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The impact of organisational change on managerial roles in the public sector: a case study of a local authority

Keen, Linda (1995) The impact of organisational change on managerial roles in the public sector: a case study of a local authority. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86068) (KAR id:86068)


This thesis explores the impact of organisational restructuring upon the work roles and work satisfaction experiences of local government managers. Using Mintzberg's analytical framework, the thesis analyses the ways in which middle managers' interpesonal, informational and decisional roles change as a result of organisational change from bureaucratic and professionally dominated forms on "administration" to more flexible, customer orientated, private sector styles of "management".

The research is based upon empirical research of middle managers in a local authority selected as a "critical" case in terms of its adoption of "new" public sector management systems, as outlined in the literature.

The findings indicate that most managers made significant changes in their work behaviour within each of Mintzberg's three tole categories, in accordance with the Authority's formally prescribed "new" management systems. They were familiar with the Authority's new corporate culture, and provided concrete evidence of application to their work behaviour. Job satisfaction levels tended to increase, despite pressures from continual change, and decreased job security. However, they also identified various constraints which limited changes in their behaviour - suggesting limits on the extent of the Authority's move from the traditional "administration" to the new "management" model of service provision. They experienced degrees of role tension and ambiguity, arising particularly from the Authority's introduction of internal market and devolved management systems.

The thesis concludes by considering factors which can inhibit full adoption, within public sector organisations, of the "new" management prescriptions (including structural, behavioural and change management constraints), and comments on the need for organisational restructuring to be strategically managed if job satisfaction and managerial effectiveness is to be enhanced.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86068
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 09 February 2021 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Uncontrolled keywords: Local government; management; restructures
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2019 16:27 UTC
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2022 15:17 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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