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date: 05 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The UK Coalition Government’s public-sector transformation initiatives produced a growing number of public-service mutuals. Despite this, there is little understanding of the transition experiences of such organizations, and associated processes of organizational change. This chapter describes the case of Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH), an affordable housing provider, and now a dual constituency mutual, jointly owned by staff and tenants. A key characteristic of the change was the need for individuals to craft new self-identities by holding in tension the identity of being a co-owner with that of being a public-service worker or tenant. Smith and Graetz’s (2011) ‘paradox management’ was used to investigate new values arising from the proliferation of dualities. Although the stresses of change were not avoided, the co-owners of RBH created new capabilities with the potential to, not only sustain the organization, but also increase the resilience and innovative capacities of the communities it exists to serve.

Keywords: mutuality, ownership, public sector, organizational change, values, dualities, identity

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