Organizational reframing : the commercialization of a public sector organization

Thompson, Robert M. & Ryan, Neal F. (2013) Organizational reframing : the commercialization of a public sector organization. In Toombs, L. (Ed.) 73rd Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management : Capitalism in Question, 9-13 August 2013, Lake Buena Vista (Orlando), Florida.


The purpose of this study is to elaborate shared schema change theory in the context of the radical restructuring-commercialization of an Australian public infrastructure organization. Commercialization of the case organization imposed high individual and collective cognitive processing and emotional demands as organizational members sought to develop new shared schema. Existing schema change research suggests that radical restructuring renders pre-existing shared schema irrelevant and triggers new schema development through experiential learning (Balogun and Johnson, 2004). Focus groups and semi-structured interviews were conducted at four points over a three-year period. The analysis revealed that shared schema change occurred in three broad phases:

(1) radical restructuring and aftermath; (2) new CEO and new change process schema, and: (3) large-group meeting and schema change.

Key findings include:

(1) radical structural change does not necessarily trigger new shared schema development as indicated in prior research; (2) leadership matters, particularly in framing new means-ends schema; (3) how change leader interventions are sequenced has an important influence on shared schema change, and; (4) the creation of facilitated social processes have an important influence on shared schema change.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 63947
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Keywords: schema change, Transformational Change, Infrastructure Organizations, Public Sector
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION (160500) > Public Administration (160509)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 04 Nov 2013 23:45
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2013 12:08

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