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«The influence of the psychological contract on attitude towards change van den Heuvel, S.R.H. Publication date: Link to publication Citation for ...»

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Tilburg University

The influence of the psychological contract on attitude towards change

van den Heuvel, S.R.H.

Publication date:

Link to publication

Citation for published version (APA):

van den Heuvel, S. R. H. (2012). The influence of the psychological contract on attitude towards change: What's

in it for me? Ridderkerk: Ridderprint

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Download date: 30. apr. 2016 The influence of the psychological contract on attitude towards change What’s in it for me?

Sjoerd van den Heuvel The influence of the psychological contract on attitude towards change Proefschrift ter verkrijging van de graad van doctor aan Tilburg University op gezag van de rector magnificus, prof.dr. Ph. Eijlander, in het openbaar te verdedigen ten overstaan van een door het college voor promoties aangewezen commissie in de aula van de Universiteit op vrijdag 2 november 2012 om 10.15 uur door Sjoerd Rudolf Hubertus van den Heuvel geboren op 9 april 1984 te Weert

Promotor:

Prof.dr. M.J.D. Schalk

Copromotor:

Dr. C. Freese

Promotiecommissie:

Dr. J.P. de Jong Prof.dr. J. Paauwe Prof.dr. R.E. Peccei Prof.dr. A. de Vos Prof.dr. T. van Vuuren Cover illustrations reprinted with permission from: www.shutterstock.com English edit by: www.beterengels.nl Printed by: Ridderprint BV, Ridderkerk, the Netherlands © Sjoerd van den Heuvel, 2012 No part of this book, except in case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews, may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronically or mechanically, including photocopying, recording or using any information storage and retrieval system, without the written permission of the author, or, when appropriate, of the publisher of the publication.

ISBN/EAN: 978-90-5335-577-0 “Quand tu veux construire un bateau, ne commence pas par rassembler du bois, couper des planches et distribuer du travail, mais réveille au sein des hommes le désir de la mer grande et large” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Table of contents 1 INTRODUCTION

1.1 INTRODUCTION

1.2 PSYCHOLOGICAL CONTRACT

1.2.1 Psychological contract fulfillment

1.3 ATTITUDE TOWARDS CHANGE

1.3.1 Affect, behavior and cognition

1.4 KEY ISSUES

1.4.1 The psychological contract as a determinant of the three attitude towards change dimensions

1.4.2 Pre-change and change antecedents of attitude towards change................. 8 1.4.3 The influence of mediators and moderators on the relationship between the psychological contract and attitude towards change............. 11

