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Implementation and maintenance of institutional change

Jackson, Robert L. (1993) Implementation and maintenance of institutional change. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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Implementing institutional change over large institutions has been found to be extremely complex and difficult, with the literature showing very few empirically based examples of successful change over whole institutions. The research tested some of the variables mentioned in the literature as important for implementing and maintaining institutional change with four studies conducted over three different institutional organisations. In the first three studies, a criterion referenced teaching system, known as the 'Aims System', was implemented and maintained in two large institutions for people with an intellectual disability, and 5 residential hostels and one day centre for people with multiple disabilities. The fourth study involved improving the quality of the living environment in the same five residential hostels plus two day centres. Using a management by objectives approach with extensive involvement of staff, significant changes in the quality of life were achieved and these changes were sustained over two years of follow up. Areas targeted in this study were client opportunities, family involvement, staff conditions and changes to the bureaucracy. The four studies provided evidence of issues that need to be addressed when implementing and maintaining institutional change. However maintenance without continuing support was found to be a problem in the first three studies, even after years of operation of the new system. The fourth study suggested that if intervention began with a consideration of underlying principles and the system was built onto these, staff were more likely to internalise the system, making it resistant to degradation without the need for external support. It was proposed that successful long term change is a two level process, with an initial focus on principles providing a strong basis for other change strategies.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Social Sciences
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Birnbrauer, Jay
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