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Leadership & Organization Development Journal

Changes in employee perceptions during organizational change


Paula S. Weber James E. Weber

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Paula S. Weber James E. Weber, (2001),"Changes in employee perceptions during organizational change", Leadership &
Organization Development Journal, Vol. 22 Iss 6 pp. 291 - 300
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(2013),"A theoretical framework of organizational change", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 26 Iss 5 pp.
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Changes in employee perceptions during


organizational change

Paula S. Weber
Assistant Professor, St Cloud State University, G.R. Herberger College of
Business, St Cloud, Minnesota, USA
James E. Weber
Assistant Professor, St Cloud State University, G.R. Herberger College of
Business, St Cloud, Minnesota, USA

Keywords

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Organizational change,
Supervisors, Participation

Abstract

This study explored employee


trust in management, perceptions
of supervisory support for
improvement, and perceptions of
organizational readiness for
change during a planned
organizational change effort.
Employee data were gathered at
two time periods six months apart.
Time 1 data were collected just
prior to the start of a major change
initiative. Time 2 data were
collected six months after the
change was initiated. Results
show a significant increase in
supervisory support for
improvement and perceptions of
organizational readiness for
change from time 1 to time 2.
Findings also suggest that
differences in perceptions of
supervisory support for
improvement and organizational
readiness for change along with
trust in management were
moderated by goal clarity,
employee participation, autonomy,
and feedback. Practical
implications of these findings are
discussed.

Received: January 2001


Accepted: May 2001

Leadership & Organization


Development Journal
22/6 [2001] 291300
# MCB University Press
[ISSN 0143-7739]

As we enter the new millennium,


organizational change continues at an
alarming pace. A study by the American
Management Association revealed that 84
percent of US companies were in the process of
at least one major change initiative, while 46
percent said they had three or more change
initiatives in progress (Peak, 1996).
Organizations are under tremendous pressure
to pursue organizational change in order to
survive in an environment of increasing
change and turbulence. Management scholars
know that this level of change may have a
serious negative impact on employee attitudes
and productivity. Employees may be highly
skeptical of planned change initiatives and
both actively and passively resistant to
change, resulting in unsuccessful change
efforts, decrease in morale or productivity, and
increases in turnover or subsequent
organizational failures (Dervitsiotis, 1998; Eby
et al., 2000; Greiner, 1992; Goldstein, 1988;
Osterman, 2000). Conversely, effective
management teams recognize that positive
employee attitudes are often vital to achieving
organizational goals (Eby et al., 2000; Martin,
1998).
Literature on organizational development
has identified several important employee
attitudes for successful organizational
change. Research suggests the creation of an
atmosphere where trustful communication
and collaboration can take place may be an
important foundation for achieving
organizational change goals (Bocchino, 1993;
Dutton, 1992; Weisbord, 1992). Trust in
management can reduce some of the feelings
of uncertainty and lack of information about
the change thereby reducing speculation and
unfounded fears. Further, employees who
trust their management may feel congruence
with managerial values and tend to react
more positively to changes in organizational
direction (Martin, 1998).

Other studies suggest that organizational


change efforts can be more successful if
employees feel supported during the change
efforts (Mintzberg and Westley, 1992;
Mohrman et al., 1989; Schalk et al., 1998).
When employees receive supervisory support
for their ideas, they are likely to be less
defensive and more willing to be involved in
the change. Employees that receive
encouragement and rewards for change are
more likely to act voluntarily in support of
organizational change goals contributing to
overall organizational effectiveness (Organ,
1988; VanYperen et al., 1999).
Research also proposes that a work
environment conducive to innovation and
change creates a receptive context for
organizational change (Emery et al., 1996;
Glover, 1993; Osterman, 2000; Zammuto and
O'Connor, 1992). An organizational
environment where employees have
previously been involved in planning or
implementing changes can help reduce
resistance to new change efforts and also
encourage employee commitment to the
change. Eby et al. (2000) noted that
employees' perceptions of organizational
readiness for change can serve to facilitate or
undermine an organizational change effort.
While employee trust, support for
improvement, and perceptions of
organizational readiness for change are seen
as vital to successful organizational change,
very few studies have gathered empirical
data on changes in these critical attitudes
before and after an organizational change
effort has been initiated. The current study
examines employee trust in management,
perceptions of supervisory support for
improvement, and perceptions of
organizational readiness for change prior to
and six months after the initiation of a
planned organizational change effort. The
focus of this study was to examine how