1.5 THESIS OUTLINE

1.6 REFERENCES

2 THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FULFILLMENT OF THE

PSYCHOLOGICAL CONTRACT AND RESISTANCE TO CHANGE DURING

ORGANIZATIONAL TRANSFORMATIONS

2.1 INTRODUCTION

2.2 THE PSYCHOLOGICAL CONTRACT AND RESISTANCE TO CHANGE

2.2.1 Psychological contract theory

2.2.2 Resistance to change

2.2.3 The relationship between fulfillment of the psychological contract and resistance to change

2.2.4 Type of change

2.3 METHOD

2.3.1 Sample

2.3.2 Procedure

2.3.3 Measures

2.3.4 Statistical analyses

2.4 RESULTS

2.4.1 Regression analyses

2.4.2 Univariate analyses of variance

2.5 DISCUSSION

2.5.1 Limitations

2.5.2 Recommendations

2.6 REFERENCES

3 WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME? A MANAGERIAL PERSPECTIVE ON THE

INFLUENCE OF THE PSYCHOLOGICAL CONTRACT ON ATTITUDE

TOWARDS CHANGE

3.1 INTRODUCTION

3.2 ATTITUDE TOWARDS CHANGE

3.2.1 Antecedents of attitude towards change

3.3 THE PSYCHOLOGICAL CONTRACT

3.3.1 The influence of the psychological contract on attitude towards change

3.4 METHOD

3.4.1 Sample

3.4.2 Data collection

3.4.3 Data analysis

3.5 RESULTS

3.5.1 Outcome categories

3.5.2 Core categories

3.5.3 Influencing categories

3.5.4 Overruling categories

3.5.5 The conceptual model

3.6 DISCUSSION

3.7 REFERENCES

4 THE INFLUENCE OF PSYCHOLOGICAL CONTRACT FULFILLMENT

ON ATTITUDE TOWARDS CHANGE: THE MEDIATING ROLE OF TRUST





AND ORGANIZATIONAL COMMITMENT

4.1 INTRODUCTION

4.2 PSYCHOLOGICAL CONTRACT FULFILLMENT

4.3 ATTITUDE TOWARDS CHANGE

4.4 TRUST

4.5 ORGANIZATIONAL COMMITMENT

4.6 METHOD

4.6.1 Procedure and participants

4.6.2 Measurements

4.7 RESULTS

4.8 DISCUSSION

4.9 REFERENCES

5 DOES A WELL-INFORMED EMPLOYEE HAVE A MORE POSITIVE

ATTITUDE TOWARDS CHANGE? THE MEDIATING ROLE OF

PSYCHOLOGICAL CONTRACT FULFILLMENT, TRUST AND

PERCEIVED NEED FOR CHANGE

5.1 INTRODUCTION

5.2 ATTITUDE TOWARDS ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE

5.3 INFORMATION IN TIMES OF ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE

5.4 THE MEDIATING ROLE OF PSYCHOLOGICAL CONTRACT FULFILLMENT............. 113

5.5 THE MEDIATING ROLE OF PERCEIVED NEED FOR CHANGE

5.6 THE MEDIATING ROLE OF TRUST

5.7 METHOD

5.7.1 Procedure

5.7.2 Translations

5.7.3 Participants

5.7.4 Measurements

5.8 RESULTS

5.9 DISCUSSION

5.10 REFERENCES

6 HOW CHANGE INFORMATION INFLUENCES ATTITUDES

TOWARDS CHANGE AND TURNOVER INTENTION: THE ROLE OF

ENGAGEMENT, PSYCHOLOGICAL CONTRACT FULFILLMENT, AND

TRUST

6.1 INTRODUCTION

6.2 ATTITUDE TOWARDS CHANGE

6.3 ANTECEDENTS OF ATTITUDE TOWARDS CHANGE

6.3.1 Pre-change antecedents

6.3.2 Change antecedents

6.4 CONSEQUENCES OF ATTITUDE TOWARDS CHANGE

6.5 METHOD

6.5.1 Organizational and change context

6.5.2 Procedure and participants

6.5.3 Measurements

6.6 RESULTS

6.7 DISCUSSION

6.8 REFERENCES

7 HOW CHANGE CLIMATE INFLUENCES THE ATTITUDE TOWARDS

CHANGE: THE ROLE OF TYPE OF CHANGE

7.1 INTRODUCTION

7.2 ATTITUDE TOWARDS CHANGE

7.3 CHANGE CLIMATE

7.4 PSYCHOLOGICAL CONTRACT FULFILLMENT, TRUST AND CHANGE

HISTORY

7.5 TYPE OF CHANGE

7.5.1 Unplanned versus planned change

7.5.2 Organization-wide versus subsystem change

7.5.3 Transformational versus incremental change

7.5.4 Remedial versus developmental change

7.6 METHOD

7.6.1 Procedure and participants

7.6.2 Translations

7.6.3 Measurements

7.6.4 Analyses

7.7 RESULTS

7.7.1 Unplanned versus planned change

7.7.2 Organization-wide versus subsystem change

7.7.3 Transformational versus incremental change

7.7.4 Remedial versus developmental change

7.8 DISCUSSION

7.9 REFERENCES

8 DISCUSSION

8.1 INTRODUCTION

8.2 THE PSYCHOLOGICAL CONTRACT AS A DETERMINANT OF THE THREE

ATTITUDE TOWARDS CHANGE DIMENSIONS

8.2.1 Main findings

8.3 PRE-CHANGE AND CHANGE ANTECEDENTS OF ATTITUDE TOWARDS

CHANGE

8.3.1 Main findings

8.4 THE INFLUENCE OF MEDIATORS AND MODERATORS ON THE

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE PSYCHOLOGICAL CONTRACT AND ATTITUDE

