Evidence-Based Organizational Change in the UK Public Sector

Evidence-Based Organizational Change in the UK Public Sector

David Devins (Leeds Beckett University, UK), Alex Watson (Leeds City Council, UK) and Paul Turner (Leeds Beckett University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6155-2.ch020

Abstract

This reflective case history reflects on the experiences of a UK City Authority as it responds to the challenge of policy making for inclusive economic growth. It tells how the authority, in responding to a long-term vision, used change management processes to articulate and then implement change. The approach is characterized by the use of evidence to promote change within and between organizations. This is complemented by an adaptive strategy based on the design, development, implementation, and monitoring of interventions. Change is achieved in relatively small steps through minor innovations in practice and ongoing consideration of what works and what more can be done.
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Evidence-Based Ocd Initiative

Policy Making for Inclusive Economic Growth

A key measure of success of the actions relating to growth and inclusivity on the part of the local authority would be the contribution to an economic model that creates wealth for a greater part of the population and in so doing addresses some of the concerns raised by international agencies in respect to those marginalised in a local region or area (OECD, 2008; 2015). The objective is to achieve strong returns through better governance, an engaged and productive workforce and growing consumer purchasing power. Public, private and third sector organisations have a key role to play in this process as job creators, providers of training and skills, investors in physical and knowledge-based capital and through diffusion of their products and services to a wide range of social groups. Employment is often seen as a key policy goal through sustainable, quality jobs providing sufficient income, security and opportunities for progression for all.

The case history organisation, Leeds City Council is an example of an organisation seeking to change to support inclusive growth. It is one of the largest employers in the local economy, employing over 14,000 people in more than 300 occupations serving a growing population of 800,000. Like most local authorities, it has been under intense pressure to make substantial savings year-on-year to meet national government requirements under austerity. At the same time, it is increasingly challenged to find new ways of working and to become a champion of a wider place-based development, while delivering a range of core services including education, public health and social care. Leeds City Council is part of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA), a statutory body comprising of six local authorities and the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership.

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