The management of change in public organizations: A literature review

Ben Kuipers, MJ Higgs, Walter Kickert, LG Tummers, Jolien Grandia, J (Joris) van der Voet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

317 Citations (Scopus)
245 Downloads (Pure)


This article presents a review of the recent literature on change management in public organisations and sets out to explore the extent to which this literature has responded to earlier critiques regarding the lack of (public) contextual factors. The review includes 133 articles published on this topic in the period from 2000 to 2010. The articles are analyzed based on the themes of the context, content, process, outcome and leadership of change. We identified whether the articles referred to different orders of change, as well as their employed methods and theory. Our findings concentrate on the lack of detail on change processes and outcomes and the gap between the common theories used to study change. We propose an agenda for the study of change management in public organisations that focuses on its complex nature by building theoretical bridges and performing more in-depth empirical and comparative studies on change processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalPublic Administration
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Research programs

  • EUR ESSB 25


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