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ZBUS8203 - Change Management Assignment Help

Discuss Kanter's take on effective change management and leadership

Discuss the dominant images of Director, Coach and Interpretor in the change management context



Change is an essential element for an organization which intends to achieve growth and transformation. The organization which identifies and utilizes new opportunities and responses to the key challenges by incorporating changes in technology, innovation, job role or organizational restructuring. The Individual employee needs to learn new concept and embrace change by taking the risk. They need to adapt to the new environment quickly to make the change management successful in the organization. It is seen that in public sector organizational change is more inclined towards the reputation and cultural, not economic. Cultural changes play a major role in transforming the negative image of an organization. This research paper highlights one such instance. The study represents the case study of Victoria Police Force which specifically highlights the change management driven by the cultural change to improve the image of the Police force. In the first segment, the research highlights overview of the issues or challenges than the organization was facing. The content explains the adverse effect of flawed organizational culture, gender discrimination, which eventually hampered the image of the police force. The study will also highlight the challenges faced by women, Gay, Lesbians in the Victoria police force. The next segment describes the different steps taken to manage the challenges. The study will take reference from historical events where a series of change management initiatives, driven by the Victoria Police leadership, changed the perception and improved the image of the organization. It will also critically define the approach of the leadership and will explain why it achieved success and has become one of the classical case study of change management at organizational level driven by cultural changes. 

Overview of Case:

While studying existing research articles. It is observed that majority of the public sector change management initiatives are driven by organizational reputation or cultural aspects. Specifically “dysfunctional” culture in the organization predominantly drives the change management initiatives at large scale in public sector organizations (Schneider, 1995). In the Victoria Police Force case study it is observed that “dysfunctional” (PaolineIII & Eugene.A, 2003)or flawed organizational culture can promote discriminatory relationships between the staff and members. Eventually it can hamper the public protection. 

Major Issues and Challenges

Victoria Police Force was established in 1853 (Victoria-Police, 2019).  During first 100 years there was very negligible presence of women in police force was observed. In the last 50 years there was little change observed in the recruitment of women in the force. Women were referred as “Policewomen” and their career path was also restricted to a certain step. They used to manage cases exclusively for women, elderly and teen agers. Though the number of women increased steadily the percentage of women in the force remained the same. Victoria Police Force had the lowest number of women representation in the police force in entire Australia in 1999. Also the attrition rate of Women Officers was higher than the male officers. The major issues which were faced by the workforce is gender discrimination, sexual harassment, workforce bullying.  According to the survey conducted by independent firm in 2015 which was commissioned by the Victoria Police, Out of 5,000 respondents, 7% of men and 40% of women experienced sexual harassment (Davey, 2015). Only 11% of them made a complaint. 

Initial phases of reformation

Instances of Gender discrimination and racial abuse started coming into the media in the end of last century. Gay and Lesbian Police officers faced harassment. In 1999, Neil Comrie became Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police Force. Neil acknowledged the fact that women in Victoria Police Force were abused, harassed sexually and they were the victims in the male dominated public organization. Neil Comrie introduced several programs and initiated the change in 1999 and 2000. He introduced “Women in leadership” program (Victoria-Police, 2019). This program was designed to train the women officer to move up in the hierarchy and take responsibility or charge of higher rank. Comrie also ensured recruitment of first gay and lesbian police officer in Victoria Police Force. 

However, changes introduced by Comrie had limited impact on the ground reality. Efforts to improve the diversity were stalled predominantly caused by the discrepancies in the efforts. The percentage of women in police force climbed but target was way far as there was a very high degree of attrition was prevalent among the women. The diversity management in a public organization should be initiated by the leadership in public organizations (Fernandez & Rainey, 2006). 

Change initiation: 

Neil Comrie retired in the first quarter of 2001 from Chief Commissioner of Police, Victoria Police Force. This vacancy created a major opportunity for the Force. The Government was always had been supportive for the change initiatives required for the Victoria Police Force, Specifically Government has been promoting diversity among the employee. To facilitate and augment this Government employed their first ever women chief commissioner of police of Victoria Police Force, Christine Nixon. It was a breakthrough decision. However, the decision was risky at that time too. Nixon was an women. Her background was completely different from the role in which she was going to join. Nixon had a strong academic background. However, she had limited operational experience. In her previous roles she was mostly based out of outside Victoria. Overall she was an “outsider” to the male dominated workforce of Victoria Police Force. Therefore, it was very difficult for Nixon to make her staff understand her way of working and command respect and gratitude towards her (Yi, et al., 2017). 

