Achieving Strategic Change through Performance Management: The Role of Identity Threat

Research in Organizational Change and Development

ISBN: 978-1-78714-436-1, eISBN: 978-1-78714-435-4

ISSN: 0897-3016

Publication date: 28 June 2017


Performance management can play an important role in the implementation of strategic change, by aligning employees’ mindsets and behavior with organizational goals. However, the ways in which employees react to change efforts aided by performance management practices are far from straight-forward. In this chapter, we develop a conceptual framework for understanding employees’ reactions to strategic change as a consequence of their occupational identities and their performance management outcome. We further apply the framework to an empirical study of a strategic change initiative in a school organization that was supported by a new performance management practice. We show how variations in perceived identity threat translate into four distinct patterns of emotional and behavioral reactions, where only one represents whole-hearted change acceptance. The study contributes to our understanding of individual- and group-level heterogeneity in reactions to strategic change, and also to a more nuanced conception of identity threat.



Kajsa Asplund, Pernilla Bolander and Andreas Werr (2017). 'Achieving Strategic Change through Performance Management: The Role of Identity Threat', Research in Organizational Change and Development (Research in Organizational Change and Development, Volume 25). Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 249-284

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