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The reasons behind change recipients’ behavioral reactions: a longitudinal investigation

Maria Vakola (Department of Marketing and Communication, Athens University of Economics and Business, Athens, Greece)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Article publication date: 8 February 2016



At the heart of organizational change lies the extent to which individuals cope with the uncertainties and complexities that change introduces into their work lives. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the behavioral reactions of employees to change and their associated reasons for or against a large-scale technological change implemented in a bank.


A total of 146 bank employees located in 40 bank branches participated two times in providing critical incidents regarding their initial and midcourse reactions to this change.


Results showed that anticipated benefits associated with change initiate positive reactions to change. These reactions are maintained positive due to supervisory support. Resistance is activated by perceived high cost-low benefit change at hand and it is shifted to active support when there is open communication and supervisory support.


Until now the majority of research studies on reactions to change do not investigate the duration and/or continuity of a behavior, assuming that once the reasons behind and the behaviors are formulated these will persist over time.



The author would like to thank Professor Achilles Armenakis for his useful comments on earlier drafts of this work.


Vakola, M. (2016), "The reasons behind change recipients’ behavioral reactions: a longitudinal investigation", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 31 No. 1, pp. 202-215.



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