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[ 291 ]

Paula S. Weber and


James E. Weber
Changes in employee
perceptions during
organizational change

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Leadership & Organization


Development Journal
22/6 [2001] 291300

critical employee attitudes may differ after a


planned change effort is initiated.
The study also examined variables that
may moderate employee perceptions of trust,
supervisory support, and readiness for
change. We explored core job characteristics
that may be important in creating an
organizational culture and climate conducive
to organizational change efforts (McManus et
al., 1995; Rodwell et al., 1998; Schneider et al.,
1994). Specifically, we examined feedback,
autonomy, employee participation, and goal
clarity. A deeper understanding of the impact
of core job characteristics on the
organizational climate for change may be
useful at both the practical and theoretical
levels. At the practical level this information
can be useful in structuring policies and
procedures that create a positive
organizational environment for change. At
the theoretical level, identification of
antecedents for change may provide new and
deeper understandings of the change process.

Dependent variables and


hypotheses
Seven variables were examined in the study,
three dependent variables and four
independent variables. Survey items are
presented in the Appendix.

Dependent variables
Trust in management

Trust in management refers to the


psychological contract established between
individuals and organizations based on the
messages an employee receives regarding
organizational expectations and employee
perceptions of desired managerial actions
(Rosseau and Wade-Benzoni, 1994; Brockner
et al., 1997). Prior research has established
that trust in management can be manifested
in employee behaviors and attitudes
(Whitney, 1994; Kramer and Tyler, 1995).
Other research also suggests that the
effectiveness of a manager, especially during
a change effort, may depend upon gaining the
trust of their employees (Brockner et al., 1997;
Podsakoff et al., 1990). Four survey questions
addressed trust in management.

Perceptions of supervisory support for


improvement

This variable reflects employees' perceptions


of how management both encourages and
implements employee suggestions for
improvements (LaRocco et al., 1975). This
variable examines whether management
encourages employees to offer creative ideas
and suggestions for work improvements,
supports the improvement efforts, and then

[ 292 ]

rewards employees for the resulting


improvements. A work environment where
management is supportive of suggested
employee changes provides a foundation for
open employee participation and involvement.
Four survey questions addressed employees'
perceptions of management support for their
improvement efforts.

Perceptions of organizational readiness for


change

This variable reflects employees' perceptions


of the extent to which an organization is
ready to make changes to improve
performance. It explores how much an
organization values innovation and how
likely it will be adaptive to new opportunities
(Elgamal, 1998; Gordon and Cummins, 1979).
Change literature has suggested that
successful implementation of planned change
may depend upon a work environment that is
conducive to innovation and change (Glover,
1993; Zammuto and O'Connor, 1992). Four
survey questions addressed perceptions of
organizational readiness for change.
The cited studies suggest that trust in
management, perceptions of supervisory
support for improvement and perceptions of
organizational readiness for change are
critical employee attitudes for management
consideration during a change effort. It is
proposed that during a change effort,
employees' trust in management will covary
with their perceptions of supervisory support
for improvement efforts and their
perceptions of organizational readiness for
change:
H1: Trust in management, perceptions of
supervisory support for improvement,
and perceptions of organizational
readiness for change will covary.
We also contend that trust in management,
perceptions of supervisory support for
improvement, and perceptions of
organizational readiness for change will
improve after employees are trained and
have experienced the changes. It has been
suggested that individuals progress through
phases of acceptance of a change (Isabella,
1990; Kets de Vries and Miller, 1984; Janssen,
1982). That is, after a change has been
introduced in an organizational system,
employees tend to fear the unknown and
demonstrate limited support for management
and the proposed change effort. After
training has been conducted and employees
have had initial experiences with how the
change initiative will impact them, they may
demonstrate greater understanding and
support for management and the planned
change effort. Therefore, we propose the
following hypothesis.

Paula S. Weber and


James E. Weber
Changes in employee
perceptions during
organizational change
Leadership & Organization
Development Journal
22/6 [2001] 291300

H2: Trust in management, perceptions of


supervisory support for improvement,
and perceptions of organizational
readiness for change will increase from
time 1 to time 2.

