The performance of any given agency will depend to some extent on how the agency is structured, its existing culture and protocols, and its level or organization, uniformity and integration. In other words, it will depend on factors largely outside the control of new managers and directors. Yet the goal of any new director or manager in an agency setting must go beyond maintaining the status quo, and must seek improvement in performance and efficiency where such change is possible. The extent to which a director or manager is given the mandate for change will also determine the extent of that change, but existing cases of successful and unsuccessful attempts at improving agency improvement provide essential lessons to any director or manager about to take the wheel of a new agency. These lessons indicate that successfully effecting organizational change to increase performance and efficiency relies on these three factors: first, to balance the need for change against both the resistance to change, and the benefits of the existing system. Second, to take into account how the proposed changes will require concomitant changes in the culture or perceived identity of the organization. Third, to foster dialog participation, and consensus with all relevant stakeholders.
Balancing Change and Stasis
In order for any institution to be effective, it must evince both longevity and continuity, and the ability to progress and change. In times of extreme situational change, the need to change may be urgent, necessitating re-organization or redefining of mission and philosophy. During more stable times, a attendant institutional stability will increase the organization’s consistency, perception of autho...
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...erse industries (Riccucci, 2006, p. 597).
There is no simple formula for agency performance. Furthermore, not all directors and managers will have broad, unchecked authority to revamp their organization’s systems from scratch. In all of the cases referenced here, organizational change was being discussed, debated, planned, and legislated for years before a new director or executive took office to head the agency. In each of those cases, the new director had a wide mandate to effect organizational change, influence the organization’s culture, and to rewrite the institution’s narrative. However, these cases indicate the importance of balancing change against preserving existing systems, instigating cultural and identity changes to conform to performance-oriented changes, and building consensus, participation, and incentives for change among all stakeholders.
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