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Change Communication in Public Sector Cutback Management

Genevieve Graaf (), Evelyn Hengeveld-Bidmon, Sarah Carnochan, Marianna Salomone and Michael J. Austin
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Genevieve Graaf: University of California, Berkeley
Evelyn Hengeveld-Bidmon: University of California, Berkeley
Sarah Carnochan: University of California, Berkeley
Marianna Salomone: University of California, Berkeley
Michael J. Austin: University of California, Berkeley

Public Organization Review, 2019, vol. 19, issue 4, 453-472

Abstract: Abstract Budget cuts in public sector organizations create additional strain for employees, often contributing to uncertainty, rumors, and low morale. This study examines the dynamics of communicating about organizational changes in public human service organizations during the cutbacks of the Great Recession from 2008 to 2013. Drawing from in-depth interviews of 45 senior managers in eleven San Francisco Bay Area county public human service agencies, the findings focus on perceived employee responses to change, specific change communication strategies utilized, and how these were shaped by internal and external factors. The study concludes with implications for future practice and research during significant budget reductions in public human service organizations.

Keywords: Cutback management; Retrenchment; Human service organization; Public sector; Organizational communication (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1007/s11115-018-0408-8

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Handle: RePEc:kap:porgrv:v:19:y:2019:i:4:d:10.1007_s11115-018-0408-8