This study is driven by a desire to understand why organizational changes in general ‐but especially in government‐ are so difficult to achieve. For this purpose we contrasted the traditional legal‐rational bureaucracy with the Managing for Results (MFR) template. Next, we developed a structuration theory based lens to be able to study these competing templates in practice. With this lens we focused on middle managers’ behaviors during the implementation of MFR initiatives in the Dutch central government. Specifically, we first explored change agents’ views, after which we conducted in‐depth field studies in two Dutch ministries. Based on our data we iteratively developed propositions on middle managers’ behaviors. Among the concepts that surfaced in this study, we found mindfulness and bricolage to play a particularly important role in successful change efforts. Since these behaviors are present‐oriented they enable change agents and/or managers to overcome past‐oriented institutionalized responses to change impromptu. Similarly, we found that when middle managers actively and/or passively resisted MFR implementation they were mostly influenced by territoriality and traditional beliefs, moreover, by a low perceived behavioral control.
|Award date||16 Apr 2009|
|Place of Publication||Enschede|
|Publication status||Published - 16 Apr 2009|