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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2022

Martin R. Edwards and Michael Clinton

This study aims to examine configurations of person-centered psychological change during organizational restructuring and downsizing in a public sector setting. Drawing on…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine configurations of person-centered psychological change during organizational restructuring and downsizing in a public sector setting. Drawing on a social cognitive framework of organizational change the authors explore and identify the existence of different groups of employees who demonstrate varied responses (on commitment, engagement and anxiety) to restructuring and downsizing.

Design/methodology/approach

Surveys were collected from employees in three longitudinal waves (Time 1 N = 253; Time 2 N = 107; Time 3 N = 93, twelve months apart) at a UK public sector organization shortly before, during and after restructuring and downsizing.

Findings

Three classes of response emerged based on levels of and change in anxiety, organizational commitment and work engagement: a positive “Flourishers” profile was identified along with two relatively negative response profiles, labeled as “Recoverers” and “Ambivalents”. Higher levels of job control accounted for membership of the more positive response profile; higher structural uncertainty predicted membership of the most negative response group.

Practical implications

Using a person-centered approach, the authors form an understanding of different types of employee responses to downsizing; along with potential factors that help explain why groups of employees may exhibit certain psychological response patterns and may need to be managed differently during change. Thus, this approach provides greater understanding to researchers and managers of the varied impact that restructuring/downsizing has on the workforce.

Originality/value

To date there has been little research exploring employee responses to organizational restructuring and downsizing that has attempted to take a person-centered approach, which assumes population heterogeneity. Unlike variable centered approaches, this unique approach helps identify different patterns of employee responses to restructuring and downsizing.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Change and Continuity Management in the Public Sector: The DALI Model for Effective Decision-Making
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-168-2

Abstract

Details

Functional Structure Inference
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-44453-061-5

Abstract

Details

Change and Continuity Management in the Public Sector: The DALI Model for Effective Decision-Making
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-168-2

Abstract

Details

Change and Continuity Management in the Public Sector: The DALI Model for Effective Decision-Making
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-168-2

Article
Publication date: 6 August 2008

Paul Nelissen and Martine van Selm

This study aims to examine the correspondence between the use and evaluation of management communication on the one hand and positive and negative responses to a planned…

15278

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the correspondence between the use and evaluation of management communication on the one hand and positive and negative responses to a planned organizational change on the other hand.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was conducted among employees of a Dutch branch of a large international organization which had survived a recent planned organizational change. In a survey, respondents were asked to report on their opinions about the organizational change at the time of the study, and retrospectively report on their opinions about the organizational change at the introduction of the organizational change.

Findings

It was found that positive responses to the planned organizational change increased and negative responses decreased in the due course of the organizational change. In addition, survivors were ambivalent in their attitude towards the organizational change, as positive responses existed next to negative ones. With respect to the role of management communication it was found that satisfaction with management communication is most strongly related to responses to the organizational change as survivors who are satisfied with management communication score high on positive responses and low on negative responses.

Research limitations/implications

The study has methodological limitations as it employs a one point in time measurement.

Practical implications

This paper is a source for practitioners in the field of management communication as the results may guide them in focusing on maximizing employee satisfaction with management communication as this communication component is most strongly related to response to the organizational change.

Originality/value

This paper provides empirical evidence of the value of management communication for survivors of organizational change processes.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 January 2020

Sumayya Surty and Caren Brenda Scheepers

The environment has become increasingly dynamic, characterised by hyper turbulence and high-velocity. While research has confirmed the influence of leadership on the…

Abstract

Purpose

The environment has become increasingly dynamic, characterised by hyper turbulence and high-velocity. While research has confirmed the influence of leadership on the effectiveness of change, the author knows less about how increased environmental dynamism influences the relationship. This study aims to investigate how this relationship is impacted under highly uncertain and dynamic external conditions.

Design/methodology/approach

To investigate the moderating effect of environmental dynamism on leadership practices and employees’ response to change, 1,536 employees’ survey responses were analysed from various organisations in South Africa. Moderator regression models were used to examine relationships.

Findings

Environmental dynamism has a slight significant strengthening effect on the relationship between leadership practices and response to change, with regard to commitment to the change; efficacy, that is, the belief in whether the change will lead to the efficacy of the organisation; and valence or attractiveness of the change. However, no significant positive moderator effect on the impact of leadership practices on active support for change. Tenure as control variable also did not have a significant influence on the model.

Practical implications

Organisations must take note that under dynamic conditions: employees’ belief about the efficacy of change is influenced by leadership practices, but not the active support for the change. Leadership must, thus, check whether employees’ positive responses are indeed going over in action to implement change.

Originality/value

This study contributes an important moderator effect: the more dynamic the environment, the greater the impact leadership practices have on employee response to change.

Article
Publication date: 11 April 2016

Sjoerd van den Heuvel, René Schalk, Charissa Freese and Volken Timmerman

The purpose of this paper is to develop a model on how business managers perceive that an employee’s psychological contract influences his or her attitude toward an…

3778

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a model on how business managers perceive that an employee’s psychological contract influences his or her attitude toward an organizational change. More specifically, it aims to provide insight into the managerial views on: first, the affective, behavioral and cognitive responses of employees toward organizational change; second, the pre-change and change antecedents of these responses; and third, the role of the psychological contract as a pre-change antecedent.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from in-depth interviews with 39 human resource directors, change managers and management consultants in eight European countries. Based on detailed grounded theory-driven analyses of the qualitative data, a conceptual model was developed.

Findings

Based on the grounded theory analysis, a model emerged that positions the individual change perception and individual answer to the “what’s in it for me?” question as central determinants of an employee’s attitude toward change. Moreover, the model distinguishes between “influencing” variables that shape the employees’ change perception, and “overruling” variables that can potentially reverse the change perceptions.

Practical implications

A strong emphasis on managing the employment relationship by fulfilling mutual obligations and by creating trust will yield more constructive responses to organizational change than focussing on managing an organizational change as an independent event.

Originality/value

As one of the first in its field, this study provides insight in the sense-making processes during organizational change, while adopting a managerial perspective. A grounded theory approach by means of interviewing, serves as a first step toward better understanding of the development of employees’ affective, behavioral and cognitive responses to organizational change.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 29 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 May 2006

Samia Chreim

To analyze lower level employees' retrospective views of their experience with organizational changes introduced by management; to provide a typology of change responses

4154

Abstract

Purpose

To analyze lower level employees' retrospective views of their experience with organizational changes introduced by management; to provide a typology of change responses based on employees' interpretations.

Design/methodology/approach

Canadian bank employees' accounts of their experience with change were obtained in interviews and analyzed using established guidelines for qualitative data analysis. A typology of change responses (acceptance, resigned compliance, avoidance/opposition, and ambivalence) was derived from the data. Links are made to the literature on readiness for, compliance with and resistance to, change, and to the literatures on framing and on identity as they inform responses to change.

Findings

Among others, the findings indicate: that changes that are compatible with employees' role identity or that are viewed as enhancing organizational identity tend to be easily embraced; the extensive prevalence of the “resigned compliance” response; that lack of participation in change decisions may be a common expectation among employees of large bureaucratic organizations that seek uniformity across widely dispersed geographic units; and opposition to change may be functional from an organizational standpoint.

Research limitations/implications

Several research implications are outlined including the need for theories to consider that change has been ubiquitous and that its pervasiveness can place its legitimacy beyond questioning. Research limitation includes the fact that the study focused on change survivors and did not have access to employees who had willingly left, or were asked to leave the organization as changes were being implemented.

Practical implications

The study provides an understanding of the dynamics that underlie different responses to change. Understanding such dynamics is essential for the performance of the change agent role.

Originality/value

Unlike much of the extant literature that tends to focus on the managerial view of change and on managerial framing, this study contributes the lower level employee perspective on, and framing of, change. In contrast with other studies of change that attend to a specific change situation, this article focuses on experiences with multiple changes and on the general view of change held by participants. The study also addresses a gap in the literature, as empirical studies have failed to tie responses to change to identity dynamics.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 8 July 2010

Robert M. Sloyan and James D. Ludema

The purpose of this research was to understand the sensemaking processes people use to determine their responses to organizational change initiatives as they unfold…

Abstract

The purpose of this research was to understand the sensemaking processes people use to determine their responses to organizational change initiatives as they unfold overtime. Based on a longitudinal comparative case study of five business units in a $900-million manufacturing organization in the United States, it shows that people continuously assess how the initiatives will enhance or diminish their individual and organizational identities using four kinds of trust: trust in the organization, trust in leadership, trust in the process, and trust in outcomes. The complex dynamics among these “four trusts” and their influence on responses to change are described. A four trusts model is proposed to help change leaders formulate specific trust-building strategies to increase the probability of success of organizational change initiatives. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

Details

Research in Organizational Change and Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-191-7

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