliding initiatives aims to influence the same organizational variables in the organizational culture, there are complex responses from the organizational members. The effects were found to be connected to a multitude of different theories but one important feature was found to be understanding. Even though the empirical material and the following analysis showed a complex situation as being a result from colliding cultural change initiative, a possible solution was derived from a dialectical change perspective. Originality: Approaching a public sector organization with an interpretative approach will enhance the understanding of what inherent complexities could be found in the context of public sector organization implementing cultural change efforts. There is also an aspect that could be described as contribute to the world of academia in the sense that a dialectical change perspective might be well suited to explain the complexities connected to organizational cultural change efforts. Dialectical change might also hint at possible solutions for possible problems.},
  author       = {Östberg, Jonas and Andersson, Daniel},
  keyword      = {Organizational identity,organizational image,organizational culture,value system,municipality,Sweden,Management of enterprises,Företagsledning, management},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Creating coherence in a public sector organization - A study of the common value system in a municipality},
  year         = {2010},
}