Parsons

Student Work

  • Transdisciplinary Design (MFA)

    Tanvi Dhond

    From Civil Servants to Civil Members Transforming Bureaucratic Cultures through Workplace Rituals

    Governments across the world are embracing innovation labs and design methods to build a new work culture, but there remains a need to address the day-to-day experience of the civil servant worker as well. How might design address the unique challenges faced by employees of public-sector bureaucracies? This thesis explores previous models of public administration and their impact on bureaucratic work culture. Through interviews, workshops and case studies, it highlights how these models overlook the day-to-day experience of the civil servant. By borrowing frameworks from organizational change management, aesthetic studies and innovation studies, this thesis proposes a new model by creating rituals that address the lived experience of the civil servant. In essence, this thesis maps current innovative efforts made in government work, then scales down to the experience of the human and identifies opportunities in the daily routines of civil servants to propose behavioral changes to support efforts of innovation. At a time when governments are embracing human-centered design and collaborative practices, this thesis makes a case for the consideration of the humans who deliver public services and makes them important stakeholders in government transformation.
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