Home Free Lab ReportsEMPLOYEES’ PERCEPTIONS OF ORGANISATIONAL CHANGE WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS by LEBOGANG MAUREEN MALULEKE 1 CHAPTER 1

EMPLOYEES’ PERCEPTIONS OF ORGANISATIONAL CHANGE WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS by LEBOGANG MAUREEN MALULEKE 1 CHAPTER 1

EMPLOYEES’ PERCEPTIONS OF ORGANISATIONAL CHANGE WITHIN THE
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS

by

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LEBOGANG MAUREEN MALULEKE

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CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND OF STUDY

1.1 INTRODUCTION TO STUDY
In today’s profoundly intricate business environment where change is the norm rather than the
exception, organisational change has become a core organisational value providing
organisations with a sustainable competitive advantage. Within this framework, management
academics acknowledge that this rate of change may negatively affect employee attitudes,
perceptions, morale, emotions, and/or feelings (Eby, Adams, Russell & Gaby, 2000:419;
Osterman, 2000:182).

The changing nature of technology and economy puts excessive pressure on organisations to
change their structural and functional characteristics. In accordance with universal
developments, especially in the last quarter of the previous century, changes concerning
content and presentation of the programmes, technologies, structural processes and the roles
of management and employees have become necessary. It is important that organisations
engender efficacious programmes and procedures to meet organisational needs, to improve
skills, and attitudes and change organisational policies in order to ensure development of the
individual and sustainability of communal life. This is paramount in preparing individuals for
change by considering the needs from outside or within the organisational structure (Gökçe,
2005; Rosenblatt, 2004). According to Leavitt (1964), forces within the organisation that
support organisational change include technology, the major field of business, people and
administrative structures (formalised lines of communication, formation of working
procedures, managerial hierarchies, reward systems and disciplinary procedures). Therefore,
it can be said that inside forces for change emanate from both human resources and
managerial deportment or decisions. Furthermore, key external forces outside the
organisations include law and regulations of the government, the standards and values of
society, changing technology, demographic characteristics, administrative processes and
needs of the members of the organisation (Dawson, 2003; Kreitner & Kinicki, 2010). These
external and internal factors all affect speed, direction and results of change in organisations
(Dawson, 2003).

According to the White Paper on Public Works towards the 21st century (SA, 1997:20), the
Department of Public Works (DPW) is experiencing internal change to reach both

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comprehensive legislative targets and all the more proficiently fulfil its task. This
incorporates rebuilding the DPW to focus on a new way to deal with property venture;
enhancing analysis of investment; promoting private and public pa partnerships to advance
development; considering various models of implementation; and making and
communicating plans that start processes immediately. . As a major aspect of its general
change, the DPW is rebuilding its Property and Facilities Management Division to guarantee
customers’ needs are met in a viable, proficient and cost-effective way (SA, 1997).

According to Ashford, Lee and Bobko (1989: 803), while an organisation is experiencing
organisational change, including restructuring, downsizing, or merging, employees
experience apprehension, strain, and insecurity, and these affect employees’ productivity,
contentment, and commitment towards the organisation. The attitudes and behaviours of
personnel develop as a result of unique existential experiences, socio-demographic traits,
expertise and abilities, attitudes, values and behavioural pattern in the end, organisations
require willingness and behavioural support from employees which ensure an adaptable
organisation.

As a result, organisational change is considered as both a challenge and a threat as it activates
a positive reaction when considered as challenge and activates a negative reaction when
considered otherwise. Change as a threat has an impact on employees’ perception of job
insecurity, anxiety and depression, which may cause employee resistance to a change
programme (Conner, 1993) In case of a challenge, change has an impact on motivation,
loyalty, job commitment and job satisfaction and may automatically expedite the rate of
employees’ acceptance and willingness to implement the change programme (Reichers,
Wanous & Austin, 1997). Therefore, organisations need to develop a sense of challenge in
their employees to get a positive response to change and to avoid dissatisfaction and
depression among the employees.

Researchers have remarked that both the ability to accept change as well as the tendency to
resist change lies within the individuals who are experiencing the change (Judge et al., 1999;
Oreg, 2003). Similarly, Lau and Woodman (1995) reveal that each individual decides through
his or her perceptual skills whether change is a threat or a challenge. Hence change
management agents and academic scholars are studying issues of handling the change process
so that employees can actively agree to and be involved in the change programmes. With the

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above said, this study attempts to analyse the different perceptions of employees during
organisational change, based on hierarchical position, to study the perceptions of employees
during organisational change, to study the demographic differences in employees’
perceptions during organisational change and to determine the factors that influence
employees’ perceptions.

1.2 BACKGROUND OF STUDY

According to the Department of Public Works Revised Strategic Plan, 2015-2020:37, during
the course of 1999, cabinet approved the establishment of a State Property Agency (SPA) as a
vehicle which would professionally manage the state’s immovable assets. By 2002, no
progress had been made in establishing the SPA and, as a result, the joint National Treasury /
DPSA Technical Committee recommended that a trading entity, with a lifespan of
approximately two (2) years be created, as the first step towards separating the functions of
the Department of Public Works (DPW) and the Property Management Trading Entity
(PMTE).

Another period of inactivity followed until 2006, after which the “property agency”
discussion was resuscitated. At this time, National Treasury approved the devolution of
accommodation budgets to individual user departments and the introduction of the concept of
“user charges” for state accommodation. During March 2006, and subject to certain specified
conditions, National Treasury then authorised the establishment of a Property Management
Trading Entity (PMTE), as a vehicle to account for the costs recovered from user-
departments and payments towards leases, maintenance, property rates and municipal
services (Department of Public Works, 2015).

Unfortunately, National Treasury’s directive was not fully complied with and the Department
of Public Works underperformed for the following eight (8) consecutive years. This
culminated, inter alia, in adverse audit findings with two (2) consecutive disclaimers during
2010 – 2011 and 2011 – 2012 financial years, mainly due to the failure to operationalise the
PMTE, in line with National Treasury’s 2006 approval. This led to a concerted effort by the
current executive and accounting officers to put measures into place to correct the history of
poor management in the Department of Public Works. As a result, in November 2011, the

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Minister requested assistance from the Technical Assistance Unit (TAU) of National
Treasury to provide a rapid diagnosis in respect of the state of affairs within the Department.
The findings in the report detailed problems of mismanagement and misalignment and
pointed to the need for fundamental reorganisation of the department to deliver its core
business effectively (Department of Public Works, 2015).

The aforementioned exercise culminated in the launching of the turnaround strategy during
2012, which was to be implemented in phases over a seven (7) year period with measurable
deliverables against budget and timeframes. The three (3) phases of the turnaround strategy
are interrelated and interdependent to the extent that the stabilisation in certain areas will only
be realised in phase II while simultaneously ensuring efficiency enhancements in other
stabilised areas. The turnaround strategy defined the process for organisational review and
renewal to ensure compliance with the mandate of the department and satisfactory audit
performance. This process required change to the organisational processes, systems and
resource perspectives, as well as change to the structure and internally focused culture of the
department. In addition, it required proper implementation of a performance management
system that affected all areas of the department and the way in which business was to be
conducted. The turnaround strategy was to be implemented in the following phases: the
stabilisation phase, efficiency enhancement phase and sustainability and growth phase.

The aim of the change management programme was to facilitate readiness and to support
stakeholders during the operationalization of the department and the PMTE. Change
management is a by-product of the turnaround strategy and occurs in various areas in the
department. All identified turnaround strategy projects are change initiatives by nature.
During the 2016/17 financial year, the Department finalised the organisational structure for
both the Department and the PMTE (Department of Public Works, 2017).

1.3. RATIONALE OF STUDY
Organisational studies have predominantly concentrated on the organisational level and not
the individual level, i.e. responses, attitudes and perceptions of the people involved in the
change and how these influence the organisation. Martin, Jones, and Callan (2005:265)
mention that impressions of employees may turn out to be a key factor concerning effective
execution of progress and change. Most existing studies centre on how organisations plan for,

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execute and respond to change, while very few have inspected reactions to organisational
change in developing countries, for example, South Africa. For this reason, this study
attempts to fill a gap in the literature on the individual level, and to determine to what a
degree perception affects the organisation.

1.4. RESEARCH QUESTIONS OF STUDY
The purpose of this study is to see if employees differ with regard to organisational change
according to their individual hierarchical positions and to what degree they differ. By
applying the significant hypotheses and presenting the findings obtained from the study, this
study intends to answer the research questions presented below:

Main Research Question
Do employees’ perceptions during organisational change differ across hierarchical levels?

Research Sub-questions
What are the perceptions of employees during organisational change?
What are the demographic differences in employees’ perceptions during organisational
change?
Which factors influence employees’ perceptions?

1.5. OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The study will address the following research objectives:
Main Objective
? To analyse the different perceptions of employees during organisational change,
based on hierarchical position.
Sub-Objectives
? To study the perceptions of employees during organisational change
? To study the demographic differences in employees’ perceptions during
organisational change
? To determine the factors that influence employees’ perceptions
1.6 CHAPTER OUTLINE
The dissertation consists of the following chapters, list of references and appendix.

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Chapter 1: Introduction and background of study
This chapter presents an introduction to the study along with the relevant background of the
study. The chapter states the research questions and specific objectives. The chapter also
presents the chapter outline of the study.
Chapter 2: Literature Review
Chapter 2 presents a review of the literature.
Chapter 3: Methods and materials of study
Chapter 3 presents the methods and materials used in the study. The chapter presents the
study design, the sample size of the study, sampling technique, statistical methods of data
analysis, and tests of validity and reliability.
Chapter 4: Results of study
This chapter presents the results obtained from a quantitative data analysis.
Chapter 5: Discussion of results
Chapter 5 presents a discussion of the key results and findings. A thorough and critical
analysis of the results obtained from analysis will be conducted with a view to identify gaps
that should be addressed by other researchers. The discussion of results is guided by the key
research questions of study.
Chapter 6: Conclusions and Recommendations
This chapter provides relevant recommendations based on the findings of the study.

1.7 SUMMARY
This chapter has presented an introduction to the study, the background of study, the rationale
of study, the objectives of study and the research questions of study. The chapter has
explained the key motivations and potential benefits of study.

The next chapter will present a review of the relevant literature.