Identification of Challenges:

Nixon highlighted her vision of more diversifying workforce and workforce inclusion. She also promoted the involvement of community for consultation.  However, to implement her vision she often started visiting various police branches to identify the challenges at personal level. She used to come to public and shared her views on issues and her vision (Dey, 2017). These visits helped enormously not only to convey the vision message to the workforce but also it helped Nixon to collect important information about the challenges at ground level. More than 550 unique challenges were mentioned by the police officers during Nixon’s visit. These issues can be categorized under specific segments such as the flexibility, staff deployment, and promotion criteria These 550 issues were names as “Force Issues” (Metz & Kulik, 2008). 


Defining Culture

According to Hofstede Culture can be defined as collective programming of human mind which differentiates the participants of one group of persons from another. While interpreting the culture of a specific organization it is expected to differentiate three essential levels at which culture demonstrates itself: (1) observable artifacts, (2) core values, and (3) basic underlying assumptions.

Different strategies taken to implement cultural changes

Initial campaigns

Nixon implemented the change management in the force. Some of the initial campaign was targeted at the early to make the Victoria Police Force more accessible to the women and other nontraditional recruit. Recruitment processes which were against the women were discarded. For example, previously the candidate had to climb 10 foot wall to complete the Victoria Police Force requirement. This rule was removed (Monahan, et al., 2016). A skill development course was introduced to close the gap between non Australian and Australian recruit. Along with that rules regarding the apparels were relaxed. 

Along with that other changes were introduced to address the challenges of diversity within Victoria Police Force. A team of executives were set up, whose responsibility was to visit police stations and establish bonds with the line officers to understand their challenges. Their consistent visit helped to build the credibility of the team among the police officers, which in turn facilitated the change. 

Incorporation of new ideas

To address the multicultural, homosexuality and other issues related to diversity a cultural division was established. As the new division formed, for the first time in the history of Victoria Police Force a Diversity and Equity Manager post was created and placed in the organization chart. Along with that Human Resource, Information management, Strategic services and other post were also created. Nixon took care of the policies which helped the employee to maintain their wok life balance. Ultimately the ‘Management Intervention Model’ was implemented (Mahon & Millar, 2014). Therefore the complaints excluding serious misconduct such as criminality, corruption, if happens within the Victoria police force, it was forwarded to the separate police management group for quick resolution. The team is equipped with dispute resolution related information and methodologies. 

Another change happened when the culture of calling senior as Sir or Mam was removed. Nixon made it possible by insisting her colleagues at all level by calling her only “Christine”.  Nixon herself led the Gay and Lesbian officers’ parade for the first time in the history of Victoria police force. 

Nixon gradually changed the organization structure which was much needed. There was an “Executive Command” unit which was led by the chief commissioner of police and three heads of portfolio. Nixon changed the name of this group to “Corporate Management Group” and converted it to a more decentralized structure. She introduced Human Resource management unit and Ethics management unit into this group and they played a very important role in driving the change initiatives. Sanjib Roy led the Human Resource development team and he was appointed as a Director. In the assistant director post, the responsibility was given to Sue-Ellen Zalewski. Both these recruitment was very critical as both of them were not male and white. 


Nixon continued the restructuring procedure. The three departmental head was no longer leading their portfolio. Instead of that the entire portfolio was divided into 21 sub segments. These units were directly reporting to the Chief Police Commissioner of Victoria Police Force. These changes had a great impact. The Corporate Management Group was now free on devising the policies, budgets and corporate strategies. 

Nixon’s leadership style was feminine which is more inclined toward people. The feminine leadership style prefers inclusion and great degree of participation at all level. Her leadership style was a balanced approach of power and management effectiveness. 

Nixon was an avid supporter of Whistleblower Protection Act. She used to encourage and support members to disclose the improper behavior by police officers and members of the Victoria police force. 

Value mapping

Nixon incorporated five-year plan to implement the change. Primarily the plan was devised for changing the Victoria Police Force’s corruption and cultural discrimination. There were six key values were formulated in 2003 and it was passed to the entire organization.


