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Ethical Considerations and Change Recipients’ Reactions: ‘It’s Not All About Me’

Published on Sep 1, 2018in Journal of Business Ethics3.80
· DOI :10.1007/s10551-016-3311-7
Gabriele Belschak-Jacobs13
Estimated H-index: 13
(EUR: Erasmus University Rotterdam),
Anne Keegan20
Estimated H-index: 20
(UvA: University of Amsterdam)
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Abstract
An implicit assumption in most works on change recipient reactions is that employees are self-centred and driven by a utilitarian perspective. According to large parts of the organizational change literature, employees’ reactions to organizational change are mainly driven by observations around the question ‘what will happen to me?’ We analysed change recipients’ reactions to 26 large-scale planned change projects in a policing context on the basis of 23 in-depth interviews. Our data show that change recipients drew on observations with three foci (me, colleagues and organization) to assess change, making sense of change as multidimensional and mostly ambivalent in nature. In their assessment of organizational change, recipients care not only about their own personal outcomes, but go beyond self-interested concerns to show a genuine interest in the impact of change on their colleagues and organization. Meaningful engagement of employees in organizational change processes requires recognizing that reactions are not simply ‘all about me’. We add to the organizational change literature by introducing a behavioural ethics perspective on change recipients’ reactions highlighting an ethical orientation where moral motives that trigger change reactions get more attention than is common in the change management literature. Beyond the specifics of our study, we argue that the genuine concern of change recipients for the wellbeing of others, and the impact of the organizations’ activities on internal and external stakeholders, needs to be considered more systematically in research on organizational change.
  • References (81)
  • Citations (1)
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References81
Newest
Published on Sep 1, 2017in Journal of Business Ethics3.80
Russell Cropanzano55
Estimated H-index: 55
(CU: University of Colorado Boulder),
Sebastiano Massaro5
Estimated H-index: 5
(Warw.: University of Warwick),
William J. Becker9
Estimated H-index: 9
(TCU: Texas Christian University)
According to deontic justice theory, individuals often feel principled moral obligations to uphold norms of justice. That is, standards of justice can be valued for their own sake, even apart from serving self-interested goals. While a growing body of evidence in business ethics supports the notion of deontic justice, skepticism remains. This hesitation results, at least in part, from the absence of a coherent framework for explaining how individuals produce and experience deontic justice. To ad...
Published on Jan 1, 2016in Journal of Applied Psychology5.07
Jane O'Reilly5
Estimated H-index: 5
(U of O: University of Ottawa),
Karl Aquino43
Estimated H-index: 43
(UBC: University of British Columbia),
Daniel P. Skarlicki36
Estimated H-index: 36
(UBC: University of British Columbia)
Published on Jan 1, 2016in Journal of Business Ethics3.80
Harry J. Van Buren16
Estimated H-index: 16
Few employment or managerial practices have provoked as much public furor as corporate downsizing. Issues like environmental degrada tion, employment discrimination, insider trading, and human rights violations in foreign countries have been examined and debated in the popular media. But downsizing because it threatens them most directly has touched a nerve among Americans unlike any other category of alleged corporate malfeasance. It is therefore not sur prising that downsizing has become a sig...
Published on Sep 1, 2015in Journal of Business Ethics3.80
Marshall Schminke29
Estimated H-index: 29
(UCF: University of Central Florida),
Anke Arnaud8
Estimated H-index: 8
(ERAU: Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University),
Regina Taylor4
Estimated H-index: 4
(UCF: University of Central Florida)
This paper seeks to advance our thinking about values and justice by studying the relationship between these constructs at the organizational level. We hypothesize that collective perceptions of moral values in organizational settings will influence collective perceptions of justice. Survey results from 619 individuals in 108 departments strongly support our hypothesis that collective values influence perceptions of both procedural and overall justice climate. We discuss these results, and their...
Published on Jun 1, 2015in Personnel Psychology6.93
Benjamin B. Dunford12
Estimated H-index: 12
(Purdue University),
Christine L. Jackson10
Estimated H-index: 10
(Purdue University)
+ 2 AuthorsR. Wayne Boss16
Estimated H-index: 16
(CU: University of Colorado Boulder)
There is growing theoretical recognition in the organizational justice literature that an organization's treatment of external parties (such as patients, community members, customers, and the general public) shapes its own employees’ attitudes and behavior toward it. However, the emerging third-party justice literature has an inward focus, emphasizing perceptions of the treatment of other insiders (e.g., coworkers or team members). This inward focus overlooks meaningful “outward” employee concer...
