Public Sector Organizational Culture
Beginning in 2019, the Wagner Innovation Labs team partnered with Civic Consulting USA to understand, define and advance practice in the area of public sector organizational culture. We will conduct research to determine the key elements of organizational culture in municipal government, the reasons why city leaders seek to change their organizational culture, and the conditions under which it can be transformed to help to tackle pressing social problems and improve the quality of life for residents.
The research will produce insight that will help practitioners examine and improve their own practice as well as conceptual frameworks and research methods to produce more in-depth, large scale, and longitudinal research on organizational culture.
Newly elected officials can be surprised to learn the operational side of government is just as important as the policy side. When it comes to delivering for citizens, people and processes matter just as much as policies and priorities. Transformative policies can be impossible to deliver without a transformational culture. Transition is a uniquely powerful time to set the tone for the upcoming years of the administration, yet the risks of not getting culture right are significant. Following the November 2018 US elections, the authors served six Governors-elect. This paper distills lessons from these transitions and offers specific examples and practical techniques to begin during transition to change the culture of government.