Impact of group dynamics on eservice implementation: A qualitative analysis of Australian public sector organisational change
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Purpose – The purpose of this article is to re‐appraise the significance of Lewin's group dynamics theory empirically in the context of technology related change in local government. Design/methodology/approach – The paper examines qualitatively the change management processes in the five city councils selected for this study that have developed eservices. A total of 23 face‐to‐face, semi‐structured interviews were conducted with key managers of participating city councils. Findings – The present study finds that participating Australian city councils are experiencing some degree of disconfirmation of functions, while some participating Australian city councils still maintain a quasi‐stationary equilibrium state. There are some challenges in terms of inter‐department integration and empowering business units to demonstrate explicit ownership of Eservices adoption. Empirical evidence presented in this study supports Lewin's argument that the main focus of change should be on group behaviour rather than individual behaviour. Research limitations/implications – This study covers five organizations that are from the same geographical proximity and metropolitan area. The findings are limited to government organisations. Practical implications – The findings of this study would be useful for facilitating technology oriented change in public sector organisations. Originality/value – This paper reinforces Lewin's argument that to understand change and the individual in the changing organisation, it is necessary to identify, plot, and establish the dynamics of the group. Some insights are provided regarding the complexity of group dynamics and the impact they have when implementing organisation wide‐change.