Independent variables

Variables that may potentially moderate


increases in trust in management,
perceptions of supervisory support for
improvement, and perceptions of
organizational readiness for change from
time 1 to time 2 include basic job
characteristics such as the degree of
feedback, autonomy, employee participation,
and goal clarity.

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Feedback

Feedback to employees refers to the degree to


which employees receive information that
reveals how well they are performing on the
job (Sims et al., 1979). Feedback provides
employees with an understanding of how
well they are doing and to what extent they
are able to receive information on their job
performance from their supervisors. The
extent and depth of this two-way flow of
information should provide a solid basis for
trusting management and create perceptions
of supervisory support for improvement.
Five survey questions addressed feedback.
The questions posed were not specific as to
formal or informal feedback or to frequency.
They focused on the employees' perceptions
of the extent to which they receive feedback
(very little to very much).

Autonomy

Autonomy is the degree to which employees


experience freedom, independence, and
discretional decision making in terms of
scheduling their work, selecting the
equipment they will use, and deciding on
procedures to follow (Sims et al., 1979). When
employees report high levels of autonomy,
they believe they are able to act
independently and control their own work.
The degree of employee autonomy may
impact the level of employee trust in
management and employee perceptions of
how quickly the organization can adapt to
change. An individual's autonomy may also
impact perceptions of how well an
organization can adapt to change. Six survey
questions dealt with employee perceptions of
autonomy.

Employee participation

Employee participation is the degree to


which employees believe they can make
decisions about how they do their work
(White and Ruh, 1973). When employees
believe they have the ability to participate in
decisions, research suggests there will be a

positive impact on the work environment


(Lawler, 1994; Sullivan, 1992). Employee
participation may lead to additional
interactions with management and could
provide new opportunities for employees to
develop trust in management. Involved
employees may also be more likely to believe
they can impact or initiate changes in the
organization and to perceive the organization
as adaptive to change. Four survey questions
addressed employee participation.

Goal clarity

Goal clarity is the degree to which an


organization's goals and the means for
achieving those goals are clearly understood
by employees (Gordon and Cummins, 1977).
Strategic management literature has long
suggested the importance of clear vision and
objectives for organizational success
especially during times of increased
uncertainty, such as an organizational
change effort. Therefore, we hypothesize that
goal clarity may improve trust in
management, perceptions of supervisory
support for improvement, and perceptions of
organizational readiness for change. Clear
goals provide a sense of purpose that may
foster trust and underscore management
perceptions of supervisory support for
improvement efforts. In addition, we suggest
that the existence of clear goals during a
change effort should improve perceptions of
the organization's ability to adapt to change.
Four survey questions addressed goal clarity:
H3: Changes in trust in management from
time 1 to time 2 will be moderated by
feedback, autonomy, employee
participation and goal clarity.
Specifically, higher reported levels of
feedback, autonomy, employee
participation and goal clarity will lead to
greater levels of trust in management.
H4: Changes in perceptions of supervisory
support for improvement from time 1 to
time 2 will be moderated by feedback,
autonomy, employee participation and
goal clarity. Specifically, higher reported
levels of feedback, autonomy, employee
participation and goal clarity will lead to
greater levels of perceptions of
supervisory support for improvement.
H5: Changes in perceptions of organizational
readiness for change from time 1 to time 2
will be moderated by feedback,
autonomy, employee participation and
goal clarity. Specifically, higher reported
levels of feedback, autonomy, employee
participation and goal clarity will lead to
greater levels of reported perceptions of
organizational readiness for change.

[ 293 ]

Paula S. Weber and


James E. Weber
Changes in employee
perceptions during
organizational change

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Leadership & Organization


Development Journal
22/6 [2001] 291300

[ 294 ]

