The theory and practice of managing organisational redesign within a public sector agency

Doctorate other than PhD

Brown, Stephen P.. 2009. The theory and practice of managing organisational redesign within a public sector agency. Doctorate other than PhD Doctor of Education. University of Southern Queensland.

The theory and practice of managing organisational redesign within a public sector agency

TypeDoctorate other than PhD
AuthorBrown, Stephen P.
SupervisorCrowther, Frank
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Education
Number of Pages192

This folio explores the theory and practice of managing organisational redesign within a public sector agency— the 'Out of School Services‘ provided by an education jurisdiction, Fraser Cooloola district, within Education Queensland, Australia. The objective of the project and research was to develop and implement an approach to organisational redesign that derived from Limerick et al.‘s (1998) Fourth Blueprint theory (particularly their concept of metastrategy), and to measure the impact of the redesign process on selected organisational operations within the education jurisdiction. In the context of this study, Limerick et al.‘s metastrategic management cycle (1998) is defined as an approach to strategic management that is constituted of four elements— (a) founding vision (b) identity (c) configuration design and (d) systems of action (Limerick et al. 1998, p 152).

The concept of metastrategy is revealed by the research as having clear potential for application in public sector settings. That is, the study captured its successful application to the task of leading a process of organisational redesign within an education system and uncovered complex subtleties of that application. The study also revealed that organisational redesign to bring about sustained cultural change in a public sector setting is difficult, complex and subject to threat by political decisions.

In leading and managing the process of organisational design in an educational setting, eleven key leadership skills across three distinct domains - individual leadership capacity and action; conceptual development and organisational implementation - were found to be significant: The leadership skill areas are: (1) developing clarity regarding professional values, the nature of the design task and how a leader might undertake the task; (2) developing a set of options informed by a synthesis of local priorities, the broader organisational direction and relevant, organisational theory; (3) undertaking engaged and purposeful communication aimed at creating greater knowledge of the design or adding value to the intended design and the quality of its implementation; (4) creating a common language as a platform for engaging stakeholders; (5) leading in a manner that encourages creative difference and distinctiveness; (6) displaying a capacity for reflective appraisal; (7) acknowledging pertinent ethical considerations; (8) Identifying, engaging, managing and leading key stakeholders; (9) assessing important leverage points; (10) identifying relevant networks and (11) setting and implementing governance arrangements. These eleven skill areas complement and extend Limerick‘s metastrategic management cycle with its four basic elements of:
- founding vision;
- identity
- configuration design; and
- systems of action

Each of the above four elements generally align with two of the three domains developed to capture the nature of critical leadership skills required to lead organisational redesign in an educational setting—inner circle or domain-individual leadership capacity and action and middle circle or domain. The leadership skills captured in the outer domain entitled 'organisational implementation‘ extends on the metastrategic cycle by giving focus to the processes that need to be considered when applying the metastrategic management cycle.

Keywordsmanaging organisational redesign; public sector agency; education jurisdiction
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390403. Educational administration, management and leadership
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