All change in the age of alliances!
: A critical evaluation of contemporary management theory and practice for major collaborative change;comparing the public and private sectors, with particular reference top olicing

  • James Dale

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis examines inter organisational or collaborative change. The research commenced with an investigation of organisational change in policing and then broadened to encompass other organisations in the public and private sectors,thereby enabling comparison and contrast. The intention was to explore first principles of best practice for organisations embarking upon collaborative change. The researcher was motivated to learn and develop his thinking as a consequence of professional exposure to this area of strategic management.The exponential growth in the number and complexity of collaborative schemes,coupled with a reported pan sector failure rate of 60% - 80%, underlines the topicality and relevance of this research. In the public sector, there is evidence of a new collaborative paradigm emerging, driven by ideology and austerity.Available evidence indicates that the police have been slow to embrace these changes and achieve the benefits desired.
The methodological approach commenced with systematic and targeted reviews of existing literature. Gaps and contradictions were explored and used to inform the primary research, which consisted of forty-three semi structured interviews and two electronic surveys, producing two hundred and fifty-six responses. The findings suggest that shortcomings in delivering interorganisational change were indicative of wider management failings encompassing other categories of major change. Poor leadership, inadequate resourcing, weak planning, unrealistic timescales and an over emphasis on structure and process, while ignoring the people issues, all contributed to a suboptimal outcome. Opinions were polarised about the performance of the police,where a strong organisational culture, dominant leaderships styles and poor business acumen appear to be conspiring to inhibit ambition and delivery. Ten generic key research findings are discussed, with another dedicated to policing.Collectively, they provide an evidence based foundation for developing best practice for organisations embarking on major inter organisational change.
Date of AwardDec 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Portsmouth
SupervisorBob Golding (Supervisor)

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