Understanding employee attitudes to change in longitudinal perspective: a study in UK public services 1996-2007

Stephen Procter, Julian Adrian Randall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract


Purpose
– The purpose of this paper is twofold: to understand how and why employee attitudes to change might change over time; and to demonstrate what type of research might best capture this change.

Design/methodology/approach
– The paper brings together three studies of the same organization, conducted at different times by the same researchers.

Findings
– Employee attitudes to change in the three episodes are portrayed in terms of the assumptions that seem to underpin them. The first episode is characterized by a challenge to the basic assumptions employees have about their work; the second, by a fragmentation of assumptions according to sub-group; and the third, by the confirmation of a new set of assumptions about what work involves.

Research limitations/implications
– The paper concludes that fieldwork of a longitudinal nature is something quite rare, and its incorporation into research design needs to move beyond dealing with it through an uneasy combination of retrospection and extended organizational exposure.

Originality/value
– The paper provides a rare and valuable account of how employee attitudes to change might change over time. The research design on which it is based, though fortuitous in nature, overcomes a number of the weaknesses of more conventional studies in this area.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-60
Number of pages23
JournalQualitative Research in Organizations and Management
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015

Keywords

  • longitudinal
  • employee attitudes
  • change
  • UK
  • organizational change
  • change management
  • public services
  • attitudes to change
  • longitudinality

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