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CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 INTRODUCTION
This chapter reviews literature about the conceptual framework of organisational development
and change management. It also looks at the most prominent theoretical change models which
are utilised both by managers leading their organisations through change, as well as
researchers who attempt to conceptualise organisational change.

2.2 CHANGE MANAGEMENT
As Moran and Brightman (2001: 111) explain, change management is an on-going process of
reviewing and improving the focus, structure and capacities of an organisation to live up to its
responsibilities and meet the expectations of its customers and other stakeholders. At every
level of operation and strategy, change remains a constant characteristic of an organisation’s
existence (Burnes, 2004). In view of this, it is important for an organisation to identify a vision
for its future as well as manage the changes that accompanies its achievement.

Change management addresses the way in which an organisation supports its employees
towards understanding, accepting and embracing major organisational changes in the
workplace (Hassan, Obasan and Abass, 2016). Other theorists such as Barratt-Pugh, Bahn, and
Gakere (2012) and Hayes (2007) relate change management to the ways in which change is
integrated into the workplace systems, structures and characteristics towards the improvement
of efficiency and effectiveness of an organisation.

At organisational level, Harrington (2006) indicates that change management is a series of
organised processes that are involved in the different phases of change such as decision-
making, planning, execution and evaluation.

For an organisation to manage change successfully, Carnall (2003) recommends that its
management must apply an organisation-wide approach in implementation and embrace
emerging learning points in the change phases. In the same vein, van Tonder (2004) observes
that change can only be managed effectively when concerned leaders or managers have a
genuine appreciation of change in its entirety. Given the different definitions of change

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management in this section, the study concurs with the general definition of change
management as the management of plans for change, communication strategies and
implementation of change initiatives.
2.3 INDUSTRIALISATION
Organisational development and change management as a field of theoretical engagement
dates back to the early 20th century. The expansion of industrialisation of the 1900s in many
parts of the Western world led to simultaneous growth in the manufacturing sector and
consequently resulted in establishment of more factories and a demand for factory workers.
These waves of expansion triggered the need for a better understanding of the working of an
organisation, human resource management and development towards labour efficiency and
productivity as well as organisational management, (Burke, 20007).

2.4 SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT
Scientific management theory, which is also referred to as Taylorism or the classical
perspective, is recognised by many scholars as the first theory that was formulated to address
management challenges scientifically. The theory which was introduced in 1911 by Frederick
Taylor who applied scientific methods to enhance economic efficiency and labour
productivity, (Locke, 1982).

According to Taylor’s theoretical analysis, an organisation is considered as a machine that can
be studied scientifically in terms of a cause and effect approach. Guided by his engineering
background, Taylor applied methods such as information gathering, institutionalisation of best
practices and data transfer in the study of an organisation, (Grönroos, 1993).

2.4.1 Four principles of Scientific Management Theory:
• Data Collection: Taylor proposed that collection of data would help to develop a set of rules
and laws that managers can apply to increase efficiency in the workplace.
• Worker Selection and Development: This principle of scientific management theory
emphasises specialisation as well as employees’ development. It demands that an organisation
should hire employees who are suited for specific positions and provide them with necessary
capacity building for their jobs.
• Scientific Management and Workers: The principle provides managers with scientific
instruments to measure and improve employees’ performance.

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• Distributing the work: The principle identifies the separate work responsibilities of workers
which were to carry out specific job assignments while management staff was to plan and
supervise workers’ jobs (Locke, 1982).

Despite its influence on later theories, the scientific management theory falls short because of
its conceptualisation of an organisation as a machine and its narrow focus on the
manufacturing sector. Burke (2007) avers that the theory was no longer relevant as early as the
1930s because of the increasing complexity of organisations. However, the lasting influence of
Taylor’s theory on contemporary theories can be seen in his contribution to modern industrial
organisational psychology with the discourse on incentive pay. Taylor’s works also
contributed theoretical knowledge to the fields of industrial engineering and total quality
management (Locke, 1982).

Over the years, there has been a shift from pioneering thoughts on organisation such as
Taylor’s scientific cause-and-effect approach of scientific management to psychological and
sociological approaches that emphasise the significance of factors such as employee attitude,
perceptions, morale and common associations. One of the leading theorists whose works
encompass this approach is Hawthorne (Burke, 2007).

2.5 THE HAWTHORNE EFFECT
Hawthorne’s contribution to theoretical understanding of organisation and management started
with a number of experiments that were conducted between 1924 to1932 involving the
workers at the Hawthorne Works factory. The purpose of the experiments was to measure the
influence of working conditions on efficiency.

One aspect of the experiments revealed that varied lighting conditions had an impact on
productivity. The researchers found that an increase in lighting increased productivity
considerably. However, a decrease in lighting further increased productivity and even when
the lighting was supposedly changed, workers’ productivity continued to increase, (Gillespie,
1991). This observed phenomenon is what is now referred to as the Hawthorne effect.

The Hawthorne-effect is found in situations in which research subjects improve or alter their
conduct having understood that they are being examined or watched (McCarney et al., 2007).

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At the time of the Hawthorne Works factory experiments, the Hawthorne-effect was unknown.
However, researchers were able to deduce that apart from lighting there were other factors
contributing to the workers’ productivity. As a result, they justified their hypothesis that a
cause-and-effect relationship did not exist between working conditions and efficiency (Burke,
2007).

This conclusion inspired further researchers to focus on non-physical variables such as the
impacts of psychological factors on employees’ productivity. Researchers sought to
understand the impacts of variables such as supervision, perceived status and social relations
on workers’ behaviour and productivity. With its specific focus on psychological factors, the
Hawthorne study made a substantial contribution to the studies of contemporary change
management and organisational development, paving the way for a more humanistic approach
(Burke, 2007).

Although the Hawthorne study researchers started with a theory of the effect of physical
stimuli on employees, similar to Taylor’s scientific management approach of organisation as a
machine, they however reached a different conclusion that demanded a more humanistic
approach to such research fields as well as employees’ relations (Gillespie, 1991).
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Burke (2007: Add page number) summarises the fundamental impact of the Hawthorne
studies on organisational development and change management in the statement below:
They exhibited the imperative impact of mental or human factors on specialist
profitability and assurance. … the relative absence of a requirement for close
supervision of individuals who know their employments, the significance of getting
criticism on the immediate connection between? Execution and remuneration? And
having options and some impact over change.
2.6 LEWIN AND CHANGE MANAGEMENT
Following the milestone contribution of the Hawthorne study to the theory of organisational
development and change management in the 1940s, the dominance of humanism and social
psychology in organisational research grew continually as scholars and researchers engaged
with issues of organisational change management. One of the major scholars whose
pioneering works in applied and social psychology dominated the field of change management
was the German psychologist Kurt Lewin (Burnes, 2004).

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In most of Lewin’s works, the central theoretical theme was the emphasis on the fact that a
group influences its individual member’s perceptions, feelings and actions (Allport, 1948). As
is discussed in subsequent section, the emphasis on the importance of the group turns out to be
one of the foremost components of the social psychological approach to improving an
organisation.

2.7 INDUSTRIAL PSYCHOLOGY
Industrial psychology gained popularity during the Second World War as a method of
conducting morale and efficiency tests, particularly in industrial and military organisations.
The method involves the use of standardised testing, questionnaires and screening followed by
a test of validity and reliability. This was built on psychological testing and psychometrics
developed by Sir Francis Galton and L.L. Thurstone’s contributions (Jensen, 2002; Burke,
2007).

Also, around the 1950s and 1960s, the Rensis Likert-led group of psychologists at the
University of Michigan increased research interest in the field of industrial psychology. The
group used industrial psychology components of measurements, surveys and questionnaires to
evaluate employees’ morale and attitudes in organisations (Burnes, 2004). This was to be
widened into the broader scope of organisational culture, transformational change and socio-
technical systems in the decades that followed Rensis Likert’s group of the 60s (Burke, 2007).
Initially, the socio-technical systems dealt with revolutionising work structures and focused on
a bottom-up management approach. The systems later adopted the University of Michigan
action research approach which included survey feedback and behavioural science as earlier
proposed by Kurt Lewin. In view of this, Kurt Lewin’s works continue to be prominent and
relevant in the literature and study of contemporary change management (Beckhard, 1997).
Another major contribution to the literature and study of change management is that of Kotter
(1996) published in the mid-1990s. Kotter developed an 8-step model for change
implementation; a prominent model in management literature. The next section explores other
change models of Lewin, Kotter and Bridges.

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2.8 CHANGE MODELS
Scholars have propounded different types of models in their attempt to conceptualise the
change process, many of which have been embraced by leaders and managers tasked with the
responsibility of managing organisational change.

The discussion in the section is centered on some of the popular and often applied models as
well as the opportunities and challenges they present to managers and leaders experiencing the
process of change.

2.8.1 LEWIN’S MODEL
Force field analysis is one of the seminal works in the field of change management. Published
in the mid-20th century by Kurt Lewin, the model is based on two forces described as driving
and resisting forces. Lewin postulated that the two forces stand opposed to each other in most
organisations until they finally reach equilibrium. According to Lewin, change occurs when
there is an imbalance in the equilibrium as a result of developing tension (Burnes, 2004).
Lewin’s theory of change was built on four related factors, namely Field Theory, Group
Dynamics, Action Research and the 3-Step model (Burnes, 2004).

With his field theory, Lewin aimed at unravelling the complex nature of group behaviour. The
German theorist argued that behaviour was a set of interactions and forces that influence group
behaviour as well as that of individuals. Therefore, behavioural changes can be traced back to
changes in this set of forces (Lewin, 1946).

The group dynamics factor emphasises the importance of group behaviour as the major focus
of change research in the sense that the key to rallying individuals around a change agenda and
also changing individual behaviour is the appreciation of the internal dynamics of the group to
which the individual belongs (Burnes, 2004). The action research factor emanated from
Lewin’s research paper; Action Research and Minority Problems (Lewin, 1946) in which he
recommended a proper situation analysis and appropriate action as factors for successfully
implementing change.

With the 3-step model factor, Lewin proposed three stages of change process as unfreeze,
change and refreeze. The unfreeze stage deals with putting in place the right conditions that
engender change which involve managing initial opposition to change and helping with

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transition from a “frozen” state to a “ready for change” state. The change stage is characterised
by state of confusion as well as changes in roles and identity. The refreeze stage deals with
securing the sustainability of the change (Burnes, 2004).

