Når meningen ble avgjørende : En studie innen meningsledelse og hvordan ledere i politiet og NAV ivaretar samfunnsoppdraget under omorganisering
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The aim of this thesis is to contribute to the insight and knowledge of change-processes in large public organisations. This is done by, among other things, answering the thesis question: “The Police and the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) have been or are undergoing extensive reorganization. How do the leaders in these organisations maintain their societal mission during the reorganization process?” The study is based on these two organisations and examines management of meaning in a change-process with an emphasis on the societal mission. The police and NAV are both big organisations that receive extensive media coverage. The former has received a lot of criticism from its own employees and from the public who feel that its reorganisation has had the opposite effect than was intended. NAV is not under reform but faces regionalisation as Norway’s municipalities and provinces merge. When this study was undertaken, NAV had not come as far in its change-process as the Police have, but it is expected that NAV’s reorganisation will have far-reaching consequences for many and thus it will receive more attention in the future. Similarly, these organisations have an important societal mission which should be maintained during their reorganisation and the consequences for society can be severe should they fail. This statement makes the aim of this study relevant to the situation organisations find themselves in today and we believe that leaders have an important role in such change-processes. We have chosen to investigate management of meaning before and during the change-process and how they maintain their societal mission during this process. We have mainly collected our data through in-depth interviews. The interviewees are leaders who come from various departments and some of these became leaders while the change-process was underway. Our findings show that crucial to the change-process is sensemaking and management of meaning so that the change can be balanced with the daily work tasks. When these are lacking from the change-process, we see competent leaders seeking other opportunities and necessary skills disappear. One of our findings also show that the consequences could have been far worse had it not been for leaders having such a high degree of loyalty to their senior managers and/or a keen responsibility to their duties.