Mgmt Journal

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Purpose – The purpose of the present paper is to advance a testable model, rooted on well-established control and self-regulation theory principles, explaining the causal links between change-related sensemaking, interpretation, readiness and subsequent behavioural action. Design/methodology/approach – Following a review of the two motivation theories and clarification of change-related sensemaking, interpretation, and readiness concepts, the paper proposes a series of research propositions (illustrated by a conceptual model) clarifying how these concepts interact with self-regulating mechanisms. In addition, the feedback model exemplifies how cognitive processes triggered by new knowledge structures relate to behavioural action. Findings – The model expands upon other existing frameworks by allowing the examination of multi-level factors that account for, and moderate causal links between, change-related sensemaking, interpretation, readiness, and behavioural action. Suggestions for future research and guidelines for practice are outlined. Practical implications – The variables and processes depicted in the model provide guidelines for change management in organisations, both for individuals and for groups. By eliciting important self-regulating functions, change agents will likely facilitate sensemaking processes, positive interpretations of change, change readiness, and effective change behaviours. Originality/value – This paper makes two contributions to the literature. First, it offers a comprehensive and dynamic account of the relationships between change-related sensemaking, interpretation, readiness, and behavioural action decision-making. Second, it elucidates the impact of human agency properties, namely the interplay of efficacy perceptions, social learning, and self-regulating mechanisms on these change-related cognitive processes and subsequent behavioural outcomes. Keywords Self-regulation theory, Sensemaking, Interpretation, Readiness, Transformational change, Organizational change, Behaviour Paper type Conceptual paper

(Elucidates) HELPS MAKE CLEAR already known points/ information

Introduction The successful implementation of change in organisations constitutes one of the most challenging managerial activities, as it entails the redefinition – at times radical – of organisational goals and values, accurate anticipation of the changing needs of internal and external customers, and adaptive responses to changes in the business environment (By, 2005; Causon, 2004). While this process should result in improvements to organisational functioning and ensure its survival in a competitive environment (Lines, 2005), the degree to which the implemented changes are successful

Journal of Organizational Change Management Vol. 25 No. 1, 2012 pp. 143-162 q Emerald Group Publishing Limited 0953-4814 DOI 10.1108/09534811211199637

JOCM 25,1

144

and sustainable is highly contingent upon workforce acceptance of change, opportunity for participation, and development of relevant competencies to sustain implementation. Most of the extant change literature has focused on developing and proposing prescriptive change frameworks to guide managerial interventions, including training for organisational transitions (Ackerman, 1986; Quinones and Ehrenstein, 1997), and leadership strategies to plan and facilitate change (Ackerman, 1986; Axelrod, 2000; Furnham, 2002; Kerber and Buono, 2005; Paglis and Green, 2002; Whitmore, 2004; Woodward and Hendry, 2004). The proposed frameworks are systemic in nature, highlighting the importance of aligning environmental and organisational factors in response to change demands. Despite the wealth of comprehensive guidelines and strategies to manage organisational change, the reported failure rate of recently implemented change programs ranges between 70 per cent and 80 per cent (By, 2005; Karp and Helgo, 2009). In an attempt to identify the causes of unsuccessful change strategy...
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