Published on Feb 1, 2015in Journal of Organizational Behavior5.00
Jörgen Sandberg21
Estimated H-index: 21
(UQ: University of Queensland),
Haridimos Tsoukas39
Estimated H-index: 39
(UCY: University of Cyprus)
Through a wide-ranging critical review of relevant publications, we explore and articulate what constitutes the sensemaking perspective in organization studies, as well as its range of applications and limitations. More specifically, we argue that sensemaking in organizations has been seen as consisting of specific episodes, is triggered by ambiguous events, occurs through specific processes, generates specific outcomes, and is influenced by several situational factors. Furthermore, we clarify t...
Published on Jan 1, 2014in The Academy of Management Annals12.29
Sally Maitlis24
Estimated H-index: 24
(UBC: University of British Columbia),
Marlys K. Christianson10
Estimated H-index: 10
(U of T: University of Toronto)
Sensemaking is the process through which people work to understand issues or events that are novel, ambiguous, confusing, or in some other way violate expectations. As an activity central to organizing, sensemaking has been the subject of considerable research which has intensified over the last decade. We begin this review with a historical overview of the field, and develop a definition of sensemaking rooted in recurrent themes from the literature. We then review and integrate existing theory ...
Published on Sep 1, 2013in Organization Studies3.54
Eva Bejerot11
Estimated H-index: 11
,
Hans Hasselbladh11
Estimated H-index: 11
The present paper argues that recent research on public sector reforms offers few contributions to the body of knowledge on this topic because it adds little to the conclusions drawn during the first generation of research in this area. Although these later studies have often been context-specific and have explored the details of the process of change in some depth, it is rather difficult to compare their results or to make reasoned judgements of the comprehensiveness and centrality of the analy...
Published on Jul 1, 2013in Human Relations3.37
Jonathan R. Crawshaw7
Estimated H-index: 7
(Aston University),
Russell Cropanzano55
Estimated H-index: 55
+ 1 AuthorsThierry Nadisic3
Estimated H-index: 3
Both organizational justice and behavioural ethics are concerned with questions of 'right and wrong' in the context of work organizations. Until recently they have developed largely independently of each other, choosing to focus on subtly different concerns, constructs and research questions. The last few years have, however, witnessed a significant growth in theoretical and empirical research integrating these closely related academic specialities. We review the organizational justice literatur...
Published on Jan 1, 2013in Journal of Management9.06
Alannah E. Rafferty15
Estimated H-index: 15
(UNSW: University of New South Wales),
Nerina L. Jimmieson29
Estimated H-index: 29
(UQ: University of Queensland),
Achilles A. Armenakis36
Estimated H-index: 36
(AU: Auburn University)
The authors conducted a theoretical review of the change readiness literature and identified two major limitations with this work. First, while there is substantial agreement about the key cognitions that underlie change readiness, researchers have not examined the affective element of this attitude. Second, researchers have not adopted a multilevel perspective when considering change readiness. The authors address these limitations and argue that it is important to incorporate affect into defin...
Cited By1
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Published on Aug 13, 2018in Journal of Business Ethics3.80
Helen Francis11
Estimated H-index: 11
(Edinburgh Napier University),
Anne Keegan20
Estimated H-index: 20
(UCD: University College Dublin)
Our contribution in this paper is to highlight the ethical implications of workforce engagement strategies in an age of austerity. Hard or instrumentalist approaches to workforce engagement create the potential for situations where engaged employees are expected to work ever longer and harder with negative outcomes for their well-being. Our study explores these issues in an investigation of the enactment of an engagement strategy within a UK Health charity, where managers and workers face parado...
Gary Cordner2
Estimated H-index: 2
Purpose Much of the commentary about police culture treats it as a monolithic and problematic feature of the police occupation that inhibits change and progress. The purpose of this paper is to draw on surveys completed by over 13,000 sworn police to describe officers’ occupational outlooks and explore the extent to which they vary across individuals and police agencies. Design/methodology/approach This paper draws upon employee survey data from 89 US police and sheriff departments collected in ...