MPA Major Research Papers

Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration


Political Science


Joe Lyons

Geographical Areas



Asset management planning in Ontario has evolved since the early 2000s and Ontario Regulation 588/17: Asset Management Planning for Municipal Infrastructure came into effect on January 1, 2019. The requirements of the regulation are different for small municipalities, being those having a population of less than 25,000, than for large municipalities. The burden of undertaking large-scale change initiatives, specifically those that are externally initiated, can be especially difficult for small municipalities that often lack the resources and specialized staff to address these changes. This paper explores the organizational factors that contribute to the success of local government asset management planning activities in small municipalities. A review of asset management and change management literature determines the elements that contribute to successful change management in public organizations undertaking asset management programs. Central to this is review is a change management framework consisting of the eight factors necessary for successful change in public organizations that was developed by Fernandez and Rainey in 2006. Through this research, the framework is adjusted to remove extraneous factors and add factors central to the asset management literature. The factors found to contribute to the successful delivery of asset management programs in small municipalities are as follows: Factor 1 – Provide and Implement a Plan Factor 2 – Ensure Top Management Support and Commitment Factor 3 – Use Evidence-Based Decision-Making Factor 4 – Institutionalize Change Factor 5 – Provide Resources and Pursue Comprehensive Change Factor 6 – Build Internal Support by Communicating Strategically The applicability of these six factors is then validated through a longitudinal comparison case study. The case study demonstrates how Loyalist Township, a small municipality in southeastern Ontario, has employed these methods to contribute to the success of its asset management planning over a 10-year period, from 2009 to 2019.