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Changes in commitment to change among leaders in home help services

Kristina Westerberg (Department of Psychology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.)
Susanne Tafvelin (Department of Psychology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.)

Leadership in Health Services

ISSN: 1751-1879

Article publication date: 6 July 2015




The purpose of the this study was to explore the development of commitment to change among leaders in the home help services during organizational change and to study this development in relation to workload and stress. During organizational change initiatives, commitment to change among leaders is important to ensure the implementation of the change. However, little is known of development of commitment of change over time.


The study used a qualitative design with semi-structured interviews with ten leaders by the time an organizational change initiative was launched and follow-up one year later. Thematic content analysis was used to analyze the interviews.


Commitment to change is not static, but seems to develop over time and during organizational change. At the first interview, leaders had a varied pattern reflecting different dimensions of commitment to change. One year later, the differences between leaders’ commitment to change was less obvious. Differences in commitment to change had no apparent relationship with workload or stress.

Research limitations/implications

The data were collected from one organization, and the number of participants were small which could affect the results on workload and stress in relation to commitment to change.

Practical implications

It is important to support leaders during organizational change initiatives to maintain their commitment. One way to accomplish this is to use management team meetings to monitor how leaders perceive their situation.


Qualitative, longitudinal and leader studies on commitment to change are all unusual, and taken together, this study shows new aspects of commitment.



Westerberg, K. and Tafvelin, S. (2015), "Changes in commitment to change among leaders in home help services", Leadership in Health Services, Vol. 28 No. 3, pp. 216-227.



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