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Exploring the Process of Implementing Healthy Workplace Initiatives: Mapping to Kotter's Leading Change Model

Chappell, Stacie PhD; Pescud, Melanie PhD; Waterworth, Pippa PhD; Shilton, Trevor MHSc; Roche, Dee MLM; Ledger, Melissa MPH; Slevin, Terry MPH; Rosenberg, Michael PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: October 2016 - Volume 58 - Issue 10 - p e341–e348
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000854

Objective: The aim of this study was to use Kotter's leading change model to explore the implementation of workplace health and wellbeing initiatives.

Methods: Qualitative interviews were conducted with 31 workplace representatives with a healthy workplace initiative.

Results: None of the workplaces used a formal change management model when implementing their healthy workplace initiatives. Not all of the steps in Kotter model were considered necessary and the order of the steps was challenged. For example, interviewees perceived that communicating the vision, developing the vision, and creating a guiding coalition were integral parts of the process, although there was less emphasis on the importance of creating a sense of urgency and consolidating change.

Conclusions: Although none of the workplaces reported using a formal organizational change model when implementing their healthy workplace initiatives, there did appear to be perceived merit in using the steps in Kotter's model.

College of Business, Western New England University, Springfield, Massachusetts (Dr Chappell); School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet), The Australian National University, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific, Fellows Road, Canberra ACT (Dr Pescud); School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health, University of Western Australia, Crawley (Drs Pescud, Waterworth, Rosenberg); The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre, Ultimo, New South Wales (Dr Pescud); National Heart Foundation (WA), Perth (Mr Shilton); UWA Business School, (Ms Roche); Cancer Council WA, Perth (Ms Ledger, Slevin) and Health Promotion Evaluation Unit, University of Western Australia, Crawley (Dr Rosenberg).

Address correspondence to: Melanie Pescud, PhD, School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet), The Australian National University, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific, Fellows Road, Canberra, Australia, 0200 (

Stacie Chappell, Melanie Pescud, and Pippa Waterworth contributed equally to the paper.

This work was supported by The West Australian Health Promotion Foundation (Healthway Grant ID: 24311). Melanie Pescud is currently supported by The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre (NHMRC Grant ID: 9100001).

At the time of the research, HWWA was funded by the Government of Western Australian (Department of Health) as part of a joint Australian, State, and Territory Government initiative under the National Partnership Agreement on Preventive Health.

The authors declare that they have no conflicting interests.

Copyright © 2016 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine