Artifacts, identification and support for change after an acquisition

Sarah Kovoor‐Misra (The Business School, University of Colorado Denver, Denver, Colorado, USA)
Marlene A. Smith (The Business School, University of Colorado Denver, Denver, Colorado, USA)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Publication date: 30 August 2011

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the extent to which individuals' identification with a changed organizational artifact is associated with their cognitive, behavioral, and affective support for change in the later stages of a change effort, and the role of contextual variables in mediating these relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

Primarily quantitative with some qualitative data from an online organization that had acquired the non‐personnel assets of its competitor.

Findings

The paper finds that: artifacts can be an important part of employees' perceptions of their organizations; artifact identification is associated with cognitive and behavioral support in the later stages of a change effort; a positive perception of the change mediates between identification and cognitive and behavioral support, and also facilitates affective support; emotional exhaustion is a marginal mediator; and trust towards top managers does not play a mediating role.

Research limitations/implications

Future research could study the factors that influence artifact identification. Studies of support for change must address its various dimensions to more accurately assess support.

Practical implications

During the later stages of change, managers can foster artifact identification, highlight the positives, and reduce emotional exhaustion to ensure support.

Originality/value

This study is one of the first to examine the relationship between artifact identification and support for change in the later stages of a change effort, and the mediating role of contextual factors. In addition, it investigates the multi‐dimensional aspects of support for change, an area that has received limited empirical research attention.

Keywords

Citation

Kovoor‐Misra, S. and Smith, M. (2011), "Artifacts, identification and support for change after an acquisition", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 32 No. 6, pp. 584-604. https://doi.org/10.1108/01437731111161076

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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