Prerequisites for Healthy Organizational Change

Understanding the Emotional Experience of Organizational Change

Author(s): Fay Giaever

Pp: 33-40 (8)

DOI: 10.2174/978160805011610901010033

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Although there has been a recurring interest in exploring the role played by employees` experiences, responses and actions in association with organizational change this paper agues that one still lacks an in-depth understanding of emotional change-experiences. The paper attempts illustrate how the subject of emotions has typically been dealt with in the organizational and change literature, and the assumptions that have been made, through adopting a critical perspective on the concept of resistance in particular. It is being argued that concepts such as resistance are too general and that the role of context is either underestimated or ignored through assuming that employees` only experience negative emotions in association with organizational change, that resistance is caused by innate tendencies in the individual, that resistance occur in stages and through the adoption of a top-down managerial perspective. Hence, it is suggested a more bottom-up and deeper insight into employees` change-experiences can be provided through exploring their specific emotional experiences, their causes and potential consequences. Furthermore, that the contextual emotions perspective of Lazarus and colleagues (Lazarus, 1991, Lazarus & Folkman, 1984) may contribute to and enhance our understanding of the relationship between employees` individual emotional experiences and events, situations and social relationships associated with organizational change.

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