2.8.2 KOTTER’S 8-STEP MODEL
Kotter developed an 8-step change model similar to previous work by Kurt Lewin, (Kotter,
1996). Kotter’s model indicates that implementing a successful change requires an
organisation to pass through certain steps as follows:

1. Establish a sense of urgency. This requires that change managers must create awareness of
the need and importance of change as soon as possible. Failure to do this, Kotter (1996)
argues, may result in opposition to the change agenda with a negative impact on the
implementation process. Therefore, establishing a sense of urgency is a step that mobilises
employee support for a change agenda through effective communication about the change, its
reason and potential benefits.
2. Create the guiding coalition. Kotter emphasises the importance of change managers
assembling a team of key individuals tasked with the specific responsibility of communicating
the purpose, plan and expected benefits of change. According to Kotter, the team must be a
group of committed individuals who can also inspire a similar level of commitment in others.
In this regard, change strategists or managers must ensure there is an appropriate mix of skill
and status and also pay attention to factors such as leadership qualities, individual integrity and
expertise.
3. Develop a vision and strategy. A successful change process requires that an organisation
going through a change phase must clearly define its change goals and objectives. As Kotter
observes, the failure of many change projects is as a result of lack of clearly defined
objectives, poor or lack of planning and failure to put in place or implement contingency
plans.
4. Communicate the change vision. This involves ensuring a shared vision among
stakeholders, especially employees about the need and importance of a change initiative or
agenda. To achieve this requires effective communication and mobilising stakeholders
towards realising this common vision.
5. Empower action. This indicates that for a change initiative to be successfully implemented,
it must start with identifying and removing obstacles, and creating communication channels
among stakeholders in an organisation. In addition, it demands commitment of the top

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management as well as motivation of employees to provide feedback and constructive
criticism.
6. Generate short-term wins. Since many change processes usually take a long time and are
demanding, change managers must develop a set of short-term goals to keep employees
interested and committed to the process. Short-term wins help to create momentum especially
in the beginning stages as it gives stakeholders an impression of on-going progress. This also
serves to boost stakeholders’ morale and motivate them to complete the whole change project
when there is a sense of achievement through achievement of smaller goals.
7. Consolidating gains and producing more change. Consolidating gains requires that
change managers measure on-going progress and also re-evaluate set goals and objectives.
This will help to establish if certain objectives have been achieved or not and identify reasons
why objectives have not been met, as well as lead to developing and implementing
contingency plan in such cases.
8. Anchoring new approaches in the culture. Kotter proposes securing the sustainability of
a successful change in a manner similar to that in which Kurt Lewin explained his ‘freeze’
factor (Kotter, 1996).

2.8.3 BRIDGES’ TRANSITION MODEL
Bridges’ model explores the challenges people experience during transitions brought about by
change (Bridges, 2009). Bridges concludes that the primary challenge for employees in the
change process is the transition rather than change itself. In this regard, the model identifies
change and transition as different concepts. According to Bridges, change refers to the
situation such as staff downsizing or companies’ merger, while transition is the psychological
conditions brought about by the change process.

Bridges, in keeping with the theoretical traditions of scholars such as Lewin and Kotter, also
submits that those who are going through a change process experience it in stages. Like Lewin
and Kotter, Bridges identifies three emotional stages as follows: letting go, the neutral zone
and the new beginning. All three stages are interdependent and interact with one another to the
effect that those affected by the change process may experience more than one of the stages at
the same time.
Letting Go
This is the first stage and it demands acceptance of an expected end. Therefore, employees or
people experiencing a change must be prepared to let go of certain things before a new stage

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can begin. In this regard, change managers have the responsibility of preparing employees
against any sense or perceived loss that may occur as a result of organisational change
(Bridges, 2009).
Neutral Zone
This is the stage that is characterised by neutrality which is often expressed in uncertain
feelings on the part of the employees who have already let go of certain things but are still
awaiting the implementation of proposed change. Bridges believes that it is crucial that
employees are adequately supported and guided during the stage as this will help their
transition to the next stage (Bridges, 2009).
New Beginning:
This stage is Bridges’ final stage of the change process which is the point at which employees
completely leave the past behind and embrace the new initiatives and experiences which may
be, for example, acquiring new skills, adjusting to a new situation and accepting certain
changes being implemented. Supervisors or change managers play critical roles at this stage in
securing the change and supporting the implementation of change processes and procedures
(Bridges, 2009).

2.8.4 CRITIQUES OF LEWIN’S THEORIES
Despite his widely acknowledged contributions to the study of organisational change
management, Lewin’s theoretical works have been seriously critiqued by other scholars
(Kanter, Stein and Jick., 1992; Pettigrew, Ferlie and McGee, 1992; Wilson, 1992). Critics
argue that Lewin’s model is erroneous in assuming that organisations exist in a state of
stability.

In this regard, they opine that the model can only work in stable conditions involving small-
scale change. However, they find it irrelevant to modern organisations. This is because most
modern organisations are dynamic and evolving entities which are constantly undergoing
changes. As such, Lewin’s ‘freeze’ model may not be practicable in such environment.

In critiquing Lewin’s model, Kanter et al. (1992) comment as follows:

Lewin’s model was a simple one, with organisational change involving three stages;
unfreezing, changing, and refreezing. This quaintly linear and static conception – the
organisation as ice cube – is so wildly inappropriate that it is difficult to see why it has

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not only survived but prospered, except for one thing. It offers managers a very
straightforward way of planning their actions, by simplifying an extraordinary complex
process into a child’s formula.

Lewin’s theory has also been criticised for its downplaying of organisational power and
putting too much emphasis on top-down management where managers are the main drivers of
major change process (Burnes, 2004). Another weakness of Lewin’s change model is its over-
reliance on personal business experience without complimentary external sources
(Applebaum, 2012). Critics are concerned about the theory’s lack of empirical evidence
(Todnem, 2005).

Other critics argue that Lewin’s change model is over-simplified and inflexible in the sense
that it assumes ‘one-size-fits-all’ and is not adequately contextualised. They believe that such
an approach does not cater for different types of organisations and change processes (Kanter et
al., 1992; Dunphy and Stace, 1993).

Overall, the foregoing discussion has shown that change models can serve as effective tools in
conceptualising the change process, and at the same time, their weaknesses may also pose as
difficult challenges to the processes they seek to improve.

The next section presents an overview of organisational change and a discussion of the
effectiveness of change, types of change and resistance to change.

2.9 ORGANISATIONAL CHANGE
Organisational change refers to a situation in which an organisation moves from a particular
fixed state, position, condition or situation to a predetermined and preferred state of change
often characterised by growth, development, decrease or increase (Rebeka and Indradevi,
2015). However, as Rebeka and Indradevi explain, organisational change management deals
with the process of initiating, planning and actualising change in an organisation in a way that
minimises challenges and cost to both organisation and its employees while simultaneously
maximising the result of change initiatives.

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Organisational change happens as a result of a dynamic environment or as a reaction to an
existing situation. In addition, organisational change management is a process developed to
provide stakeholders with the necessary support to understand, accept and adapt to change in
the workplace and in their personal lives (Rebeka and Indradevi, 2015).

As indicated by Pardo-del-Val, Martínez-Fuentes and Roig-Dobón (2012:1845) organisational
change alludes to “an empirical observation of difference in form, quality or long term state of
an organisational entity, coming out of the deliberate introduction of new styles of thinking,
acting or operating, looking for the adaptation to the environment or for a performance
improvement.”

Moreover, many organisational change theories focus on organisational lifetime, built on the
assumption that organisational growth can or will trigger certain transformation, for instance, a
change in control or management style resulting from organisational size growth (Barnett &
Carroll, 1995).

2.9.1 Organisational Change as a Process
Many scholars have observed that much of the literature in the fields of organisational theory
and organisational change mainly focuses on the content of change to the detriment of the
change process. According to Amburgey, Kelly and Barnet (1993), this trend is an indication
of many organisations’ resistance to change. Yet, Kotter and Schlesinger, 1979, and Rafferty,
Jimmieson and Armenakis (2013) submit that competitiveness and the dynamic nature of the
business environment compels organisations to embrace change.

Porras and Silvers (1991) explain organisational change as a process arising from an initiative
that aims at different ways of doing things in relation to existing organisational processes in a
way that impact individuals’ contributions and overall organisational results. Similarly, van
Tonder (2004) states that organisational change is a time-bound process that produces a new
condition or situation in an organisation.

Furthermore, Mack et al., (1998) argue that organisational change is a process of migrating
from a present state to a desirable state in a determined future. Barnett and Carroll (1995)

18
conceptualise the term organisational change in relation to the way in which change occurs
and the change that actually occurs in an organisation.

Overall, organisational change as a process encapsulates the organisational change
management process where an organisation renews its direction, structure and management of
people with the main purpose of successful organisational change resulting in achieving
expected outcomes (Berns, 2007; Todnem, 2005).

Drawing from the insights of reviewed definitions of different authors of organisational
change, the study will be guided by the definition that describes organisational change as
processes leading to changes within an organisation; such changes may be a merger,
structural, cultural and/or technical change, but the end results will primarily be increased
effectiveness and improved efficiency.

The next sections discuss change and different types of change focusing on the processes,
strategies and effects.

2.9.2 Change and Types of Change
Change is a constant characteristic of an organisation featuring throughout its life cycle at all
levels of its operation and management. In this regard, it is imperative that every organisation
is able to determine and plan for a desirable future and also put in place a change management
process and strategy to achieve future goals (Todnem, 2005). Since organisations are different
in the nature, purpose, process and systems of operation and management, it is expected that
the changes that may likely occur will vary from organisation to organisation.

This section looks at the different types of change along with their processes, strategies and
effects.

In his definition of organisational change, Smith (2002) identifies the following types of
change that can occur in an organisation: acquisitions and mergers, restructuring and
downsizing, expansion, culture change or technology change. Organisational change theorists
suggest that some of these change types have similar characteristics, particularly acquisitions
and mergers, and restructuring and downsizing. Burke and Nelson (1997) observe that these

19
pairs are interrelated in the sense that they both emanate from the need for organisational
economic survival and productivity.

2.9.2.1 Downsizing and Restructuring
Using quantitative measures of operational and financial performance, many studies have been
conducted in an attempt to understand the dynamics of downsizing and restructuring in
relation to organisational change (Smith, 2002). The findings of some of the studies suggest
that downsizing, for example, offers both economical and organisational benefits such as
increased income from reduction in cost (Burke and Nelson, 1997).

