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Article
Publication date: 14 May 2018

Marianne Gravesteijn and Celeste P.M. Wilderom

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate how a newly constructed organization behavioral lens for participative action research (PAR) may aid a public-sector…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate how a newly constructed organization behavioral lens for participative action research (PAR) may aid a public-sector organization in successfully digitalizing its internal shared services. In addition, the intervention is aimed at fostering a continuously improving type of learning culture on the workfloor of a new service unit.

Design/methodology/approach

In a large Dutch municipality, the installation of a new digitalized process of offering internal services was studied. A PAR method, the so-called Fourth Generation Evaluation, was used on seven internal actor groups. This method enables various intra-organizational actors to reflect collectively on the ongoing change progress. Their explicit views on the change were communicated to all actors and the change agents.

Findings

The study describes the attempt of establishing a continuously improving learning culture during an internal digitalization process: substantial participation of the non-managerial employees was enabled. The paper highlights the practical value of the internal digitalization approach used, and concludes with four change process lessons learnt for those wanting to initiate a continuously improving culture on the workfloor.

Research limitations/implications

Even though the findings are based on one case, they may be of interest to other public/private organizations aiming to establish a continuously improving culture within workfloor units that interact, on a daily basis, with (internal) customers.

Originality/value

The paper offers a theoretical framework and a matching practical approach to the process of creating an internal shared service unit that aims to evolve further into a customer-oriented, continuously improving culture.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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