The impact of corporatisation and national competition policy: an exploratory study of organisational change and leadership style

Article


James, Wendy. 2005. "The impact of corporatisation and national competition policy: an exploratory study of organisational change and leadership style." Leadership & Organisation Development Journal. 26 (4), pp. 289-309.
Article Title

The impact of corporatisation and national competition policy: an exploratory study of organisational change and leadership style

Article CategoryArticle
Authors
AuthorJames, Wendy
Journal TitleLeadership & Organisation Development Journal
Journal Citation26 (4), pp. 289-309
Number of Pages21
Year2005
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
Abstract

Purpose - This study seeks to survey managers of an Australian government-owned enterprise
undergoing organisational change as a result of public sector reform, specifically, National
Competition Policy and Corporatisation. The purpose of the study is to examine the extent/type of
organisational change and leadership style adopted to implement this change. ---
Design/methodology/approach - To understand the effect of reforms, the researcher explored the
extent of change and leadership style through the use of an intra-organisational survey in a
government-owned Electricity Supply Corporation in Queensland, Australia. The instrument also
included qualitative components to enable the researcher to qualify the statistical results. ---
Findings - Within the public sector, there is an uneasy tension between the need for a revolution of
outdated bureaucracies in order to enhance flexibility and innovation, on the one hand, and the desire to
maintain the standards and procedures that are necessary for quality civic service for a broad range of
stakeholders, on the other. The results of this study indicate that there was significant organisational
change and, according to responses, a change of leadership style indicative of this dilemma. ---
Research limitations/implications - The implications suggest the consideration of embedded
factors while determining the processes and directions of change. Furthermore, it is necessary to
choose a leadership style that is indicative of the type of change to be implemented. Additionally,
greater participation by organisational members can increase the success of organisational change.
The limitations of the study include the measurement of organisational change and leadership style.
This instrument was originally used in structured interviews; however, measures were taken to
validate the instrument in its altered setting. Further, the study is confined to a single electricity
organisation. Fertile fields for future research projects could include a larger quantitative study
conducted with multiple states or nation-wide electricity distribution companies. ---
Originality/value - The study provides empirical evidence of the extent of change as a result of
public sector reform. In doing so the study utilises organisational change and leadership style models
within a public sector environment.

Keywordsorganisational change, leadership, public sector reform
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020350711. Organisational planning and management
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Byline AffiliationsFaculty of Business
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