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How change information influences attitudes toward change and turnover intention: The role of engagement, psychological contract fulfillment, and trust

Sjoerd van den Heuvel (Department of HR Studies, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands)
Charissa Freese (Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands)
René Schalk (Department of Human Resource Studies, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands) (North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa)
Marcel van Assen (Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands) (Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 2 May 2017

4288

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how the quality of change information influences employees’ attitude toward organizational change and turnover intention. Additionally, the role of engagement, psychological contract fulfillment and trust in the relationship between change information and attitude toward change is assessed.

Design/methodology/approach

In a technology services organization that was implementing a “new way of working,” questionnaire data of 669 employees were gathered. The organizational change in question sought to increase employees’ autonomy by increasing management support and improving IT support to facilitate working at other locations (e.g. at home) or at hours outside of regular working hours (e.g. in evening).

Findings

The results showed that change information was positively related to psychological contract fulfillment and attitude toward change. Engagement and psychological contract fulfillment were positively related to attitude toward change and negatively related to turnover intention. Contrary to what was expected, trust did not influence attitude toward change but was negatively related to turnover intention.

Practical implications

The study presents a model that can help management to foster positive affective, behavioral, and cognitive responses to change, as well as to reduce employee turnover. Fulfilling employees’ psychological contracts and cultivating engagement is important in this respect, as well as continuously considering whether information about the organizational change is received in good time, is useful, is adequate and satisfies employees’ questions about the change.

Originality/value

As one of the first studies in its field, attitude toward change was conceptualized and operationalized as a multidimensional construct, comprising an affective, a behavioral and a cognitive dimension.

Keywords

Citation

van den Heuvel, S., Freese, C., Schalk, R. and van Assen, M. (2017), "How change information influences attitudes toward change and turnover intention: The role of engagement, psychological contract fulfillment, and trust", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 38 No. 3, pp. 398-418. https://doi.org/10.1108/LODJ-03-2015-0052

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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