Downsizing is characterised by a reduction of staff population and divestiture of company
assets (Smith, 2002) while, restructuring is the process of structural change whereby an
organisation merges or disbands work units or departments (Bordia, Hobman. Jones, Gallois
and Callan, 2004). In many organisations restructuring is used to achieve improved
productivity, strengthen market competitiveness, reduce overhead cost as well as improve
communication and decision-making processes (Burke & Nelson, 1997). Other benefits of
downsizing and restructuring include a better motivated workforce, better positioned and
focused organisational leadership, and a forward-looking organisation, commitment to
capacity development and innovation (Burke & Nelson, 1997).

Despite these benefits and the success rate of downsizing and restructuring, Smith (2002)
observes that the experience is often accompanied by an emotional and physical downside.
Some of these downside effects include loss of jobs and livelihood for many staff members,
resulting in separation that can break personal relationships with dire emotional impacts and
mixed moods across rank and file. In such an atmosphere, managers are expected to be
cognisant of these downside effects and be prepared to respond them in an effective way that
does not jeopardise change process and expected outcomes (Garvin and Roberto, 2005).

2.9.2.2 MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS
Mergers and acquisitions occur when two separate organisations combine under one
ownership and operate as one organisation (Smith, 2002). However, the two concepts are
differentiated by the fact that mergers deal with a combination of two equal or similar
organisations in a situation where neither of the two can claim to have acquired the other,

20
whereas in the case of acquisitions, one of the two organisations is the acquired of the other
(Bordia et al. 2004; Vaara, 2000).

Organisational change occurs when organisations engage in processes of mergers or
acquisitions. This may take the form of total or partial integration or dissolution of the
merging organisations’ departments, units and functions (Seo ; Hill, 2005). In some cases,
however, mergers and acquisitions may bring about positive changes in an organisation.

In the case of acquisition for instance, the organisation acquiring another may benefit from the
assets and values of the acquired organisation. Also, some mergers may help the new
emerging organisation to diversify and enhance its competitiveness through the new capital
injection from the merger (Smith, 2002). Mergers and acquisitions have also been found to
help facilitate organisational changes by enhancing organisational capacities for expansion and
growth (Smith, 2002).

2.9.2.3 CULTURE CHANGE
Culture is defined as the link or connection between individuals who share common interests,
relationships and characteristics (Carlström and Ekman, 2012). Linking this to organisational
culture, Carlström and Ekman submit that culture explains the relationship among individuals
and their collective behaviour in the sense that an individual typifies an organisational culture
shared by the whole group.

Similarly, (Jones, 2010) construes organisational culture as shared values and principles that
guide different levels of stakeholders’ relations and interactions within an organisation.
However, for purposes of this study, organisation culture is defined as the shared values and
principles that guide relations and interactions among management, supervisors and non-
supervisors of, in this case, the Department of Public Works.

Literature on culture management can be divided into three categories, namely those who state
that culture: i. can be controlled; ii. Can be changed in given conditions and; iii. Cannot be
changed arbitrarily (Harris & Ogbonna, 1998).
According to (Porter and Parker, 1992) culture changes significantly when work environment
processes and operations change over an extended period of time resulting in significantly
different processes of work and operations. During this period of change, organisations

21
employ different strategies to influence employees’ attitudes and behavioural patterns towards
the emerging changes. These include motivation tools such as rewards and recognition,
exposure, capacity building through training and development opportunities as well as
sensitisation and awareness training and seminars to help employees understand and respond
to the changes that are taking place (Smith, 2002; Porter ; Parker, 1992).

Overall, different types of changes occur in an environment of organisational change with
many organisations experiencing different types of changes simultaneously or concurrently.
Smith (2002) finds that about 40% of organisational change includes more than one category
of organisational change suggesting overlapping of different types of changes. The next
section discusses change processes that are involved in change implementation.

2.10 EFFECTIVENESS OF CHANGE
For a change agenda and initiative to be successful, many factors must be in place because the
change process by itself does not ensure achievement of expected ends without proper
management of the process. Some of the contributing factors are further discussed in the
subsequent sections.

2.10.1 Readiness for Change
Organisations must be prepared for change and its outcomes for it to be successful in relation
to target organisational change. Readiness for change enhances effectiveness of change
implementation (corresponding to Lewin’s unfreezing concept), described as the way in which
organisational stakeholders’ behaviours and beliefs impact their understanding and responses
to change (Armenakis et al., 1993).

The importance of factors like readiness for change is emphasised when certain processes or
steps in the implementation of the change process is omitted or ignored, and in the end the
desired results are not achieved. Kotter (1995) warns that skipping any step, such as preparing
employees for the coming change may negatively affect change momentum and continuity.

2.11 PREPARING FOR CHANGE: BUILDING MOMENTUM AND SUPPORT
Preparing for change demands that an organisation builds momentum and support from the
onset and puts an effective change communication strategy in place as well as forecasts

22
potential conflict that may arise as challenge to the process. This is because a successful
change initiative or agenda is not only dependent on its content, but more importantly on the
carefully planned processes and actions taken in the course of implementation. In this regard,
Armenakis and Bedeian (1999) advise organisations to recognise the complementary roles that
exist between both content and process of change in the stages of planning, implementing and
monitoring organisational change.

Although many individual reports attest to the success of organisational change, researchers
believe that change can be a very challenging task to accomplish especially at organisational
level. For instance, it has been observed that organisational change that occurs through
downsizing or change in company culture usually records low success rates of just 30% of
such change efforts (Beer and Nohria, 2000).

Despite such discouraging statistics of success rate of organisational change, Haveman (1992)
believes that an attempt at organisational change will be worthwhile in situations where it
ushers in transformation of organisational conditions that reveal the weaknesses of existing
strategies and processes. Ultimately, organisational change can be maximised and opposition
to it minimised when there are concerted efforts and commitment from all stakeholders
including leaders, managers and employees (Weber and Weber, 2001). Weber and Weber
(2001) argue that involving employees before change begins and carrying them along through
the processes of change implementation will minimise resistance to change and increase
commitment.

In this regard, Jones et al. (2008) canvass for strong leadership to oversee the process of
change because of leaders’ abilities to inspire and communicate a clear vision of change and
ability to offer necessary and direct support to their employees as well as promote stability and
commitment. Kotter (1995) further emphasises the importance of strong leadership to
successful change management. He affirms that leading people through the process of change
remains one of the greatest tests for a strong leader, because people are naturally averse to
change. In this regard, leaders are expected to engage in intensive background work in the
early stages of change to understand employees’ preconceived ideas of change and find ways
to influence these views towards support and action for the emerging change (Garvin and
Roberto, 2005).

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Importantly, for an organisation to successfully implement change, it must present a clarity of
purpose and goals to be achieved towards engendering positive attitudes among its employees
in the course of the change process (Weber and Weber, 2001; Lehman et al., 2002).

Successful transition, change management and organisational change have always succeeded
under the leadership of managers who develop and communicate clear goals, strive to achieve
set goals and commit to rewarding those involved in the change process appropriately (Kotter,
1995).

Overall, Armenakis et al., (1993) recommend that for an organisation to effectively prepare its
stakeholders for organisation change focus must be on conveying a clear message of change.
They advise that such a message must contain two elements which are stating why the change
is important and support for adaptation to change for those who will be affected. In view of
this, effective communication is an important factor in achieving success with organisational
change. Therefore, managers must have effective communication tools and channels at their
disposal.

2.12 COMMUNICATION
Kotter (2008) affirms that communication is a crucial factor in successful implementation and
achievement of change. For this reason, research advises that communication about change
must be built around a designated change team that will be tasked with the responsibility of
communicating clear and realistic vision as well as the processes and impacts of change in the
organisation.

As Muller (2006) observes, stakeholders will most likely resist change if the change agenda is
not properly communicated for them to make sense of it. In this case, employees’ resistance
may weaken their abilities to adapt and progress with the new changes taking place in the
organisation. Muller’s view emphasises the crucial role communication plays in the change
process particularly in the way it helps to manage mixed reactions among staff (Nelissen and
van Selm, 2008).

Grobler and Puth (2002) add that effective communication can help managers to convince
employees to rally around the change processes. Also, Weber and Weber (2001) share the

24
view that communication can facilitate and support change towards achieving set objectives
especially if managers create an environment that promotes credible communication and
collaboration.

Researchers have been critical of managers’ approach of using tools such as reports, and
spreadsheets in c communication about change. They reason that while these tools may help
amplify change messages, they are mostly unconvincing and ineffective. (Kotter and Cohen,
2002; Kim and Mauborgne, 2003). Armenakis et al., (1993) corroborates this point with the
example of an external diagnostic report adding credibility to an internal message sent to
employees by a change manager. In this regard, messages from more than one source prove to
be more effective as receivers find them more believable.

In addition, effective communication can help to minimise possible negative results of a
process of change as it provides employees with relevant and timely information regarding the
process. This can happen through involving employees in the change process decision-making
and thereby enhance their understanding of the process (Bordia et al., 2004). Armenakis et al.
(1993) argue that the process can be further enhanced when change managers regularly
communicate the state of change all through the stages of change implementation.

In this regard, Kotter and Cohen, (2002) stress that organisations’ actions must be in keeping
with their speech. Therefore, communication efforts should not disregard or gloss over the
initial fears and concerns of the employees; otherwise, it will be perceived as propaganda.
Instead, change managers must engage with the employees and honestly address their
concerns.

To achieve this, Garvin and Roberto (2005) recommend that managers must gain the trust of
the stakeholders by convincing them through their actions and plans that their leadership can
drive the change process and produce expected results. As noted earlier, leaders and managers
must maintain consistency in their words and actions without which they will derail the
change process because their personalities and positions carry weight in the minds of other
members of the organisation they lead (Kotter, 1995). Therefore, a reputable and trustworthy
manager will be able to deliver messages that are acceptable to employees (Armenakis et al.,
1993).

25
Leaders and managers must be adept in applying all available communication channels to
communicate their c vision of change clearly to achieve success with change initiatives.
Opportunities such as routine management meetings must be explored to generate discussions
about change processes. Other media of communication such as audio- and videotapes and
electronic mail must also be engaged to convey simple, straightforward, rational logical and
personalised messages and also generate quick feedback (Armenakis et al., 1993; Kotter,
1995).

