Organisational Behaviour

Topics: Change management, Employment, Management Pages: 42 (11196 words) Published: October 9, 2013
Employee perceptions of change

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Running head: EMPLOYEE PERCEPTIONS OF CHANGE

Employee Perceptions of Organizational Change: Impact of Hierarchical Level

Dr. Liz Jones (Corresponding Author)
School of Psychology
Griffith University
170 Kessels Road, Nathan,
QLD 4111, Australia
Tel: +617 3735 3365
Fax: +617 3735 3388
Email: l.jones@griffith.edu.au

Bernadette Watson
School of Psychology
The University of Queensland
Brisbane
QLD 4072 Australia
Tel: +617 3365 6398
Fax: +617 3365 4466
Email: bernadet@psy.uq.edu.au

Elizabeth Hobman
School of Psychology
The University of Queensland
Brisbane
QLD 4072 Australia
Tel: +617 3365 7187
Fax: +617 3365 4466
Email: liz@psy.uq.edu.au

Prashant Bordia
School of Management
The University of South Australia
City West Campus, North Terrace, Adelaide
SA 5000, Australia
Tel: +61 8 830 27003
Fax: +61 8 830 20512
Email: Prashant.Bordia@unisa.edu.au

Cindy Gallois
School of Psychology
The University of Queensland
Brisbane
QLD 4072 Australia
Tel: +617 3365 6417

Victor J Callan
UQ Business School
The University of Queensland
Brisbane
QLD 4072 Australia

Fax: +617 3365 4466
Email: c.gallois@uq.edu.au

Tel: +61 7 3365 9009
Fax: +61 7 3365 6988
Email: v.callan@business.uq.edu.au

This research was supported by a Strategic Partnership with Industry- Research and Training grant from the Australian Research Council.

Employee perceptions of change

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Abstract
Purpose: This study examined the influence of organizational level on employees’ perceptions and reactions to a complex organizational change involving proposed work force redesign, downsizing and a physical move to a new hospital. Methodology/Approach: Participants included executives, supervisory and nonsupervisory staff in a major tertiary hospital. Recorded in-depth interviews were conducted with 61 employees about the positive and negative aspects of the change. Findings: Twelve themes were identified from content coding, including emotional responses and attitudes toward the change, issues about the management of the change process and about change outcomes. Supervisory and non-supervisory staff referred more to conflict and divisions, and expressed more negative attitudes toward the change, than did executives. Executives and supervisory staff focused more on planning challenges and potential outcomes of the change than did non-supervisory staff. Finally, compared to other staff, executives focused more on participation in the change process and communication about the change process.

Research limitations/implications: This study examines the organizational change at only one time point in one organization. Perceptions of the change may change over time, and other identities like professional identity may influence perceptions. Practical implications: These findings suggest that change agents should consider the needs of different organizational groups in order to achieve effective and successful organizational change.

Originality/value: This study clearly shows the impact of organizational level, identifying similarities and differences in perceptions of change across level. Keywords: Organizational change, organizational level, change management

Employee perceptions of change

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Employee Perceptions of Organizational Change: Impact of Hierarchical Level Major organizational change disrupts the fabric of organizational life in terms of interpersonal relationships, reporting lines, group boundaries, employee and work unit status and the social identities associated with group memberships (Paulsen et al., 2005; Terry and Jimmieson, 2003). Even though change is implemented for positive reasons (e.g., to adapt to changing environmental conditions and remain competitive), employees often respond negatively toward change and resist change efforts. This negative reaction is largely because change brings with it increased pressure, stress and uncertainty for...

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