Prerequisites for Healthy Organizational Change

Developing a Framework for the "Why" in Change Outcomes: The Importance of Employees’ Appraisal of Changes

Author(s): Karina Nielsen, Raymond Randall, Sten-Olof Brenner and Karen Albertsen

Pp: 76-86 (11)

DOI: 10.2174/978160805011610901010076

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


It appears that quasi-experimental approaches to the evaluation of organizational stress management interventions do not adequately measure, or take account of, employees’ perceptions of the interventions themselves, or the way they are implemented. This is a problem because these perceptions may influence intervention outcomes. As a consequence, our understanding of the why these interventions succeed or fail is somewhat limited. In this chapter we present research that attempts to fill this gap in the literature. In the research we used measures of employees’ perceptions of process factors such as intervention quality and sustainability within a longitudinal intervention evaluation study. In 11 intervention projects in Denmark (n=376) three types of organizational stress management interventions were examined: individual-focused interventions, teambuilding activities and training activities. We then analysed the data using structural equation modelling to find out whether employees’ direct appraisals of the change processes and the intervention itself influenced the relationship between intervention exposure and intervention outcomes. We found that employees’ perceived influence on the content of teambuilding and training interventions was directly linked to participation in these interventions. More importantly, participants’ appraisals of the quality of activities within an intervention and / or their perception of the sustainability of an intervention’s impact were found to be important in the mechanisms driving intervention outcomes. These appraisals were shown to partially mediate the relationships between i) exposure to all types of intervention investigated and ii) interventions employee reports of behavioural stress and job satisfaction. We examine the implications of the findings of this research for future research and the implementation and evaluation of interventions in organisations.

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