Overall, the use of appropriate communication tools and channels increases the chance of
change initiatives becoming a success. With communication aspects firmly fixed, other
challenges may arise from potential conflict that accompanies the change process. The next
section looks at some of these conflicts in relation to change management.

2.13 CONFLICT
As creature of habits, some employees struggle to let go of old processes and principles
because of personal and even group attachment to old values, norms, and history, and
consequently they fail in their attempt to adapt to a new order of things. This becomes even
more difficult for this group when some of the positive culture and processes of an
organisation are eroded by change (Jones et al., 2008).

Also, researchers have observed that factors such as stress and the pressure of the change
process as well as uncertainty that accompanies it may push employees to the point of
resistance and conflict notwithstanding the noble intentions conveyed by their managers
(Jones et al., 2008; Mack et al., 1998).

Conflict in organisational change is further fuelled by the interaction of change and the
individual employee who is compelled by the forces and process of change to function or stop
functioning in a particular way. Similarly, an employee impacts the process of change and its
end results through her or his acceptance or rejection and continual commitment to the stages
of change (Mack et al., 1998). In other situations, employees may choose denial as a way of
coping with irresistible change (Armenakis and Bedeian, 1999).

26
In view of the above, Armenakis and Bedeian (1999) recommend that managers must pay
attention to factors such as resistance, commitment, stress and other related personal
behavioural patterns all of which are by-products of the change process and may degenerate
into conflicts, which can equally hamper its success.

2.14 RESISTANCE TO CHANGE
According to Garvin and Roberto (2005), one of the reasons why change seems difficult is
because affected stakeholders are unwilling to change old habits and situations they are
accustomed to. Over time, employees get used to certain processes and may not seek
innovation unless forced to change these old ways. As Kurt Lewin (1946) had earlier
identified, employee resistance to change is one of the main factors why change initiatives fail.
The importance of this factor has been further emphasised by the high rate of failure of change
initiatives (Jones et al., 2008; Dent ; Goldberg, 1999).

In addition, resistance to change arises in many instances because managers have not paid
attention to Lewin’s unfreezing process before engaging in the process of change (Armenakis,
1993).

Weber and Weber (2001) submit that employees’ resistance to change can negatively impact
change efforts as well as other aspects of an organisation such as the corporate morale and
productivity. This is why there is a need for capable management teams to manage dynamics
of change among employees. Kotter and Schlesinger (1979) suggest that people are resistant to
change because of lack of clear understanding of change and its outcomes, fear of losing
cherished old values and inability to adapt to and tolerate change.

Other reasons why people resist include fear of losing their current status and the benefits that
come with it in the form of pay, comfort and perks (Dent and Goldberg, 1999; Jones et al.,
2008). The authors stress that these reasons are not in themselves resistance to change, but a
reaction arising from misunderstanding of expected outcomes of change and its impacts on
them. In the same vein, Vakola and Nikolaou (2005) observe that dedicated employees are
more disposed to embrace organisational change if they find it advantageous to them but may
oppose it if they find it to be threatening to their status quo and benefits.

27
In this regard, it is up to the individual to determine whether a change process and its
outcomes are a threat or benefit (Vakola and Nikolaou, 2005). This state of uncertainty is what
Bordia et al. (2004) link to lack of foresight to analyse a situation appropriately which might
have been caused by lack of adequate information.

However, Kotter and Cohen (2002) add that uncertainty can also be characterised by doubt
about future situations and/or the relationships of cause and effect in an environment of
change. An individual caught up in such situation where he or she is fearful and have to
defend himself or herself is forced to opt for self-preservation rather than engaging in creative
solutions or progress.

Moreover, researchers also indicate that resistance to change may not be as a result of
uncertainty but might be connected to the emotional conditions that an individual is exposed to
in the course of the change process (Vakola and Nikolaou, 2005).

2.14.1 Developed Resistance by Managers
Scholars argue that managers indirectly contribute to employees’ resistance to change because
of their lack of preparation to factor in such tendencies among employees and their sources
and reasons at the planning stage of change process. Therefore, managers can prevent or
manage employees’ resistance to change when they have already assumed that such a situation
may arise before implementation of the change process (Kotter ; Schlesinger, 1979).

2.14.2 Conclusion
Overall, researchers in the field of organisational development conclude that time is the most
important factor in determining the net effects of change in an organisation (Amburgey et al.,
1993). Although change may be adaptive, Amburgey et al. submit that it will be a matter of
time for an organisation to recover from and address challenges linked to the process of
change.

However, the scholars warn that some organisations may not reach the point of recovery if
changes are initiated too often. An organisation that always initiates change will perpetually
need to adapt to novelty with little or no time to consider the benefits and lessons of change.
(Amburgey et al., 1993).

28

The discussions in the previous sections have highlighted some of the factors that are germane
to successful organisational change, such as effective communication, conflict management
and good working relationships. When these are put in place they will ensure that the change
takes place in an environment of positive attitudes that promotes its success.

In addition, it is crucial that change managers and other leaders take pre-implementation
planning seriously as this will create an enabling environment for the change process and
reduce change-related stress and uncertainty (Vakola and Nikolaou, 2005).

Moreover, managers should pay attention to the stakeholders’ experiences and reactions
particularly to those stakeholders who are directly affected by change and its outcomes. In this
regard, employee relations management must be put in place to deal with change. Employees
are the greatest asset of an organisation; therefore, an organisation that seeks to achieve
successful change must manage conflicting emotions to get their support and commitment to
the change process.

The next section reflects on this important aspect of emotion and how it affects employees
during the process of change.

2.15 EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
Emotional intelligence is a type of social intelligence developed as a theoretical concept by
Salovey and Mayer (1990). Emotional intelligence, according to Vakola et al. (2004) refers to
the ability of individuals to observe their emotions and other people’s emotions, to
differentiate between them and to be able to control their thinking and actions with derived
information.

Emotional intelligence is a model founded on Gardner’s theories (cited in Salovey and Mayer,
1990) of intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligence. The key issue in intrapersonal
intelligence is the ability of every individual to understand his or her own emotions, while the
main focus of interpersonal intelligence is on the ability of the individual to understand other
people’s emotions (Salovey and Mayer, 1990; Schutte et al., 1998). According to Mayer and
Salovey (1993), emotional intelligence involves verbal and non-verbal evaluation and

29
communication of emotions, the management of emotions in oneself and other people as well
as the application of emotional content in solving problems.

Apart from the works of Gardner, theorists such as Daniel Goleman also made useful
contributions to the concept bringing increased interest in the relevance of emotional
intelligence in the workplace. Goleman defines emotional intelligence as the ability to identify
one’s feelings and the feelings of other people, inspire oneself and control emotions in
ourselves as well as in our different relationships.

Further, Salovey and Mayer (as cited by Côté et al., 2010) also developed what they call the
ability model of emotional intelligence which is a set of four emotion-related abilities: ability
to perceive emotions, ability to use emotions, ability to understand emotions, and ability to
manage emotions. The later effort of conceptualising emotional intelligence expands it to
include potential for intellectual and emotional growth (Mayer and Salovey, 1993).

Research on the subject of emotional intelligence reveals that in comparison with people with
low emotional intelligence, individuals who exhibit high levels of emotional intelligence are
more likely to be successful in their careers, less likely to feel threatened by job insecurity,
more efficient in management and leadership, are able to cope well when faced with
challenges and able to adapt to change.

2.15.1 EMOTIONS AND MOODS
Emotion is broadly defined as a particular way of feeling, a state of being or a certain reaction
to a particular situation while moods are emotional states of adversity or attraction towards a
situation or an object (Gooty et al., 2010).
Over the years, the roles of human feelings in the workplace have been a major area of
research interests for psychologists in the field of organisational psychology with a specific
focus on two constructs – stress and satisfaction. However, it has been discovered that this is
inadequate for a deep understanding of employees’ mental states in relation to the workplace
dynamics (Briner, 1999). Often emotions are not regarded as a serious factor especially in the
workplace where organisational setting is considered to be logical, rational and non-emotional.
This kind of view does not recognise the roles of emotion in the change process since the
focus is on achieving set objectives (Briner, 1999).

30
Moods are considered to share similar characteristics with emotions, but compared to
emotions, moods are slow-changing, weaker in intensity, and irresponsive to specific events
(Mayer and Salovey, 1993).

Overall, researchers agree that both emotions and moods play important roles in organisational
change as they can be influenced by workplace activities, inspire loyalty and dedication as
well as enhance the achievement of individual, team and organisational goals (Fineman, 1997;
Cooper, 1997).

2.15.2 COPING
According to Judge et al., (1999) the nature of the major response to organisational change is
largely dependent on how change managers cope with the unforeseen circumstances triggered
by the change process in the workplace. The scholars define the concept of coping as an
attempt to deal with internal and external demands of an environment or situation which is
found to be challenging and surpassing an individual’s abilities (Judge et al., 1999).

Cherniss (2001) submits that coping successfully with change requires the ability to identify
and appreciate the emotional impact of organisational change on the individual and others. It
also involves becoming conscious of those emotional issues such as fear of uncertainty and
anxiety present in oneself and others, and finding effective ways of addressing it as well as
helping others within the organisation to deal with their own responses provoked by the
change process.

As Judge et al. (1999) discovered, emotional intelligence study reveals that positive attitudes
towards and perception of organisational change among employees is closely linked to job
satisfaction, in the same way that lack of job satisfaction is closely related to negative
attitudes. Similarly, the same study also found a link between employees’ lack of or low
commitment and stress-related job dissatisfaction.

As noted earlier in the change management section, attitudes, beliefs and perceptions are some
of the significant factors in the success of organisational change. However, what is pertinent is
the individual emotional disposition as it determines each person’s reaction to the change
process. Particularly, some researchers argue that negative reactions to change will usually
will be shown by those employees who have weak control over their emotions as this is an

31
indication of their psychological weakness to manage the stress and outcomes and the draining
processes of change. Contrary to this, employees who have reasonable control of their
emotions are said to be positive in their attitudes and actions towards the change process in a
way that engenders best performance and support for others (Scott-Ladd and Chan, 2004;
Vakola et al., 2004).

