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Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde x Jaar 2014 x
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Verandermanagement en beleid: waarom vertonen professionals weerstand tegen nieuw beleid?

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 2 2014
Trefwoorden public policy,, change management, policy implementation, public management, resistance to change
Auteurs Lars Tummers
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Professionals often have problems with governmental policies they have to implement. This can lead to diminished legitimacy and lower policy performance. The goal of this article is to identify the main reasons why professionals resist implementing new policies. An interdisciplinary approach is taken. From public administration literature, I use the policy alienation model, which consists of five dimensions: strategic, tactical and operational powerlessness, societal meaninglessness and client meaninglessness. These are possible reasons why professionals resist public policies (‘resistance to change’, a concept drawn from change management literature). I test these assumptions using a survey among 1,317 healthcare professionals. The results show that when professionals experience that a policy is meaningless for society or for their own clients, they show strong resistance. A lack of perceived influence is much less important in explaining resistance, although this is partly dependent on the particular profession someone belong to. The policy alienation model can help policy makers and managers to develop policies which are accepted by professionals. The article ends with practical recommendations for policy makers, managers and professionals.


Lars Tummers
Dr. L.G. Tummers is verbonden aan de opleiding bestuurskunde van de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam en het Center for the Study of Law & Society van de University of California, Berkeley.
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