The behavior and values mentioned are incorporated to run the business as usual practice in Victoria Police Force. It is implemented in training and development. Every two years all the employees were trained with the diversity and equity related issues and solutions (Aula & Mantere, 2013). The reporting of unwanted incidents and behavior which in in line with the Whistleblower act was introduced via proper training management. Similarly anticorruption related training exercise was given to the drug squad to improve the ethical behavior. Therefore these six values which were integrated within the force helped the members to change their behavioral and cultural aspect and helped them to move change their perception towards their job role. The Victoria Police Force also created a guide book to address the most frequently asked questions related to the people management to provide support to all the members at group level. 

Reason for Success:

Nixon’s change management model succeeded whereas the previous effort was not successful. This is a classic example of change management in public organization. 

Culture First while considering change: 

Traditional approach of change management in organization proposes that culture should be the end target of the efforts in change management. However for Victoria Police Force culture was the first and topmost business priority in terms of incorporating the organizational change management. At early stage Nixon’s change management effort considered changing and internalizing the vision and mission statements, restructuring the organizational reporting structure, Police uniform modification, relaxation of norms to promote uniformity. Her entire change management efforts were summarized into six behavioral and value perspective. These six values are integrated to the core of the system and this describes how the day to day operation should be done. The core values have been incorporated due to community members, Victoria police force officers and the legislative system continuously and publicly reinforce them. These relationships share repeated occasions for the police force to showcase and practice activities and behaviors associated with the core values. Legislations such as whistleblower policy protects the right and provide necessary safety measures. As an outcome the changing values get incorporated into the systems and “freezes” to provide the desired outcome. 

Behavioral change:

Traditional change management model provides importance to the tangible artifacts related to culture such as vision, mission statements, and organizational structures (Pieterse & Marjolein C.J. Caniëls, n.d.). This channelizes the employee behavior towards the new way which will be in line with the management expectation (Bruce, 2016). Through rewards and recognition these behavioral changes were reinforced. Nixon transformed the hegemonic culture dominated by the male in the organization by adopting a consulting based inclusive approach. Nixon removed one organizational layer and incorporated changes in the behavioral aspects which in-turn increased the trust among the employee. This has eased the accessibility among the employees and build the trust within the organization. These behavioral changes bring back the strength, power and trust within the organization and it was imbibed into the new culture. 

Combining Bottom up and Top down approach:

Nixon took initiatives which used both top down and bottom up approach of change management. Nixon introduced organizational structural changes as a part of her top down approach. The organization needed more clarity in the approach to focus on the defined agenda of the change management. Therefore, this clarity was given by Nixon with her leadership style. However, she also allowed consultation from her executives and collected feedback at all level to improve the operational issues.  The Unions, Government, employees are involved in sharing their feedback and these feedbacks were carefully considered in implementing changes. External legislatives were given equal importance in terms of providing the strength. Thus a 360 degree of change was incorporated by Nixon to bring the necessary changes from top to bottom level of organization. 

Incremental but Rapid changes:

Lewin’s Traditional change model consist of three stages, which is gradual and the initiatives are taken and then it gets institutionalized and finally the steps are freezed. However to change an organizational culture the most effective way to conduct the exercise is giving a “shock”. A Rapid incremental change was facilitated for Victoria Police Force as the crisis was too harmful for the organization (Jones, 2012). It could be too risky to wait at certain stage of change therefore moving towards the goal rapidly was the feasible option. Nixon was very fast in adopting the changes thus she did not give adequate time of resistance by the conservative employees. Sometime the approach was to solve a problem and then quickly move to the next problem. In some cases the cycles were overlapping with each other. 


It is observed that, incorporating changes in a public organization is very difficult due to the strength, stability and power these organizations possess. One classical example can be identified such as the police forces which is mostly the male dominant. A hegemonic culture dominated by the male is the greatest hindrance of inclusiveness. In this case study in was described with a systematic approach on how a public organization which is dominated by a male hegemonic culture, was changed to more diversified and inclusive culture. Specifically, the VPF case demonstrates the mix model of traditional and unique strategies. While incorporating traditional change management model – Strong leadership, Use of value statement. The unique strategy was taken in the form of changing culture first, changing behavioral aspects, changing organizational structure, using incremental changes. Therefore it was found that the complimentary approach of traditional and unorthodox approach can be taken to facilitate the change in public organization.


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