What's in it for me?

A managerial perspective on the influence of the psychological contract on attitude towards change

S.R.H. van den Heuvel, R. Schalk, C. Freese, V. Timmerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose
The purpose of this paper is to develop a model on how business managers perceive that an employee’s psychological contract influences his or her attitude toward an organizational change. More specifically, it aims to provide insight into the managerial views on: first, the affective, behavioral and cognitive responses of employees toward organizational change; second, the pre-change and change antecedents of these responses; and third, the role of the psychological contract as a pre-change antecedent.
Design/methodology/approach
Data were collected from in-depth interviews with 39 human resource directors, change managers and management consultants in eight European countries. Based on detailed grounded theory-driven analyses of the qualitative data, a conceptual model was developed.
Findings
Based on the grounded theory analysis, a model emerged that positions the individual change perception and individual answer to the “what’s in it for me?” question as central determinants of an employee’s attitude toward change. Moreover, the model distinguishes between “influencing” variables that shape the employees’ change perception, and “overruling” variables that can potentially reverse the change perceptions.
Practical implications
A strong emphasis on managing the employment relationship by fulfilling mutual obligations and by creating trust will yield more constructive responses to organizational change than focussing on managing an organizational change as an independent event.
Originality/value
As one of the first in its field, this study provides insight in the sense-making processes during organizational change, while adopting a managerial perspective. A grounded theory approach by means of interviewing, serves as a first step toward better understanding of the development of employees’ affective, behavioral and cognitive responses to organizational change.
Keywords:
Trust, Psychological contract, Attitude towards change, What’s in it for me
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-292
JournalJournal of Organizational Change Management
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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Personnel
Managers
Psychological contract
Organizational change
Industry
Employees
Grounded theory

Cite this

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title = "What's in it for me?: A managerial perspective on the influence of the psychological contract on attitude towards change",
abstract = "PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to develop a model on how business managers perceive that an employee’s psychological contract influences his or her attitude toward an organizational change. More specifically, it aims to provide insight into the managerial views on: first, the affective, behavioral and cognitive responses of employees toward organizational change; second, the pre-change and change antecedents of these responses; and third, the role of the psychological contract as a pre-change antecedent.Design/methodology/approachData were collected from in-depth interviews with 39 human resource directors, change managers and management consultants in eight European countries. Based on detailed grounded theory-driven analyses of the qualitative data, a conceptual model was developed.FindingsBased on the grounded theory analysis, a model emerged that positions the individual change perception and individual answer to the “what’s in it for me?” question as central determinants of an employee’s attitude toward change. Moreover, the model distinguishes between “influencing” variables that shape the employees’ change perception, and “overruling” variables that can potentially reverse the change perceptions.Practical implicationsA strong emphasis on managing the employment relationship by fulfilling mutual obligations and by creating trust will yield more constructive responses to organizational change than focussing on managing an organizational change as an independent event.Originality/valueAs one of the first in its field, this study provides insight in the sense-making processes during organizational change, while adopting a managerial perspective. A grounded theory approach by means of interviewing, serves as a first step toward better understanding of the development of employees’ affective, behavioral and cognitive responses to organizational change.Keywords:Trust, Psychological contract, Attitude towards change, What’s in it for me",
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What's in it for me? A managerial perspective on the influence of the psychological contract on attitude towards change. / van den Heuvel, S.R.H.; Schalk, R.; Freese, C.; Timmerman, V.

In: Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 29, No. 2, 2016, p. 263-292.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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T2 - A managerial perspective on the influence of the psychological contract on attitude towards change

AU - van den Heuvel, S.R.H.

AU - Schalk, R.

AU - Freese, C.

AU - Timmerman, V.

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N2 - PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to develop a model on how business managers perceive that an employee’s psychological contract influences his or her attitude toward an organizational change. More specifically, it aims to provide insight into the managerial views on: first, the affective, behavioral and cognitive responses of employees toward organizational change; second, the pre-change and change antecedents of these responses; and third, the role of the psychological contract as a pre-change antecedent.Design/methodology/approachData were collected from in-depth interviews with 39 human resource directors, change managers and management consultants in eight European countries. Based on detailed grounded theory-driven analyses of the qualitative data, a conceptual model was developed.FindingsBased on the grounded theory analysis, a model emerged that positions the individual change perception and individual answer to the “what’s in it for me?” question as central determinants of an employee’s attitude toward change. Moreover, the model distinguishes between “influencing” variables that shape the employees’ change perception, and “overruling” variables that can potentially reverse the change perceptions.Practical implicationsA strong emphasis on managing the employment relationship by fulfilling mutual obligations and by creating trust will yield more constructive responses to organizational change than focussing on managing an organizational change as an independent event.Originality/valueAs one of the first in its field, this study provides insight in the sense-making processes during organizational change, while adopting a managerial perspective. A grounded theory approach by means of interviewing, serves as a first step toward better understanding of the development of employees’ affective, behavioral and cognitive responses to organizational change.Keywords:Trust, Psychological contract, Attitude towards change, What’s in it for me

AB - PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to develop a model on how business managers perceive that an employee’s psychological contract influences his or her attitude toward an organizational change. More specifically, it aims to provide insight into the managerial views on: first, the affective, behavioral and cognitive responses of employees toward organizational change; second, the pre-change and change antecedents of these responses; and third, the role of the psychological contract as a pre-change antecedent.Design/methodology/approachData were collected from in-depth interviews with 39 human resource directors, change managers and management consultants in eight European countries. Based on detailed grounded theory-driven analyses of the qualitative data, a conceptual model was developed.FindingsBased on the grounded theory analysis, a model emerged that positions the individual change perception and individual answer to the “what’s in it for me?” question as central determinants of an employee’s attitude toward change. Moreover, the model distinguishes between “influencing” variables that shape the employees’ change perception, and “overruling” variables that can potentially reverse the change perceptions.Practical implicationsA strong emphasis on managing the employment relationship by fulfilling mutual obligations and by creating trust will yield more constructive responses to organizational change than focussing on managing an organizational change as an independent event.Originality/valueAs one of the first in its field, this study provides insight in the sense-making processes during organizational change, while adopting a managerial perspective. A grounded theory approach by means of interviewing, serves as a first step toward better understanding of the development of employees’ affective, behavioral and cognitive responses to organizational change.Keywords:Trust, Psychological contract, Attitude towards change, What’s in it for me

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