Research design and methodology


Research setting

The organization selected for this study was a


fire department with approximately 90
employees. The organization was a
traditional, hierarchical organization
comprising of a predominantly blue-collar
workforce. Employees worked 24-hour shifts
at primarily physical tasks. This
organization was selected because it was
poised to begin an organization-wide change
effort under the direction of a new CEO.
Prior to the change effort, the organization
was described as extremely bureaucratic and
paramilitary in nature. All promotions were
based on seniority. Supervisors were not
allowed to make basic decisions without
upper management approval. For example,
senior management handled daily work
assignments. If employees called in sick or
took vacation days, senior management, not
the supervisor, decided how the staffing
shortage would be handled.
Time 1 data were collected immediately
after the retirement of the existing CEO and
the hiring of his replacement. The incumbent
CEO was new to the organization and to the
region. He was hired because of his
reputation for being a maverick and a change
agent with experience in implementing
quality management practices. The previous
CEO, a traditional bureaucratic manager,
had retired after 30 years of service to this
organization. At time 1, no changes had been
introduced; however, there was speculation
about potential changes. Employees knew a
new CEO had been hired and that he
intended to implement quality management
principles. The second wave of data, time 2,
was collected six months later, after a series
of quality management training activities
had been conducted and quality management
practices had been implemented.
Specific change initiatives included
extensive training of all employees in quality
management principles which were
conducted in three waves of day-long
training conducted by an external agent
experienced in quality management
implementation efforts. Extensive policy
changes were also made to improve customer
service and to reward employees
accordingly. An open door policy was
developed that encouraged employees to
meet directly with the CEO on any topic.
Employees were encouraged to participate in
teams to address organizational issues
ranging from vacation policies, to
community outreach programs, to the
creation of new services for customers. These
teams consisted of employees who

volunteered to participate in these efforts


during work hours. These changes were
significant for this organization where
employees' opinions were previously not
welcome nor even allowed. While many
welcomed the promise of the change, they
also expressed to the researcher their fears
and concerns about raising issues,
participating in policy setting efforts, and
offering opinions, since these behaviors were
in sharp contrast to the behaviors that had
been expected and rewarded in the past.
A six-month time frame was selected for
measurement because during this time
period the organization's planned training
and new policy implementation efforts were
completed. The study was designed to
capture what change in employee attitudes
occurred after the initiation of an
implementation effort.

Sample and research procedures

Survey questionnaires were administered to


all 88 employees of the Fire Department. All
employees at the organization including line
and staff as well as the CEO and entry level
employees were given the same survey.
Surveys were distributed at large employee
meetings arranged by the researcher for this
purpose. Employees were told that the
researchers were exploring the
implementation of quality management
practices to better understand how
organizational change occurs. Employees
were told that they would be completing
surveys at two time periods and that the
researchers would provide summary results
from both surveys at the end of time 2.
Employees were assured of the
confidentiality of their responses and that no
member of management would have access to
the surveys. To maintain their anonymity
further, employees were asked to place a code
name on the survey. The code names were
then used to match surveys from time 1 and
time 2. Employees completed the survey
during the meetings held at time 1 and time 2
and all surveys were collected in person by
the researchers.
At time 1, 86 surveys were completed and
returned. Six months later, at time 2, 78
surveys were completed and returned. (There
were six less employees with the
organization at time 2 due to retirements and
leaves of absence and two other employees
were unavailable.) Surveys with
uncompleted items and surveys that were not
completed by the same employees at both
time 1 and time 2 were eliminated, resulting
in a total of 112 useable surveys (56 pairs).
The average age of respondents was 36.08
years with a minimum of 18 and maximum of

Paula S. Weber and


James E. Weber
Changes in employee
perceptions during
organizational change

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Leadership & Organization


Development Journal
22/6 [2001] 291300

63. The average tenure with the organization


was 10.41 years with a minimum of one year
and maximum of 25 years. The average
number of years of total work experience was
18.18 years with a minimum of three years
and a maximum of 44 years. The average
level of education beyond high school was
2.04 years.
To determine whether any significant
differences existed between respondents and
non-respondents, which could suggest a
response bias, t-tests were carried out on the
measures taken at time 1 between two
groups: the participants who completed
surveys for time 2, and those that did not. The
analysis of this data shows that respondents
who fully completed both surveys were not
significantly different from their colleagues
who did not fully complete surveys at both
time 1 and time 2. The data shows no
differences in mean age, organizational
tenure, experience or education, nor were
time 1 evaluations of study variables
different at the p < 0.05 level.

