Managing change or changing managers? The role of line managers in public service reform

Gatenby, Mark, Rees, Chris, Truss, Catherine, Alfes, Kerstin and Soane, Emma (2015) Managing change or changing managers? The role of line managers in public service reform. Public Management Review, 17 (8). pp. 1124-1145. ISSN 1471-9037

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Abstract

Drawing upon interview data from three case study organizations, we examine the role of middle managers in UK public service reform. Using theory fragments from organizational ecology and role theory, we develop three role archetypes that middle managers might be enacting. We find that rather than wholesale enactment of a ‘change agent’ role, middle managers are balancing three predominant, but often conflicting, change-related roles: as ‘government agent’, ‘diplomat administrator’ and, less convincingly, ‘entrepreneurial leader’. Central government targets are becoming the main preoccupation for middle managers across many public services and they represent a dominant constraint on allowing ‘managers to manage’.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > Business and Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Depositing User: Janet Snow
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2014 11:19
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2016 08:21
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/47889
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