An examination of attitude toward change as a predictor of policy/program implementation

Bernice Yood Matalon, Florida International University


Policy/program implementation, e.g., the process of fulfilling policy/program directives, is fundamentally tied to change. Implementation studies have examined the process, identifying many critical organizational variables although individuals perform the activities. Many of the studies are predicated on the rational, goal oriented model of organizations and examine implementation, presenting only the goal-oriented view. Organizational change and its resistance, however, are not fully explained by the rational model of organizations. There are other schools of thought providing different views of organizations from which explanation may emerge. Bolman and Deal (1984, 1991a, 1994) provide a different perspective for examining organizations Bolman and Deal argue organizations should be viewed through four different frames or lenses. Framing and reframing organizational action captures the complexity of action and provides better understanding of organizational processes. Understanding of implementation of policies/programs also will benefit from the use of the four-frame approach. The goal of this research is to provide a better understanding of the implementation process by examining individual attitudes toward change, the dependent variable of this research, and studying the relationship between the dependent variable and frame. The research was conducted in two phases. In Phase One, a survey was sent to 306 school administrators and teachers in magnet programs in Dade County, Florida. The survey instrument was composed of 55 questions including six from Bolman and Deal's Leadership Orientation Survey (1988) and 38 questions about organizational change. In Phase Two, more in-depth analysis of four school was conducted, to further explore the relationship between frame and attitude toward change. The results revealed that frame was a factor in explaining differences in personal Attitude Toward Change and Comfort Level with Change. Individuals using the symbolic frame had more positive attitudes toward change and were also more comfortable with change. The results of Phase Two of the research partially supported this finding in that the most fully implemented program was the product of an administrator who had chosen the symbolic frame.

Subject Area

Public administration|Occupational psychology

Recommended Citation

Matalon, Bernice Yood, "An examination of attitude toward change as a predictor of policy/program implementation" (1997). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI9813424.