Organisational Learning and Change in a Public Sector Context

Elliott, Ian (2020) Organisational Learning and Change in a Public Sector Context. Teaching Public Administration, 38 (3). pp. 270-283. ISSN 0144-7394

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It is broadly accepted that learning is important in supporting thedelivery of change (Tsang, 1997). Furthermore, during times of publicsector budget cuts there is a growing interest in innovation and change(Pollitt, 2010, Brown and Osborne, 2013). However, it is also generallyaccepted that austere times typically lead to a reduction in training anddevelopment budgets – particularly within the public sector (Jewson etal., 2015).This paper explores the extent to which the assumed link betweenlearning and change is contested during austerity. 51 public sectormanagers from Wales and Scotland participated in the study, over aperiod of 13 months, from a wide range of public sector organisationsacross two devolved parts of the UK. The research explored issuessurrounding motivations for learning, expectations of outcomes andperceptions around the drivers of change.It is found that public sector budget cuts are having a direct impact onlearning and development opportunities across the UK public sector.Whilst budget cuts may lead to change, this is likely to be piecemealrather than strategic. In conclusion this research supports the view thatausterity is a barrier to meaningful change in the public sector and not adriver.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: organisational learning, change, public services, austerity
Subjects: N100 Business studies
N200 Management studies
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2020 12:19
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 13:01

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