A framework for leading change in the UAE public sector
Nader Asaad Bin Taher
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to guide managers on business process reengineering (BPR) and automation projects in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) public sector context. Design/methodology/approach – This paper relies on a literature review and synthesis in the areas of leadership, BPR, change management, user resistance and power to propose a change management framework. Findings – The paper argues for attention to be paid to the power relationships among various stakeholders. Stakeholder impact analysis is recommended to understand how change will impact stakeholders and shift power balances. It proposes that leadership and communication are essential for implementing change, especially given the particular cultural conditions of the UAE. Moreover, change should be a continuous process supported by communication. Research limitations/implications – As power and authority are very important elements of the UAE culture, future research should further examine the role of power in implementing organizational change in the UAE context. Practical implications – This paper proposes a ten-step change management framework that adopts the latest thinking on change management to the UAE context. Originality/value – Although change management is a well-established field, the body of knowledge that concentrates on the UAE organizational context is scant. This paper translates the latest thinking on change management to the UAE context (characterized by sensitivity to power issues and stakeholder impact) and proposes a practical framework for leading change in the UAE public sector context.