Unleashing Change: A Study of Organizational Renewal in Government

Unleashing Change: A Study of Organizational Renewal in Government

5.0 1
by Steven Kelman
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

This is a hopeful account of the potential for organizational change and improvement within government. Despite the mantra that "people resist change," it is possible to effect meaningful reform in a large bureaucracy. In Unleashing Change, public management expert Steven Kelman presents a blueprint for accomplishing such improvements, based on his

Overview

This is a hopeful account of the potential for organizational change and improvement within government. Despite the mantra that "people resist change," it is possible to effect meaningful reform in a large bureaucracy. In Unleashing Change, public management expert Steven Kelman presents a blueprint for accomplishing such improvements, based on his experience orchestrating procurement reform in the 1990s. Kelman's focuses on making change happen on the front lines, not just getting it announced by senior policymakers. He argues that frequently there will be a constituency for change within government organizations. The role for leaders is not to force change on the unwilling but to unleash the willing, and to persist long enough for the change to become institutionalized. Drawing on the author's own personal experience and extensive research among frontline civil servants, as well as literature in organization theory and psychology, Un leashing Change presents an approach for improving agency performance from soup to nuts—mixing theory with practice. Its analysis is innovative and empirically rich. Kelman's conclusions challenge conventional notions about achieving reform in large organizations and mark a major advance in theories of organizational change. His lessons will be of interest not only to scholars interested in improving the performance of the public sector, but for anyone struggling to manage a large organization. "Steve Kelman's creative research, augmented by his own considerable experience as a reform-minded federal official, gives this book unusual depth and authenticity."—Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School, author of Con fidence: How Winning Streaks and Losing Streaks Begin and End

Editorial Reviews

Academy of Management Review
"Kelman’s study of a large-scale reform effort on the front lines of government provides an unusually rich and complex look at how change occurs. This book will be useful to both academics and practitioners/policy makers. . . . [It] reminds us what social science is all about. Organization and management theory could use more studies like this."
July 2006
Administrative Science Quarterly
"There can be little doubt that this is a clever and interesting book. Its conceptual and methodological sophistication carry it well above most run-of-the-mill public administration texts and, equally, above many books on change management. . . . It is an accomplished work by a leading public management academic. A satisfying analysis of a particular episode, it is also full of stimulating ideas that can be carried further in other contexts."
June 2006

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780815797760
Publisher:
Brookings Institution Press
Publication date:
11/01/2005
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
308
File size:
901 KB

Meet the Author

Steven Kelman is the Weatherhead Professor of Public Management at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. From 1993 to 1997 he administered the Office of Federal Procurement Policy at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, where he was a leading figure in "reinventing government" efforts. His previous books include Procurement and Public Management: The Fear of Discretion and the Quality of Government Performance and Making Public Policy: A Hopeful View of American Government.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Unleashing Change 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a must-read for anyone trying to lead change in a bureaucracy, whether government, business, non-profit, military, or education. Kelman's insights into why change is difficult, and his idea of unleashing change vs coercing it, are brilliant, down-to-earth, and totally practical. The change Kelman led resulted in the federal government substituting a new informal rule ('Get a good deal for the government.') for thousands of pages of rules and specifications that made buying t-shirts and ketchup just like buying software systems and fighter planes. His special magic was to enlist the front-line buyers who knew how messed-up the system was. He gives them credit for the change they played a central role in effecting. His only sin is excessive modesty about his own role in a revolutionary and successful change effort.