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Strategic change management - Change management challenges in the Danish police reform

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Since its commencement in January 2007, the Danish police reform has been a hot topic in themedia, at universities, dinner parties, and in waiting rooms. The general perception of the policereform is that it is a failure. During 2008, the reform has been subject to much public debate, whichhas linked many unfortunate cases of police neglect with the police reform. Furthermore, the publicdebate has created a picture of a police not in control and with the reform to blame.Given this troublesome context of the police reform, the question which everyone is asking is: whydid it go wrong? Along with the question of: whose fault was it? The current thesis does not provideone single answer to the chaotic situation surrounding the police reform. Neither does it place theresponsibility of the unforeseen consequences of the police reform. Rather, this thesis focuses onunforeseen consequences of the reform in regards to change management and organizationalimplications.This thesis is submitted as a doctoral thesis at Copenhagen Business School in completion of athree-year Ph.D. study. The thesis is the result of a longitudinal research study on change managementchallenges in the Danish police reform. The study rests on a multi-sited methodology compromisingan array of research methods such as interviews, field studies, presentations, meetings,written document studies, etc. over the course of the three years’ duration of the study. The studydraws from different strands of literature, primarily change management literature and institutionalliterature, including resource dependency theory.The research question, which guides the thesis, is as follows:What are the change management challenges and the organizational implications ofintroducing a reform, which has a functional-rational logic of modernization andefficiency to the Danish police, which is a strongly institutionalized organization?The research question has been answered through the analysis, which is divided into three sections:- Change management in the reform,- Content of the police reform, and- The external control of the police.

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Rex Degnegaard

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