In today’s uncertain business climate, organizational change is often essential in order to maintain the needed competitive edge. Jungsik, Song, and Seongsoo (2013) define organizational change as “managerial innovation, mergers, acquisition, structural change, and the restructuring of departmental units” (p. 1019).
Jungsik et al. (2013) state that when examining organizational change within a company, consideration must be given to both the business practices and outcomes as well as the psychological experiences of the employees involved. Research has indicated that providing support for employees during times of organizational change is critical to the overall adaptation and success of the company. Organizational change is a frequent cause of job-related stress due to changing employment roles and occupational skills, making adequate employee support essential.

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Organizational identification during the change process is also considered a critical element to successful adaptation (Jungsik et al., 2013). This identification is often a challenge to organizations as there is a sense of uncertainty and even chaos within the ranks.

Jungsik et al. (2013) state that organizational change can influence employees in both positive and negative ways. Being able to manage these influences and guide employees through the process of change is critical to a successful adaptation for the company. Organizational change is often seen as a threat to job security, creating issues with employee self-esteem and personal well-being. Jungsik et al. (2013) state that other perceived threats that accompany organizational change can include changes in “privileges, authority, autonomy, power, and career development” (p. 1020).

While organizational change can be tumultuous, it can also have positive effects on the employees involved. For instance, when employees are allowed to positively evaluate the change taking place within the organization, they typically report higher levels of job satisfaction as well as a more positive feeling in regards to psychological well-being (Jungsik et al., 2013).

Managers can help their employees deal with organizational changes in a variety of ways. For example, the manager can help interpret the events for his or her employees. This allows the manager to break down a particular event so that the employees can see in concrete terms how it will affect their employment and/or job responsibilities. Also, presenting employees with a plan on how organizational updates will be disseminated can also help lower anxiety levels.

It is important that the manager stay connected with the employees during times of change. It should be stressed that the emotions that accompany organizational changes are a normal byproduct of the uncertainty that occurs during restructuring.

Also, whenever possible the manager should take the opportunity to explain the rationale behind changes that are being implemented. This helps to lessen uncertainty and increase understanding, while also making employees feel valued.

In conclusion, organizational change is a phenomenon facing businesses across all industries due to the lackluster economy. Changes within structures and processes are often necessary to maintain the needed competitive edge. While this can be a time of uncertainty for employees, a positive management style that focuses on open communication can assist employees in dealing with change.

  • Jungsik, K., Song, E., & Seongsoo, L. (2013). Organizational change and employee organizational identification: Mediation of perceived uncertainty. Social Behavior and Personality: An International Journal, 41(6), 1019-1034.