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Synopsis

This important book examines issues affecting the sustainability and spread of new working practices. The question of why good ideas do not spread, ‘the best practices puzzle’, has been widely recognized. But the ‘improvement evaporation effect’, where successful changes are discontinued, has attracted less attention. Keeping things the way they are has been seen as an organizational problem to be resolved, not a condition to be achieved. This is one of the first major studies of the sustainability of change focusing on the example of the NHS, by a unique team of health service and academic researchers. The findings may apply to a variety of other settings.

The agenda set out in 2000 in The NHS Plan is perhaps the largest organization development programme ever undertaken, in any sector, anywhere. The NHS thus offers a valuable ‘living laboratory’ for the study of change. This text shows that sustainability and spread are influenced by a range of issues - contextual, managerial, political, individual, and temporal. Developing a processual perspective, this fresh analysis considers policy implications, and strategies for managing sustainability and spread. This book will be essential reading for students, managers, and researchers concerned with the effective implementation of organizational change.

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