TOWARDS CHANGE

8.4.1 Main findings

8.5 THEORETICAL CONTRIBUTIONS

8.6 THEORETICAL IMPLICATIONS

8.7 LIMITATIONS

8.8 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH

8.9 PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS

8.10 CONCLUSION

8.11 REFERENCES

SUMMARY

SAMENVATTING

GLOSSARY

APPENDIX A: PSYCHOLOGICAL CONTRACT SCALE

APPENDIX B: ATTITUDE TOWARDS CHANGE SCALE

REFERENCES

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

1 Introduction 2 Chapter 1

1.1 Introduction The central question addressed in this thesis is: how does the psychological contract influence the attitude of employees to organizational change? Most of the research on the psychological contract in the context of organizational change has focused on how changes in the organization or the employment relationship influence the content or state of the psychological contract. As one of the first in its field, this research explores the influence of the psychological contract on the attitude of employees towards organizational change (see Figure 1).

–  –  –

However, insight into this relationship is only of value if we know what other factors determine the attitude of employees to organizational change and how the psychological contract is related to these factors. Besides the psychological contract and attitude towards change, the variables trust, organizational commitment, engagement, change history, change information, perceived need for change and type of change are therefore examined in this research as well.

The scientific contribution of this research is three-fold. The first contribution concerns the central relationship explored in this research. Although numerous studies have examined outcomes of the psychological contract or antecedents of change recipients’ responses to organizational change, empirical research on the relationship between the psychological contract and attitude towards change is scarce. This is somewhat surprising, since theoretical evidence for such a relationship exists, and since the psychological contract is strongly interwoven with already known attitudes towards change antecedents such as trust, communication and leadership. Secondly, all studies discussed in this thesis have conceptualized and operationalized attitude towards change as a three-dimensional construct, comprising an affective, a behavioral and a cognitive component. Only recently have researchers begun to consider the responses of employees to organizational change as a multidimensional construct, most likely because the limitations of popular conceptualizations such as resistance or readiness to change have become increasingly apparent. The conceptualization of responses to change as a multidimensional attitude does considerably more justice to the broad range and variety of potential change recipients’ reactions to an organizational change. And thirdly, this research not only focuses on change process variables, which are commonly studied in organizational change literature, but it also assesses the internal organizational context, change recipients’ evaluation of the change itself,

Introduction 3

and perceived characteristics of the change as potential influencers of employees’ responses to change.

Several distinctive characteristics of this research contribute to the answering of the central research question. First of all, as empirical research on the relationship between the psychological contract and attitude towards change is lacking, both qualitative and quantitative research methods were used. Secondly, the central relationship was explored from a managerial as well as a change recipients’ perspective. Thirdly, over 1500 respondents across multiple samples participated in the surveys and interviews, and in order to obtain a diverse set of respondents, organizations and organizational changes, the data were collected in various economic and industrial sectors across nine European countries. Finally, multiple methods of analysis were used, including a grounded theory approach to analyze the data in the qualitative study, as well as regression analysis, variance analysis, factor analysis and structural equation modeling for application in the quantitative studies.

Throughout the course of the research, the practical applicability of the results has been a key concern. On account of globalization and technological developments, HR professionals and change managers are increasingly challenged by the complexity and pervasiveness of organizational change. Successful change implementation is becoming ever more important with a view to staying ahead of the competition and to preserving one’s capacity to attract talented new employees, as well as to retaining key contributors. This thesis thus seeks to help practitioners determine which strings to pull to achieve successful organizational change. The practical relevance of the present research does not merely lie in the specific findings and recommendations presented in the separate studies, nor does this thesis draw only practical conclusions. This thesis aims to be of substantial value for practitioners by proposing a shift in mindset among the ones leading organizational changes. Furthermore, this thesis seeks to encourage practitioners to evaluate and if necessary to revise common change management approaches, which often focus on managing a particular organizational change as an independent event, without sufficiently considering the organization’s internal context and change climate.



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