Håndtering af en forandringsproces i den offentlige sektor: En analyse af Guldborgsund Kommunes håndtering af forandringsprocessen i forbindelse med skolestrukturændringen

Signe Fogh Nielsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


Managing a process of change in the public sector The purpose of this thesis is to examine the cause of the stakeholders’ dissatisfaction and criticism in connection with how the municipal district of Guldborgsund handled the change process regarding its school attendance areas. Due to a cutback in the 2011 budget the municipal district of Guldborgsund (the District) wanted to reduce its number of schools from 19 to 13. The District made a thorough investigation of the school attendance areas, and concluded that six schools had to be closed in order to comply with the budget cutbacks. The District wrote a proposal and submitted it to its stakeholders for consultation. The stakeholders protested loudly in their consultation responses. The protesting reached its highest when a group of stakeholders opposed the District by establishing a private schools. But the District did not consider the stakeholders’ responses or protests. Therefore the District closed six schools in August 2011. The thesis is a single case study with focus on the municipal district of Guldborgsund and its stakeholders. The thesis has made use of qualitative data collected within the District and the stakeholders’ consultation responses. The data was analysed with help of relevant theories within organisational analysis, change communication and approaches to change processes. The main analysis of the thesis focused on three factors which could be potential causes of the friction between the District and its stakeholders. The factors were the District’s organisational traits and rules of game, the District’s change communication and the District’s approach to the change process. Firstly, the analyses revealed that the District’s organisational traits are strongly bureaucratic. Its working methods are marked by the bureaucratic traits and are often based on routines, written rules and regulations. Secondly, the District’s change communication showed a lot of potential causes of the dissatisfaction and criticism. The change communication revealed an asymmetrical relationship between the sender of the texts, the District, and the receivers, the stakeholders. It also showed an informative text type although a large part of the stakeholders did not get all the information they needed. The texts were marked by a Civil Service style and a very high readability index which altogether made the texts difficult to read and understand. Most importantly the change communication was strongly marked by the District’s bureaucratic organisational traits and rules of game. Thirdly, the last part of the analysis revealed that the District had chosen a linear approach to the change process which was the reason for the municipality not considering the responses or protests of the stakeholders. All the results of the analysis were potential causes of the stakeholders’ dissatisfaction and criticism. But the discussion showed that the District’s organisational traits and rules of game laid the foundation of all its actions and choices throughout the change process. Therefore the thesis concluded that the District’s organisational traits and rules of game were the cause of the stakeholders’ dissatisfaction and criticism.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2012
Number of pages165