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Managing change: an investigation into readiness for change within the public sector in the UAE - the case of the Ministry of Interior (MOI)

Al-Darmaki, O (2015) Managing change: an investigation into readiness for change within the public sector in the UAE - the case of the Ministry of Interior (MOI). Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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This study aims to make theoretical and methodological contributions to knowledge by examining how change is managed and to what extent employees at the Ministry of Interior in the UAE are ready to lead and implement change initiatives. The UAE has nowadays become synonymous with change. The fast growing pace of change is transforming the UAE landscape and the MOI needs to be prepared to implement changes in order to be competitive and comply with the government’s Excellence Vision for 2021. This research addresses aspects of change management and readiness for change within a context which is under-researched in the UAE. It examines how change is managed by assessing the level of readiness for change.

Although there is vast literature on change management and many studies have investigated change models and initiatives, this topic still generates plenty of interest and is under-researched in the Arab world and in particular in the UAE public sector. Change management is viewed as imperative and inevitable for the survival and success of an organisation. The extensive literature has revealed that there is no single approach to change management—what works or fits best depends on the organisational and cultural settings which have a direct impact on the success rate of the change project. In general, the change management theories and models appear to be rather abstract and too broad. Although they offer some guidance on how change can effectively be managed, they fall short on supporting their claims with concrete empirical evidence. In addition, there is little research on the drivers or leaders of organisational change and the expertise and know how required to lead the organisation to successful change. In addition, change models and theories tend to overlap and correlate highly with each other.

Based on the nature of the problem and research questions, a predominately positivist paradigm has been selected by this study. However, a mixed method approach is adopted to enhance the effectiveness of this study combining both qualitative and quantitative which help support each other and compensate for each other’s weaknesses, thus providing fresh insights and an in-depth understanding of the topic under investigation.

The main findings of the study suggest employees are in general satisfied with the way change has been managed within the MOI. Interestingly, the results also reveal that most change initiatives have not generated a consensus or a united front of satisfaction but feelings of discontent and negative reactions were voiced from several individuals who perceived that the way aspects of change were handled lacked a sense of purpose and inadequate preparation.This minority of employees is not clear about the organisation’s strategic vision of the change, showing signs of resistance. This uncertainty is considered as a critical barrier to the change efforts initiated by the MOI leadership to enhance its performance and deliver quality service.

The research contributes towards the change management debate by expanding the academic literature and the findings of this study have practical implications. They provide the MOI with the key mechanisms on how to prioritise and prepare for the different phases of change management activities to address the requirements of the development agenda. This study also helps to raise awareness of the decision makers about the flaws and shortcomings of the current change management practices within the MOI. Finally the findings of this study will enable the development of a change management programme and strategy tailored for the MOI and made by the MOI change management experts.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Divisions: Liverpool Business School
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2016 13:16
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2021 23:26
DOI or ID number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00004476
Supervisors: Menacere, K
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/4476
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