2.15.3 DENIAL AND RECEPTIVITY
Huy (1999) affirms that the concept of receptivity involves a state and a process that indicate
an interpretive and attitudinal state of responding to change in a likely positive way.
Receptivity applies at both individual and organisational level. Individual receptivity involves
the willingness of an individual to give change a chance, while organisational receptivity
refers to an organisation’s or group’s readiness to examine and acknowledge change proposals
(Huy, 1999). Therefore, the processes of making sense of proposed organisational change are
influenced by the receptivity of individual stakeholders in an organisation.

In this regard, every stakeholder embarks on an internal process of understanding the main
idea of a proposed change and simultaneously each one influences the other in the direction of
a particular perception of the state of affairs in the organisation. Therefore, a radical change
proposal may create a powerful emotional reaction that impacts on how an individual makes
sense of a proposed change and the processes that may follow (Huy, 1999).
As George and Jones (2001) warn, an attitude of denial may jeopardise a change process in a
situation that triggers negative emotional reactions.
For instance, denial may set in in a situation where individuals try to control their emotional
reactions as they struggle to suppress or deny initial and present emotions. Other possible
characteristics of personal denial may include a psychological distancing from the unfolding
reality, being consumed with other tasks, or completely ignoring the nagging internal emotions
(George & Jones, 2001).

Further, researchers submit that individual employees are in a better position to make sense of
the effects of change in an organisation depending on the composition of their emotional
intelligence (Vakola et al. 2004). Therefore, the higher the emotional intelligence of an
employee, the better is his or her understanding and management of his or her feelings in
relation to the change process. Hence, researchers note that such employees are more likely to

32
be able to cope with emotional responses to circumstances leading to change (Vakola et al.,
2004).

2.15.4 LEARNED HELPLESSNESS
Change theory recognises control as the perceived mental ability of an individual to make a
useful contribution to the process of change. However, this ability may be weakened by
uncertainty and lack of understanding of present or future situations. In an environment of
uncertainty, individuals develop a sense of powerlessness and lose their ability to control
situations which may lead to negative outcomes such as poor performance, anxiousness and
learned helplessness (Bordia et al., 2004).

The state or experience of not being in control may lead to feelings of helplessness
consequently disrupt a person’s sense of control. In this sense, an individual who has
previously experienced change in an environment of lack of influence or control would be
disposed to a perception of not being in control when change is introduced again. Learned
helplessness may even arise in such individuals even when responding to other future
situations and conditions that are remotely similar and may result in weakened efforts (Maier
and Seligman, 1976; George and Jones, 2001).

Learned helplessness is not only limited to the average employee. It might also manifest
among managers and leaders in an organisation. As such, the experience of learned
helplessness points to the importance of emotional intelligence even among managers. For
instance, if an average employee is affected with learned helplessness from past organisational
change, she may demonstrate an attitude of lack of control from the onset, staying aloof and
detached from the change process. In this regard, being engulfed in helplessness may disrupt
their performance and negatively project the employee as resisting change.

2.15.5 CONCLUSION
The preceding sections have demonstrated that emotions and emotional intelligence play an
important role in the process of change in any organisation. Likewise, the management of
emotions and employees’ perceptions and attitudes towards change are equally important in
organisational change management. These issues of employees’ perceptions and their
relationship with the change process are discussed in the next section

33
2.16 EMPLOYEE PERCEPTIONS
This section of the discourse covers employees’ perceptions and the different ways they
impact recipients’ reactions. It also discusses the relationship between group identity and
perceptions in an environment of organisational change.

Some of the discussions in previous sections of this chapter have shown that organisational
change initiatives often record higher failure rates than success. For example, both Applebaum
(2012) and Kotter (1995) reveal that organisational change failure rate is between 30% to
80%, while Herold and Fedor (2008) put the figures between 67-80% with only about 20%
success rate for all change initiatives.

As Jones et al. (2008) point out, employees’ resistance to change counts as one of the major
reasons for the failure of change process. Therefore, the scholars recommend that an
organisation needs to find ways to engender favourable beliefs, perceptions and attitudes
amongst employees in order for change management to be successful.

According to Jones et al. (2008), employees’ resistance to change is one of the main reasons
for the high failure rate. Kotter (1995) share similar views arguing that human factors, such as
attitudes, behaviour and responses, are the major factors responsible for failure in
organisational development efforts.

Perception is defined as the way in which information from sensory impressions are organised
and interpreted for the purpose of understanding or making meaning of an environment
(Robbins et al., 2004; Schacter, 2011). As Bernstein (2010) suggests, one’s perceptions may
be influenced by learning, memory and expectations. Therefore, in a work environment, an
employee can make sense of the environmental experiences by linking a present situation to
past experiences, learning from colleagues and predicting expected outcomes of organisational
change initiatives.

For instance, an employee’s perception of a change initiative may be negatively affected by a
predetermined attitude towards organisational change. This demands that a change manager
detect these attitudes and help the employee to manage it in a way that eases transition to a
more positive attitude towards the process of change.

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According to Robbins et al. (2004), perception may not necessarily depict reality, but an
individual’s viewpoint or understanding of a particular phenomenon. Therefore, in an
organisational setting, employees’ behavioural patterns are often informed by their perception
of reality rather than by reality itself.

Since perception influences the individual reality of each employee, it is expected to exert a
strong influence on relationships in the workplace. Therefore, this demands that change
managers and leaders must find strategies of understanding and improving employees’
perceptions and attitudes about the change process. It requires a new model that does not just
focus on organisational process but recognises and addresses the dynamics an individual
brings to the workplace as it particularly relates to change (Oreg et al., 2011).

2.17 GROUP IDENTITIES
The employees experiencing change are of often treated as a single homogeneous entity by
researchers. By so doing, researchers overlook the significant impact of the larger group on
perceptions and attitudes of employees (Armstrong-Stassen, 1998). In this regard, researchers
fail to examine the potential impact of different group identities; rather they focus attention on
the individual change recipients as a single entity. Some scholars disagree with this approach
pointing to the significant factor of individual diversity that a change recipient brings to the
process of organisational change (Martin et al., 2005).

2.17.1 GROUP IDENTITY THEORY
Group identity theory is a theoretical branch of social psychology that focuses on the
interaction between group factors and behaviour of individuals. The core assumption of the
theory is that individuals derive their self-identity from the connection they share with
different groups (Tajfel and Turner, 1979). Individuals can be influenced by the dynamics of a
group they belong to in a way that changes their self-cognition resulting in self-redefinition.
This is an indication that the individual member of a group assumes the group’s behaviour and
values; as such their self-esteem is directly connected to the group’s social status. Another
feature of group membership dynamics is comparison of the group they belong to (in-group)
to other groups (out-groups) which may result in superiority or inferiority complexes if the
out-group is perceived to be better or worse than the in-group (Festinger, 1954).

35
Further, Hennessy and West (1999) find that identifying with a particular in-group in a work
environment may lead to intergroup conflict in organisations which may result in bad
outcomes, such as distractions and waste of resources as organisational time and effort are
spent resolving internal group squabbling. This kind of situation corroborates the problematic
approach of focusing only on individual reactions to organisational change and neglecting
group dynamics in the process of change (Jones et al., 2008; Terry and Callan, 1997).

In this regard, Terry and Callan (1997) submit that group identity is an important issue to
members of an organisation as the process of change may pose serious threats to group status
because of various changes that accompany it.

2.18 GROUP IDENTITIES DURING ORGANISATIONAL CHANGE
According to Martin et al. (2006:21), people associate with various groups on the grounds of
various attributes, for example, “gender, ethnicity, role or occupation, position in the
hierarchy, work unit or department/division, and union membership”. These variables are
further discussed in subsequent sections:

2.18.1 GENDER
Many older theories suggest that the reactions of women and men to stressful situations differ
because they are socialised differently and experience things such as the work environment
differently (Armstrong-Stassen, 1998). However, contemporary theories have also overlooked
the important fact of women and men responding differently to organisational change, arguing
that the differences discovered in older theories were as a result of the difference in the types
of jobs studied.

Early research by Folkman and Lazarus (1980) reveals that women and men cope differently.
For instance, women are likely to use avoidance methods for coping because an average
woman works in a lower position compared to her male counterpart. This is an indication that
differences in coping methods are more linked to the hierarchal position an individual holds in
an organisation rather than the gender.

Furthermore, Armstrong-Stassen (1998) argue that there are no serious differences in the ways
women and men respond to change such as downsizing in relation to such variables as job

36
uncertainty, avoidance coping or negative emotional responses. Also, Kanter (1976) argues
that employee reactions are more influenced by other factors like organisational structures and
hierarchical systems with little or no regard for gender differences.

Given the discourse above, it is apparent that gender difference is not a strong factor in
relation to group identities and response to the change process, and where gender difference is
considered, it is a result of difference in status within an organisation. This conclusion about
status leads to the discussion of the relationship of hierarchy and reactions to change in the
next section

2.18.2 HIERARCHICAL LEVEL
The finding of research by Katz and Kahn (1978) reveal that one of the most important factors
that affects employees’ perception, attitudes and behaviours is their position in the
organisational hierarchical structure. This suggests that members of an organisation’s primary
way of identifying group membership is through their job specification and the level they are
at.

Many research findings have identified how hierarchical status of an individual produces
different reactions, perceptions and attitudes. The next sections discuss some of these findings
further.

2.18.2.1 CLASSIFICATION
Kanter et al. (1992) identify three major groups of participants in an organisation during the
process of organisational change. These include the change strategists who are usually at the
topmost of the organisational structure, the change managers who usually are the middle
management personnel and the change recipients represented by average employees below
managerial level. Also, change recipients or respondents are further classified into three other
categories, namely those of controllers, interventionists and targets (De Luca, 1984).

Other classifications include that of Covin and Kilmann (1990) and Jones et al. (2008) who
categorise participants of an organisation into three groups of non-supervisors, supervisors and
executives. King et al., (1991); Nelson et al., (1995) and Kozlowski et al., (1993) suggest twin
categories of managers and non-managers; superiors and subordinates; or white-collar and
blue-collar workers.

37

Non-supervisors are described as the employees without managerial roles who are less likely
to be affected by organisational change and wield little or no influence in terms of decision-
making. On the other hand, supervisors/managers/middle managers are the category on
managerial level who are tasked with certain managerial roles and the responsibility of
implementing organisational change. Although not affected by change like the non-
supervisors, this category is caught in-between the non-supervisors and executive groups.

