Introduction

Shaul Oreg, Alexandra Michel, Rune Todnem By

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

The subject of organizational change is attracting more attention than ever, with a rising tide of research aimed at understanding this complex topic, which has ramifications for academic fields such as leadership, strategy, human resource management and development, and more broadly, organizational behavior and psychology as a whole. A quick examination in Google Scholar of the number of publications with the term “organizational change” in their title reveals this rapidly increasing interest over the years (see Figure 1.1). From a meager 38 publications in 1962, there are more than 8,000 today, with almost 50 percent of these being published in the last decade. The majority of studies, and almost all of the books on the subject, take on a macro perspective, focusing on the strategic process of managing organizational change. Most books are dedicated to describing what change looks like, what instigates it, how it develops over time, and most notably, how it can and should be managed. The perspective in these books is almost exclusively that of management, with little more than a passing notice to what change looks and feels like from the perspective of the change recipient. In recipients we include all organization members who are at the receiving end of change, including both employees and those managers who typically have little control and influence over whether, or what types of change, will be implemented. Nevertheless, awareness of the importance of considering recipients’ perspective is gradually increasing. Researchers are more frequently acknowledging the key role that organization members have in determining the change’s potential to succeed (Bartunek et al., 2006; Fugate, Prussia, and Kinicki, 2012; Oreg, Vakola, and Armenakis, 2011). As these scholars indicate, all too often the introduction of a change in the organization elicits, frequently quite justifiably, negative responses. These often include active demonstrations of resistance to the extent that the organization ends up no better off after the change than it was prior to it. A better understanding of the nature and reasons for these negative reactions could therefore help change agents improve the change and facilitate its implementation, to ultimately yield improved outcomes for the organization.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationThe Psychology of Organizational Change
Subtitle of host publicationViewing Change from the Employee's Perspective
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages3-14
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781139096690
ISBN (Print)9781107020092
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Cambridge University Press 2013.

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