Empowerment and change management in Aboriginal organisations: a case study

McEwan, Alexandra B., Tsey, Komla, McCalman, Janya, and Travers, Helen J. (2010) Empowerment and change management in Aboriginal organisations: a case study. Australian Health Review, 34 (3). pp. 360-367.

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Abstract

The social organisation of work, management styles and social relationships in the workplace all matter for health. It is now well recognized that people who have control over their work have better health and that stress in the workplace increases the level of disease. In the context of organisational change, the potential benefits of empowerment strategies are twofold: a positive impact on the organisation’s effectiveness and enhancements in staff health, well-being and sense of control. This case study describes the University of Queensland Empowerment Research Program’s experience working with the Apunipima Cape York Health Council in a change management process. Participatory action research and empowerment strategies were utilized to facilitate shifts in work culture and group cohesion toward achieving Apunipima’s vision of being an effective lead agency for Indigenous health reform in Cape York. As part of the project, staff morale and confidence were monitored using a pictorial tool, ‘the roadmap to change’, which outlined the phases of organisational change. The project findings indicated that organisational change did not follow a clear linear trajectory. In some ways the dynamics mapped over a period of eighteen months mirror the type of struggles individuals commonly encounter as a part of personal growth and development. In this case, one of the factors which influenced the program’s success was the willingness of executive employees to actively support and participate in the change management process.

Item ID: 11255
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Indigenous; Aboriginal; change management; empowerment; participatory action research; Apunipima Cape York Health Council
ISSN: 1449-8944
Date Deposited: 26 Aug 2010 05:02
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Determinants of Health @ 60%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920413 Social Structure and Health @ 40%
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