Open Access Article SciPap-1149
Making Sense of a Change Management in Public Sector Organizations: Change Imitation as Employee Response to Radical Decisions
by Žilvinas Židonis 1,* and Agota Giedrė Raišienė 2,* iD icon

1 Instutite of Public Administration, Mykolas Romeris University, Ateities str. 20, Vilnius LT-08303, Lithuania

2 Institute of Leadership and Strategic Management, Mykolas Romeris University, Ateities str. 20, Vilnius LT-08303, Lithuania

* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Abstract: Macro-level reforms of public administration in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) countries is discussed broad range in scientific studies. However, the adoption of innovative management tools that have proved their worth in the private sector has received only limited attention. This paper presents probably the first study on the role of emotions and sensemaking in managing radical changes in the public administration institutions in CEE. We found that instead of leading to active resistance and change rejection, as confirmed in earlier research proceeded in Western Europe countries, negative emotions led to passive resistance based on behaviour of change imitation. By drawing on the theory of sensemaking, we also divulge how the archetype of the “Soviet times” is employed to explain novel and contradictory events caused by change implementation.

Keywords: Public Administration, Emotions, Sensemaking, Central And Eastern Europe, Change Management, Psychological And Behavioural Response, Lithuania

JEL classification:   D73 - Bureaucracy • Administrative Processes in Public Organizations • Corruption,   H83 - Public Administration • Public Sector Accounting and Audits

SciPap 2020, 28(3), 1149;

Received: 29 September 2020 / Revised: 7 December 2020 / Accepted: 7 December 2020 / Published: 11 January 2021