Employee Emotions During Organizational Change

Time For Change

A paper published in the Journal of Management identifies major shortcomings in extant research on emotions during organizational change, specifically the orthogonal and static definition of emotions, the neglecting of change as a process, and the focus on single organizational change.

The authors of the paper also develop a new research agenda that includes a dynamic conception of emotions and organizational change and offers an integrated view on emotions within repeat organizational changes.Inflatable Boat

The authors argue that a static, orthogonal definition of emotions is problematic as it does not capture the process dimensions of emotions, and instead they offer a component process definition of emotion as an alternative view to incorporate the dynamic, evolving dimension of emotions, allowing for multiple emotions to coexist.

The kinds of emotions and individual coping strategies employees feel and use ultimately affect the outcome of a change. For example, proactive coping strategies are more likely to enhance employee job satisfaction and performance, while passive coping strategies during change are linked to higher psychological distress and less effective job performance.

Also, individual coping strategies can influence the organizational change outcome, with the emotional engagement of positive employee emotions affecting the emotions and motivation of other team members, ultimately positively influencing the change.

The authors say additional research is needed to enhance our understanding of emotions during repeated change processes.

Need more information on organizational change contact a senior consultant with Ember Carriers at (513) 984-9333 for a 30-minute complimentary consultation to discuss your company’s future.

Journal of Management (09/11) Vol. 27, No. 3, P. 332 Klarner, Patricia; Todnem, Rune; Diefenbach, Thomas

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