Measures

Dependent variables included measures of


trust in management, perceptions of
supervisory support for improvement, and
perceptions of organizational readiness for
change. Independent variables in the study
included measures of feedback, autonomy,
employee participation, and goal clarity.
Respondents used a seven-point Likert-type
scale ranging from ``never'' to ``always'' to
complete the survey. Higher scores reflect
higher reported levels of the variable. Study
variables, the source of the measure, and
associated internal reliability (Cronbach's
alpha) are presented in Table I. Alphas
ranged from 0.8437 to 0.9288. Question items
were taken intact from the sources identified.
Survey items are provided in the Appendix.

Results
The purpose of the study was to explore the
impact of planned organizational change on
employee attitudes and perceptions over
time. Correlation coefficients were calculated
between all time 2 independent variables, all
time 1 and time 2 dependent variables, and all
five demographic variables. Means, standard
deviations, and correlation coefficients
between these variables are shown in
Table II. Correlations between trust in
management, perceptions of supervisory
support for improvement, and perceptions of
organizational readiness for change were all
significant at the p < 0.01 level. Thus, there is
sufficient evidence to support H1 that trust in

management, perceptions of supervisory


support for improvement, and perceptions of
organizational readiness for change covary.
Means and standard deviations for the
dependent variables at both time periods are
shown in Table III along with the results of
paired t-tests of the difference in means from
time 1 to time 2 for each variable. Results
show significant changes from time 1 to time
2 in perceptions of supervisory support for
improvement and perceptions of
organizational readiness for change.
Although the mean for trust in management
was higher at time 2 than time 1, the
difference was not statistically significant.
Thus, H2, which proposed that dependent
variables would increase from time 1 to time
2, received partial support.
Table IV shows the results of regression
analysis in which the independent variables
were entered into the model in order to
assess their effect on the variation in
dependent variables from time 1 to time 2.
Since sample sizes were small, pairwise
deletion was used and calculations were
based on the maximum usable sample sizes
for all variables. Since a few surveys were
incomplete, sample sizes varied slightly for
different procedures.
Partial support was found for H3.
Statistically significant moderators of trust
in management included goal clarity,
employee participation, and a negative
relationship with autonomy. Thus the results
support a moderating effect on changes in
trust in management by three of the four
independent variables hypothesized.
Strong support was found for H4.
Moderators of perceptions of supervisory
support for improvement from time 1 to time
2 included goal clarity, employee
participation, and feedback. Only autonomy
was not shown to moderate changes in
perceptions of supervisory support for
improvement.
Limited support was found for H5.
Specifically, goal clarity was the only
significant moderator of perceptions of
organizational readiness for change from
time 1 to time 2.

Discussion and managerial


implications
Results indicate that six months after an
announced change effort was initiated,
measures of perceptions of supervisory
support for improvement and perceptions of
organizational readiness for change
increased significantly. In addition, results
indicate that mean levels of trust in

[ 295 ]

Paula S. Weber and


James E. Weber
Changes in employee
perceptions during
organizational change
Leadership & Organization
Development Journal
22/6 [2001] 291300

Table I
Scale source, number of items, number of respondents, and associated internal reliability
Variable

Scale source

Trust in management
Supervisory support for improvement
Perceptions of organizational readiness for
change
Feedback
Autonomy
Employee participation
Goal clarity

LaRocco et al. (1975)


LaRocco et al. (1975)
Gordon and
Cummins (1979)
Sims et al. (1979)
Sims et al. (1979)
White and Ruh (1973)
Gordon and
Cummins (1979)

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management also increased, although not at


a significant level. These results suggest that
as employees become more familiar with the
change and how it may impact them, their
support for management and the change
effort increase. These results are consistent
with previous arguments that individuals
progress through phases of acceptance
during a change effort (Isabella, 1990; Kets de
Vries and Miller, 1984; Janssen, 1982).
Specific policy implications for management
may be that both the timing and the amount
of information disseminated and the level of
training received regarding the planned
change effort may have a critical impact on
employee attitudes towards management and
the change effort. Open and early training
and communication may help increase
employee understanding of the change effort
and allow them to progress more quickly
towards acceptance of the change.
Another key study finding is that goal
clarity moderated reported levels of all three
dependent variables from time 1 to time 2.
This suggests that management efforts to
clearly identify organizational goals during a
change initiative could have a positive
impact on employee attitudes. Goal clarity
may be a key aspect of developing and
maintaining positive employee attitudes
during a change effort.
Employee participation in the change
effort also had a positive impact on trust in
management and perceptions of supervisory
support for improvement. This result is
consistent with previous studies on employee
participation which have suggested that
managerial efforts to involve employees may
increase their organizational participation
and productivity (Galbraith et al., 1993; Leana
et al., 1992). Our results extend these findings
by demonstrating that employee
participation had a positive impact on
specific employee attitudes that may underlie
previously reported increases in
organizational participation and
productivity.

