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What motivates the significant/strategic change champion(s)?

Donald Chrusciel (Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Article publication date: 4 April 2008




This paper seeks, from the perspective of the significant change (SC) champion, to explore the motivation behind why an individual willingly adopts SC. This research attempts to identify the key motivational traits that inspire these early change adopters.


An in‐depth case study is used to research and identify key early adopters traits. This is followed by a survey based on APEX emotional intelligence profiling traits to do an in‐depth investigation.


The SC‐champion has an interest to re‐affirm one's importance in the organization as well as enhance his/her respect, which is not necessarily linked to longevity. There is an emphasis on intrinsic values favoring team involvement. Of the APEX identified four profiles, the red‐performers are the least preferred.

Research limitations/implications

Because qualitative methodologies are used and a limited survey respondent pool (n=25), caution is advised in freely generalizing these findings. The research on the subject matter is offered as a means to substantiate or refute the propositions. The intent is to offer the findings for possible transferability where logic and reality can assist.

Practical implications

The need to deal with SC is becoming crucial to the ongoing success of organizations. By identifying and investigating the motivational factors behind early acceptance, the organization can begin to deal with change urgency and optimize the benefits from change transformations.


Since change is recognized as an ongoing phenomenon, looking at the motivation behind the early adopters will aid organizations in identifying those key traits that aid in optimizing successful SC transformations.



Chrusciel, D. (2008), "What motivates the significant/strategic change champion(s)?", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 21 No. 2, pp. 148-160.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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