Organisational commitment and responses to planned organisational change: An exploratory study

18 Aug 2016

Previous research has identified organisational commitment as a pre-requisite to the successful implementation of organisational change. Change managers rely on the commitment of employees when implementing organisational change, but organisational commitment may decrease in response to the change. This appeared to be the case when a South African telecommunications organisation embarked on an organisational change initiative in 2008. The commencement of the change was followed by largescale employee resignations, suggesting a possible decline in organisational commitment as a result of the change. Organisational change is complex and is accompanied by cognitive, affective and behavioural responses from employees, but little research has been conducted to show how these responses are related to organisational commitment. This study attempts to address this gap by exploring whether levels of organisational commitment are related to employee attitudes towards change, and whether these attitudes are related to the manner in which employees perceive the change process. Data were collected from 113 employees through an electronic survey. The findings indicate that affective and normative commitment are positively associated with change readiness, personal and organisational valence. Change readiness, personal and organisational valence are, in turn, positively associated with employee perceptions of change communication and training.