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The role of change readiness and colleague support in the role stressors and withdrawal behaviors relationship among health care employees

Denis Chênevert (Department of Human Resources, Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales, Montreal, Canada)
Steven Kilroy (Department of HR Studies, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands)
Janine Bosak (Department of HR and Organisational Psychology, Dublin City University Business School, Dublin, Ireland)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Article publication date: 11 March 2019

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of role stressors (role ambiguity, role conflict and role overload) on change readiness and in turn their effects on the withdrawal process. In addition, it explores the moderating role of colleague support in the relationship between role stressors and change readiness.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from health care workers (n=457) in a large Canadian hospital undergoing large scale change.

Findings

The results revealed that role ambiguity and role conflict had a significant negative association with change readiness. Change readiness was related to turnover intentions which was related to higher levels of absenteeism and actual turnover. Change readiness partially mediated the relationship between role ambiguity and turnover intentions but not for role conflict and role overload. Turnover intentions partially mediated the relationship between change readiness and actual turnover but not for absenteeism. Role conflict had a direct rather than an indirect effect via change readiness on turnover intentions. Finally, colleague support moderated the relationship between all three role stressors and change readiness.

Originality/value

Little is known about the limiting factors of change as well as the factors that protect against them. The authors identify role stressors as a limiting factor for change and highlight their impact on change readiness and the overall withdrawal process. The results, however, also show that some demands are more commonly experienced by health care workers thereby not posing a threat to their change readiness. Colleague support is identified as a coping mechanism for mitigating against the detrimental effects of role stressors.

Keywords

Citation

Chênevert, D., Kilroy, S. and Bosak, J. (2019), "The role of change readiness and colleague support in the role stressors and withdrawal behaviors relationship among health care employees", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 32 No. 2, pp. 208-223. https://doi.org/10.1108/JOCM-06-2018-0148

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited