Evolving emotional experiences following organizational change: a longitudinal qualitative study

Giaever, F
Smollan, RK
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Purpose – There is a lack of qualitative longitudinal studies in the literature exploring the complexity and dynamism of affective experience during phases of organizational change. This article therefore explores the nature and intensity of emotional reactions to change and the contextual triggers that made them vary. Design/methodology/approach – Eleven nurses in a Norwegian public hospital were interviewed at three points in time about a change in technology, one month prior to implementation, three months after implementation and one year after implementation. They were asked to reflect “forwards” and “backwards” about their emotional experiences to the technical change in particular and to other changes occurring at work. Findings – The informants reported mixed emotional experiences to change at all three interviews. Emotion terms such as “uncertainty”, “joy” and “resignation” were reported at all times, “anxiety and “excitement” were only reported at Times 1 and 2 whereas “frustration” and “cynicism” were only reported at Times 2 and 3. Research limitations – A larger group of informants would have produced greater insight into the evolving emotional change experiences. Further research could explore other contexts and a wider range of data collection methods. Originality/value – This is a rare qualitative study of emotional change experiences where the informants were interviewed three times. Keywords: Emotions, Organizational change, Longitudinal, Qualitative, Healthcare Article Classification: Research paper

Qualitative; Healthcare; Organizational change; Emotion; Longitudinal
Qualitative Research in Organization and Management, vol.10(2), pp.105 - 133
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Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2015. Authors retain the right to place his/her pre-publication version of the work on a personal website or institutional repository for non commercial purposes. The definitive version was published in (see Citation). The original publication is available at www.emeraldinsight.com (see Publisher’s Version).