Policy change refers to the change in attitude, belief or opinion regarding a particular matter or issue. The policy change can occur both at the macro level (such as change in government policy) or at the micro level (such as change in policies of an institution or company). The reasons for a change in policy could be many such as political, economic, cultural or others. Pertinently, policy change need not always arise out of a mass social movement, but can also be an outcome of conscious deliberation amongst the concerned decision makers. The above theoretical aspects can be best considered through the following example.
A good example of a policy change is a decision by a country’s government to increase the spending on public health facilities. This change in policy could be an outcome of the pressure imposed by the public demanding better healthcare or by certain interested lobbies or groups. In the alternative, the government could have arrived at this decision even on their own accord through conscious deliberations with the objective of improving the workforce’s productivity and thereby improving the economic output. The above example clearly shows the reasons behind change in policies, which could depend on factors which are both internal and external to the decision makers.
Irrespective of the cause, policy changes are inevitable in today’s modern ever-changing society. The rapid changes caused by technological innovation and the international linkages caused by the spread of globalization have regularly led to policy changes across all sectors, both at the macro and micro level. More importantly, the growth of multinational corporations and use of information technology has permitted the rapid movement of capital and resources around the world, which requires continuous change in policies to adapt to the changing environment. A good example of this is the global financial crisis of 2008, which compelled governments around the world to change their monetary, fiscal and trade policies to meet the problems created by the crisis. Even at the micro level, companies had to change their policies to adapt to the changed commercial and financial conditions. This clearly shows that policy change, whether at the macro or micro level, is an integral part of modern day life and it is necessary for governments, institutions and companies to keep adapting to the changing circumstances in order to be efficient, competitive and meaningful.