Developing an Employee-Centric Perspective on Change
Change is a pervasive and ubiquitous part of the work-life of employees in the 21st century. This thesis reviews the positioning of employee reactions in the change literature, providing theoretical development, empirical evidence, and recommendations to develop this field. This thesis comprises four related papers. Paper One answers a foundational question—to what extent are employees currently experiencing change at work? Employees in three countries—the US, Australia, and New Zealand—were asked how much change they were experiencing at work. Approximately 70% of employees were experiencing change, demonstrating that change is a ubiquitous and continuous work element. Paper Two presents a systematic meta-review of employee-level organization change research. This synthesis of 34 review papers presents an employee-centric model of organizational change reactions. Paper Three is a review and qualitative synthesis of employee responses to change. Six prototypical employee change orientations are identified—the defender, the enthusiast, the half-hearted, the pragmatist, the challenger, and the jaded—and positioned in a configurational framework. Paper Four is a two-study latent profile analysis of employee change responses to continuous change and provides initial empirical evidence of six profiles of employee responses to continuous change.