[ 296 ]

No. of items

Alpha

4
4

85
84

0.8605
0.8546

4
5
6
4

84
85
85
85

0.8437
0.9288
0.8903
0.8680

85

0.9000

Feedback to employees had a moderating


effect on perceptions of supervisory support
for improvement but not on trust in
management or perceptions of organizational
readiness for change. This could be
interpreted that feedback had an impact on the
specific improvement currently under way.
However, employees' overall trust in
management and assessment of management's
ability to respond to new opportunities may be
more complex and long term, involving factors
such as goal clarity and employee
participation as demonstrated in this study.
This is an interesting area for further study.
Study data showed that reported levels of
trust in management tended to increase
when employees reported decreased levels of
independent action. This negative
moderating relationship of autonomy on
trust in management is intriguing and
should be explored further in future
research. Study findings possibly suggest
that employees tended to act more
independently when they lacked trust in
management to properly direct their efforts.
Additional future research may serve to
further explain findings in this area.

Limitations of this research


Four limitations deserve consideration when
interpreting study results. The most obvious
is the lack of any available control group. We
do not know if other changes in the
organization may provide alternative
explanations for the changing attitudes.
Although top management provided
assurances that no other changes occurred,
we should not assume that the planned
change effort was the sole explanation for
attitudinal change. Second, time 2 data were
collected six months after the initiation of the
change effort. It is possible that employee
attitudes might return to some equilibrium
level after a longer period of time. Third,
sample size precluded the use of
simultaneous examination of all

1.17

1.07

0.95

1.34

1.29

1.27
1.05
6.33
5.75
6.68
0.76

3.84

4.23

3.65

4.00

3.90

4.26

4.26
4.89
35.9
9.93
17.5
2.04

Notes: n = 56, *p < 0.05, **p < 0.01

1.27

4.06
4.57

SD

1.13
1.33

Mean

1. T2 Goal clarity
2. T2 Employee
involvement
3. T1 Support
improvement
4. T2 Support
improvement
5. T1 Org. readiness
for change
6. T2 Org. readiness
for change
7. T1 Trust
management
8. T2 Trust
management
9. T2 Feedback
10. T2 Autonomy
11. Age
12. Org. Exp.
13. Work Exp.
14. Education

0.38**
0.24
0.06
0.07
0.16
0.17

0.68**

0.47**

0.67**

0.29**

0.61**

0.42**

0.48**

0.49**
0.65**
0.06
0.03
0.04
0.19

0.71**

0.44**

0.45**

0.24

0.63**

0.36

0.38**
0.24
0.09
0.07
0.03
0.01

0.40**

0.73**

0.28*

0.72**

0.51**

0.65**
0.38**
0.27*
0.24
0.25
0.03

0.71**

0.45**

0.72**

0.43**

0.27*
0.32*
0.08
0.01
0.10
0.05

0.21

0.72**

0.37**

0.36**
0.32*
0.17
0.15
0.25
0.03

0.64**

0.43**

0.40**
0.32*
0.08
0.09
0.11
0.09

0.55**

0.53**
0.30*
0.20
0.18
0.21
0.15

0.37**
0.26
0.21
0.24
0.15

0.15
0.25
0.19
0.14

10

0.72**
0.92**
0.06

11

0.64**
0.22

12

Leadership & Organization


Development Journal
22/6 [2001] 291300

Variable

Table II
Means, standard deviations and correlations for study variables

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0.02

13

Paula S. Weber and


James E. Weber
Changes in employee
perceptions during
organizational change

[ 297 ]

Paula S. Weber and


James E. Weber
Changes in employee
perceptions during
organizational change
Leadership & Organization
Development Journal
22/6 [2001] 291300

Table III
Means, standard deviations, and paired t-tests of measures at time 1 and time 2
Measures
Trust in management
Supervisory support for
improvement
Perceptions of organizational
readiness for change

