Organizational change and the psychological contract: How change influences the perceived fulfillment of obligations

A.I.M. van der Smissen, R. Schalk, C. Freese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose
This study aims to examine how organizational change and attitude towards change affects the fulfillment of the psychological contract. The influence of type of change, impact of change, former change experiences and frequency of change on fulfillment of the psychological contract is assessed, as well as the influence on the employee's attitude towards change.
Design/methodology/approach
Regression analyses were carried out to test the effects of the change antecedents and the attitude towards change on the fulfillment of the psychological contract and to test the effects of the change determinants on the attitude towards change. The data used in this study are from 161 respondents working for different organizations who completed an online questionnaire.
Findings
The results show that type of change, impact and former experience with organizational change influence attitude towards change. With respect to the fulfillment of the psychological contract, only frequency, former experiences and the attitude towards change had an impact.
Research limitations/implications
A limitation is the cross-sectional design of the study. A recommendation for future research is to further explore the results by using case studies or longitudinal research.
Practical implications
This study contributes to managers', HR professionals' and change professionals' understanding of the change factors that have the highest impact for employees.
Originality/value
This study highlights the effects of organizational changes on the psychological contract and includes the role of attitude towards change. Empirical research in this area is scarce.
Keywords: Attitude towards change, Fulfillment of obligations, Organizational change, Psychological contracts
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1071-1090
JournalJournal of Organizational Change Management
Volume26
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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