Executives/senior managers/change strategists are the officials who function at the top level of
an organisational hierarchy. They are responsible for initiating and conceptualising the change
agenda but are most likely not affected by it in terms of daily process of operations. Yet, they
are expected to contribute more in ensuring the overall success of a change implementation
(Jones et al., 2008; Kanter, et al., 1992, and Covin and Kilmann, 1990).

2.18.2.2 DIFFERENCE IN PERCEPTIONS AND FOCUS
Some research findings have indicated that perceptions of change will likely differ between
higher to lower level employees. For instance, research by Hatfield and Huseman (1982)
reveals a difference in the perceptions of lower- and higher-level employees in relation to the
challenges faced by both groups as well as their attitudes towards each other. Fundamentally,
what these findings establish is the difference of perception as determined by hierarchical
status and how it affects the approach of different groups to the process of change. The work
of King et al. (1991) explains this argument that there is a difference between managers and
non-managers in terms of their focus during different stages of the change process.

Given their different job roles, managers are more likely to focus on implementation and
positive aspects of the entire process than non-managers. King et al. (1991:57) suggest that
these observations are influenced by four factors, namely “a group's stake, part in the process,
distinctiveness within the organisation and effectiveness of inter-group communications.”

Furthermore, Covin and Kilman (1990) discover that external sources such as consultants tend
to be more focused on planning during the change process than managers in an organisation
while managers focus more on implementation. This difference in focus may result in different
perceptions of the change process among groups which in turn has a serious impact on their
overall attitudes, perceptions and reactions to the process of change. As such, lower-level

38
employees are likely to be less able to cope and perform more poorly than the higher-level
ones during the organisational change process.

2.18.2.3 NEGATIVE REACTIONS OF LOWER-LEVEL EMPLOYEES
As Martin et al. (2006) observe in an organisational study, the most negative attitudes during
the change process were among lower-level employees. This same group also demonstrated
higher turnover goals and higher levels of stress during the same process. Also, the authors
suggest that the lower-level employees seemed to fare worse during change because they have
few or no resources and no power in the organisation. Armstrong-Stassen (2005) observes
similar situations noting that non-managers seem to experience ambiguity of job roles, low job
security, low support from line managers and lower job satisfaction as well as lower
acceptance of the change process.

The difference in hierarchical status can also affect employees’ mental health. According to
the organisational transition study by Nelson et al. (1995), it was discovered there was a sharp
decline in job satisfaction, as well as physical and mental health among manual labourers
compared to managers and white-collar workers.

Similarly, Kozlowski et al. (1993) observe that downsizing has different impacts on blue-
collar and white-collar workers which may be a result of differences in job roles. The research
findings of Armstrong-Stassen (1998) support this theory with the argument that differences in
job roles can cause lower levels of health and higher levels of stress among lower-level
employees.

2.18.2.4 PERCEIVED THREAT AND LEADERSHIP SUPPORT
As observed earlier by Kanter et al. (1992), the process of change exposes lower-level
employees to a greater threat of negative outcomes than any other groups in the organisational
hierarchy because of their limited access to resources and power to control impacts of change
process on their job and status (Martin et al., 2006).

Also, supervisors and managers are deeply engaged with the process and thus have been found
to enjoy more leadership support with many opportunities to access information. (Haugh and
Laschinger, 1996).

39
Although they could not find a causal relationship, the scholars found certain linkages in all
these experiences. For instance, lower-level employees may feel threatened by the change
process given their limited access to resources and power. Consequently, this might result in
negative attitudes towards change with resultant negative effects on stress levels, job security
and acceptance of change initiatives (Haugh and Laschinger, 1996).

2.18.2.5 POSITIVE ATTITUDES OF HIGHER-LEVEL EMPLOYEES
Higher-level employees have been found to demonstrate a more positive attitude in the course
of the change process such as positive evaluation of change itself, ability to adjust with ease to
the change, leadership support and commitment (Martin et al., 2006).

In addition, in comparison to other levels, the higher-level category of employees also has a
positive perception regarding the future of their jobs. In addition, they seem to cope well with
the challenges of change through the application of more positive methods of coping
compared to lower-level category of employees who usually resort to avoidance (Armstrong-
Stassen, 1998).

However, other studies show that higher-level employees fare worse on some indicators.
Research findings by Martin et al. (2006) reveal instances of higher-level employees reporting
higher stress level during the change process than lower-level ones. Yet, most higher-level
staff expressed having more control of the change process than lower-level staff which is a
result of the difference in focus of each group which also influences difference perceptions as
indicated by Jones et al. (2008) and Covin and Kilmann (1990).

Finally, most of the studies conducted indicate that status and position in an organisational
hierarchy have a high possibility of influencing differences in attitudes towards and
perceptions of the process of change (Armstrong-Stassen, 1998).

2.19 CONCLUSION
This chapter presented an overview of the theoretical framework underpinning the research as
well as relevant literature in the fields of organisational development, change management,
organisational psychology and organisational change which have helped to illuminate the
research topic and problem.

40

The chapter examined the theoretical concepts of change management and organisational
development. It also investigated some of the most prominent theoretical change models such
as the scientific management theory which is also referred to as Taylorism or the classical
perspective. This was the first theory that was formulated to address management challenges
scientifically.

Another theory reviewed was Hawthorne contribution to the theoretical understanding of
organisation and management which is known as the Hawthorne’s effect and is used to
regulate the impacts of working conditions on productivity.

The chapter also reflected on some of the change models such as Kurt Lewin’s model which is
based on the two forces of driving and resisting. Kotter’s 8-step model was another change
model discussed in this chapter. Bridges transition model also contributed to the change model
discourse. Bridges’ model explores the challenges people experience during transitions
brought about change and concludes it is the transition rather than change itself that poses the
greatest challenge to employees who experience change.

The chapter also examined change and types of change such as acquisitions and mergers,
restructuring and downsizing, expansions, culture change or technology change. Other
important issues discussed in the chapter are factors responsible for effectiveness of the
change process. Some of these factors include readiness for change, preparing for change:
building momentum and support, as well as communication. Different categories of
organisational change were also examined as content issues, process issues and reaction issues
as well as employees’ reactions.

In connection to this, the chapter examined issues that can affect the change process such as
emotional intelligence, perceptions, attitude, hierarchical structure and group identities.

The next chapter presents the research methodology that was used to conduct and complete the
research.

41
CHAPTER 3: METHODS AND MATERIALS OF STUDY
3.1 INTRODUCTION
This chapter presents the methods of data collection and analysis used in the study. The
chapter explains the study design, the sample size, data collection instruments and the
methods of data analysis. The study uses the quantitative method of data collection and
analysis.
3.2 STUDY DESIGN
The research design was motivated and partially based on similar studies conducted by Jones
et al. (2008) and Martin et al. (2006). These studies regarded organisations as intergroup
individuals, i.e. as groups of individuals who classify themselves with specific departments,
units, or hierarchical levels. The researcher decided to investigate whether there was a
difference in perception among three categories of individuals: executives, who are
responsible for planning and delegating the change strategy; supervisors, who have the
responsibility to manage and implement the change; and non-supervisors, who have the least
amount of influence. This grouping of employees was suggested by Kanter et al. (1992) who
identified these three groups as the key stakeholders within organisations when change took
place. The research will look at if and where there is a difference in perception between these
three groups during change.

The same grouping was then later used by Jones et al. (2008). This study only relied on open-
ended interviews with individuals from different organisational levels for data collection. For
this study, the researcher decided to use a questionnaire, with the aim of collecting more
descriptive data. The researcher collected data from one organisation, as Jones et al. (2008)
did who investigated one specific workplace. For data collection, the questionnaire was sent
to the employees of the Department of Public Works in the branch Property Management
Trading Entity (PMTE) Head Office Pretoria. The participating individuals were restricted to
those who either currently or had recently experienced organisational change, which was also
the reason why the Department of Public Works was approached.
This study made use of quantitative research. Leedy and Ormrod (2014:97) describe a
quantitative research approach as a tool that measures one or more variable. The reason for
using this methodology was to ensure that the researcher was able to quantify the findings of
the study.

42
According to Yin (2009:26), a research design can be regarded as a plan that directs the
researcher in the process of data collection, analysis and the interpretation of the
observations. According to Bowling (2009:214), quantitative research, by definition, involves
quantities and relationships between attributes. It deals with the collection and analysis of
highly structured data according to the positivist tradition. With the quantitative research
design, relevant information was obtained from the Department of Public Works via the
distribution of questionnaires.
3.3 SAMPLE SIZE OF STUDY
This study made use of a sample of 224 employees which was drawn from the executive,
supervisory, and support staff levels. The sampling plan of a study defines the sampling unit,
frame, procedures and the sample size of the study. The sampling frame refers to the list of
all population units from which the sample was carefully chosen (Cooper & Schindler, 2003).
The sample was chosen from the Department of Public Works as it was going through a
change process. All of the respondents had experienced change recently or currently,
presenting a paradigm. Based on this, a sample of 224 respondents (5% of the target
population) was drawn from the target population of 4 489. In this study, convenience
sampling was used since the respondents were easily accessible and the study was voluntary.

The researcher distributed questionnaires to a population of 224 employees at the Department
of Public Works Head Office in Pretoria. Out of the 224 distributed questionnaires, 158 were
returned; 66 employees did not respond; therefore they could not be statistically analysed.
The remaining 158 questionnaires gave a 70 % response rate. A high response rate was
attributed to the manner in which questionnaire distribution was undertaken which is well
known to yield a 76.9 per cent response rate (Sitzia & Wood, 1998). The use of the
convenient sampling method also contributed to a high response rate because the method is
known to be rapid to conduct and cost-effective.
3.4 DATA COLLECTION
Data collection was conducted via a structured questionnaire. Questionnaires offer an
efficient way of collecting useful and comparable data from a large number of individuals
(Mathers; Fox & Hunn, 2007:19). Ravhura (2006:33) indicates the advantages of using a
questionnaire as being a time-saving instrument, reasonably inexpensive and a way in which
large amounts of data can be obtained. It also allows for the opinions of the respondents to be
obtained in a structured manner. All the questions were explained to the respondents in detail.

43
It was also explained that there was no time restriction in answering the questionnaire and
they were requested to return the completed questionnaire to the researcher before a certain
date.