Time 1

Time 2

t-test Difference

3.90 (1.34)
3.84 (1.27)

4.26 (1.29)
4.23 (1.17)

1.86
2.70*

3.65 (1.07)

4.00 (0.95)

1.99*

Note: *p < 0.01

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Table IV
Results of regression analysis for trust in management, supervisory support for improvement and
perceptions of organizational readiness for change

Variable
Org. clarity
Employee
involvement
Feedback
Autonomy
T1 trust
management
T1 support
improvement
T1 org. readiness
for change
R2
Adjusted R2
n
F

Perceptions of
organizational readiness for
change

t

Trust in management

t

Supervisory support for


improvement

t

0.406
0.512

4.72**
5.05**

0.279
0.340

2.90*
2.95*

0.574
0.103

5.08**
0.73

0.147
0.243
0.147

1.74
2.67*
1.72

0.324
0.118

3.44*
1.17

0.057
0.041

0.50
0.31

0.195

2.13*
0.096

0.92

0.716
0.691
62
28.71**

0.647
0.615
61
20.49**

0.506
0.461
60
11.26**

Note: *p < 0.01; **p < 0.001


relationships in a ``causal'' model and may
limit applicability of the results of this study
to other larger organizations. Finally, the
correlations between the three dependent
variables are high enough to raise questions
about the discrete nature of these constructs.
Although the authors of the scales validated
variable constructs, sample size precludes
the use of confirmatory factor analysis to
demonstrate the discrete nature of these
constructs in this study.

Summary
In conclusion, the current study demonstrates
the impact of planned change efforts on
specific employee attitudes and perceptions
and moves us towards a better understanding
of how practitioners interested in designing
effective planned change should focus their
efforts. Findings suggest that management
may establish policies and practices that could

[ 298 ]

minimize the potential negative impact of


planned change efforts.
The findings of statistically significant
moderators of employee attitudes between
time 1 and time 2 raise interesting human
resources management policy issues.
Specific implications include establishing
clear goals for the change effort, launching
aggressive communication and training
efforts, and promoting opportunities for
employee participation.
Future research on employee attitudes
during change may identify additional
opportunities for management to improve
the success of the, often ubiquitous,
organizational change initiative.

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Appendix. Survey questions

Trust in Management (Scale: Never (1) to


Always (7))
Does management treat you with respect?
Does management follow through on its
commitments?
Do employees trust management?
Do you trust your supervisor?
Supervisory Support for Improvement (Scale:
Never (1) to Always (7))
Does your supervisor encourage ideas and
suggestions about better ways to do the work?
Does management follow up on suggestions
for improvements?
Does management reward employees who
make improvements in the way the work is
done?
Does management encourage creative
solutions to work problems?
Perceptions of organizational readiness for
change (Scale: Never (1) to Always (7))
Does management take action quickly
enough when new opportunities could help
the organization?

[ 300 ]

Is this organization a leader when compared


with similar organizations?
Does this organization adapt well to changes
in funding levels?
Are management decisions innovative?
Employee Participation (Scale: Never (1) to
Always (7))
Can you influence the decisions that affect
your work group?
Can you influence your supervisor's decisions?
Does your supervisor accept your ideas and
suggestions?
Are you free to decide how to do your job?
Goal Clarity (Scale: Never (1) to Always (7))
Are the organization's goals clear to you?
Do you think organizational goals are used to
make day-to-day work decisions?
Do you think there are thorough plans for
achieving organizational goals?
Do you think there is formal planning for
achievement of organizational goals?
Autonomy (Scale: Very Little (1) to Very
Much (7))
How much are you left on your own to do
your own work?
To what extent are you able to act
independently of your supervisor in
performing your job function?
To what extent are you able to do your job
independently of others?
The freedom to do pretty much what I want
on my job.
The opportunity for independent thought and
action.
The control I have over the pace of my work.
Feedback (Scale: Very Little (1) to Very
Much (7))
To what extent do you find out how well you
are doing on the job as you are working?
To what extent do you receive information
from your supervisor on your job
performance?
The feedback from my supervisor on how
well I am doing.
The opportunity to find out how well I am
doing on my job.
The feeling that I know whether I am
performing my job well or poorly.

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