3.4.1 Structure of the questionnaire
The researcher decided on a self-completed questionnaire to collect the data (see Appendix
B). First, respondents answered six (06) background questions. Subsequently the respondents
described the change process they were currently experiencing or had previously
experienced, followed by twenty-nine (29) questions related to the change process. The
questions used were adapted to match the aim of the research, and the researcher found the
questions to properly reflect the research question (Balnaves & Caputi, 2001).

The purpose was to measure a subjective variable such as perception, making use of self-
assessments. Many survey questions involve what is essentially a rating task. Respondents
are given a stimulus in the form of a question or a statement and are then requested to
describe their attitudes, thoughts, and/or feelings towards the subject on a response scale. The
questions in this study were in the form of a summative scale which allowed for agreement
and disagreement on individual items or statements along a 7-point Likert-scale, which is the
most commonly used form of summative scale. The respondents had to indicate whether they
strongly disagreed, disagreed, somewhat disagreed, neither disagreed nor agreed, somewhat
agreed, agreed or strongly agreed with the position or statement contained in the question
(Alwin, 1997).

According to information theory, a greater number of response levels supply more
information about the basic variable of interest, and in this case the different perspectives of
employees, depending on their position in the organisational hierarchy. In addition, this 7-
point response scale is more accurate than a 5-level scale, which made it the scale of
preference in this study. This also allows for a better measurement of direction and neutrality,
and differentiates three levels of perception intensity. The increased response levels enabled
the researcher to access more accurate communicative internal states such as perceptions,
attitudes, feelings and beliefs. The information supplied when using more response levels
also ensures greater reliability of measurement (Alwin, 1997).

44
The 29 questions of the questionnaire were formulated with the research in mind and were
aimed at reflecting what employees at different hierarchy levels experience during
organisational change. This questionnaire was further developed by including items from
Martin et al. (2005), Chawla & Kelloway (2004), as well as items from the Michigan
Organisational Assessment Questionnaire (1979). Themes developed by Jones et al. (2008)
who identified three main categories of issues during change, each containing several sub-
themes, with a total of 12 themes were used as a reference in this study. This inevitably led to
modifications of the external questionnaire items to suit the research question and objective.
Some items were changed to fit the aims of the study better, and others were modified in
order to clarify wording, after feedback from the pilot study of the questionnaire. A pilot
study is a test-run of the questionnaire in which a few volunteering respondents take part, in
order to improve the research design, to ensure that the respondents understand the process
and questions, and to calculate how long it takes a participant to answer the questionnaire
(Elmes et al., 2006).

The pilot study was conducted on a total of 20 colleagues, friends and classmates, before the
questionnaire was sent out to the selected respondents, in order to gain feedback on the clarity
and understanding of questions. The resulting feedback was very helpful and beneficial and
prompted the researcher to rethink, restate, and in some cases delete questions in order to
improve the questionnaire and make it more user-friendly.
The researcher chose a self-complete questionnaire or personally-administered questionnaire.
In this case some questionnaires were sent to respondents via email (about 100) and 124 were
delivered by hand to each respondent and collected later. This method of data collection was
found to be inexpensive and less time-consuming than mailing them (Cavana; Delahaye &
Sekaran., 2001).

Respondents’ privacy and the anonymity of their information were guaranteed. Those who
decided to participate were then given an option to sign up for receiving a copy of this thesis
when completed. The researcher used a structured questionnaire with both listing questions
and rating questions because such questions guide the responses clearly and make analysis
simpler. That is why a self-completed questionnaire was chosen as the best option.

Respondents were sent the basic information on the survey, instructions on how to participate
and a promise of confidentiality, stating that all respondents would remain anonymous and

45
responses would not be traceable to the respondents in any way. It took a respondent
approximately 15-20 minutes to complete the questionnaire, which is a desirable length to
ensure high participation and does not take up much time of participants (Neal, 1987).
3.5 RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY
3.5.1 Reliability
According to Mabe (2015:83) citing Kleinhans, reliability refers to the extent to which a
measure will produce consistent results and the extent to which the research results are
repeatable. Reliability tests were performed on all scales of this study to determine if there is
a reasonable basis for use before embarking on any further analysis. The Cronbrach’s alpha
coefficient was the tool used to measure reliability for the purpose of this study, the results of
which are found in Chapter 4. Cronbrach’s alpha coefficient is a tool that provides
information about the extent to which each item in a set correlates with another in the same
set (Netemeyer, 2001:57).

The widely accepted level of adequacy for Cronbach’s alpha, 0.70 was applied in this study
(Netemeyer, 2001:57). All scales used in this study were found to be reasonably reliable.
3.5.2 Validity
According to Goddard and Melville (2011:41), validity simply means that the measurement is
correct in that it measures what it is intended to measure and it measures it correctly. Validity
issues were handled by designing the questions in such a way that they showed a good,
logical relationship to the problem at hand.
3.6 DATA ANALYSIS
McMillan and Schumacher (2001:206) indicate that statistics are methods of arranging
analysed quantitative data. Statistics and numbers do not interpret themselves and the
meaning of the statistics is derived from the research design (McMillan & Schumacher,
2001:206). The statistical software package, STATA version 13, was used for the analysis of
the data in this study.

The following techniques were used for analysis:
i. Descriptive statistics –was used to describe the sample’s demographic profile and
employee perception towards organisational change.
ii. Factor analysis was used to reduce variables to smaller groups of latent variables and test
validity.

46
iii. Reliability analysis was done through Cronbach’s alpha so as to assess the measure of
internal consistency (reliability) of the measurement scales.
iv. Chi-square tests determined associations among variables. The Pearson’s chi-square test
was applied to establish significant relationships between variables. The term chi-square
refers both to a statistical distribution and to a hypothesis testing procedure that produces a
statistic that is approximately distributed as the chi-square distribution (Howell, 2009). The
Pearson chi-square is also known as the p-value. At the 5% level of significance, the strength
of association between two categorical variables is said to be statistically significant if the p-
value is smaller than 0.05. If the p-value is greater than or equal to 0.05, the two variables are
independent of each other.
3.7 ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS
Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2007:178) refer to ethics in the context of research as the
appropriateness of the researcher’s behaviours in relation to the rights of those who become
the study respondents. Leedy and Ormrod (2014:106) mention that the ethical issues in
research are to fall within principles of informing the respondents about the study, explaining
it to them and affording them the right to privacy and protecting respondents. Informed
consent should be obtained prior to conducting a research.

All the respondents in the study participated voluntarily. They were all informed of their right
to withdraw from the study at any time. They were all informed that they would remain
anonymous when taking part in the study. A copy of the information leaflet can be seen in
Appendix A.
3.8 SUMMARY
The purpose of this chapter was to discuss methods and techniques used in the study. The
chapter discussed the study design, sample size and sampling techniques. The chapter also
discussed the data collection technique, methods of data analysis and ethical considerations
followed prior to conducting the study.

47
CHAPTER 4: DATA ANALYSIS AND RESULTS
4.1 INTRODUCTION
In the previous chapter the researcher gave a summary of the research methodology that was
used in order to research and test the question. In this chapter, the researcher provides a
comprehensive overview of the analysis and procedures that were performed on the data and
provides the results thereof. The results of the statistical analysis are presented in four main
sections. Firstly, the demographic information of the sample data is set out and descriptive
statistics on employee perception towards organisational change. Secondly, the validity of the
instruments (as assessed through factor analysis) is explained. Thirdly, the results of
reliability and validity analysis (using Cronbach’s alpha and factor analysis respectively) are
shown. Lastly, chi-square tests, to determine associations among variables are included. The
Pearson’s chi-square test was applied to establish significant relationships between variables.
Finally, the chapter is concluded with a summary of the results. The statistical software
package, STATA version 13, was used for the analysis of the data in this study. This chapter
will only present the data obtained, but not feature interpretation of the data, as this will be
covered in Chapter 5: Findings & discussion.

4.2 DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SAMPLE
In this section, the researcher covers 10 selected questions from the questionnaire, and
presents the results, in a detailed and accessible manner. The reason for only covering 10
questions out of the 29, is that these questions were considered to be the most indicative and
to be more significant than the others.
As indicated earlier, the questionnaire responses from respondents were formatted on a 7-
point Likert scale, where the options were: strongly disagree, disagree, somewhat disagree,
neither agree nor disagree, somewhat agree, agree, and strongly agree. In this section,
however, the researcher will combine the answers of strongly disagree, disagree, and
somewhat disagree, forming the category generally disagree. The same then applies for
strongly agree, agree, and somewhat agree, which forms the category generally agree. The
answers neither agree nor disagree will stand unchanged as a category. This will allow the
reader to have a clearer impression of the respondents’ perception of change, although every
question will be supported by a figure containing the full detail of the results, i.e. excluding
categorisation.

48

First the researcher will present background information on respondents, including the
subsection general perceptions towards change, where respondents’ answers will be covered
without taking hierarchical position into account. In the following subsection the researcher
will then present and analyse the results more thoroughly by comparing findings with the
respondents’ hierarchical position. This will allow the researcher to find potential differences
in the perception towards change based on the hierarchical position of respondents.
Descriptive analysis was performed to obtain frequency distribution of demographic variables
which are age, gender, education, position and work experience. Table 4.1 illustrates the
frequency and percentage distribution of the demographic characteristics.
Table 4.1: Demographic profile of respondents
Demographic characteristics Frequency (;#55349;;#56455;) Percentage (%)
Age 21-30 21 13
31-40 65 41
41-50 56 35
51+ 16 10

Gender Male 61 39
Female 97 61

Education Matric 18 11
Undergraduates /Bachelor’s
degree
94 59
Postgraduates/Master’s degree 43 27

Position Employee/Non-supervisor 84 53
Manager/Supervisor/Middle
Management
44 28
Executive/Senior Management 27 17

Work experience Less than a year 7 4

49
1-5 years 67 42
6-10 years 60 38
11 years + 24 15

4.2.1. RESPONDENTS’ BACKGROUND
Before presenting results on change-related issues, the background of respondents will be
introduced.
4.2.1.1 AGE DISTRIBUTION

FIGURE 1: AGE OF RESPONDENTS
Most respondents were in the age group of 31-40 years old, or 41%, with the second largest
age group being 41-50-year olds, or 35%. Respondents who were 21-30 years old accounted
for 13%, while only 10% of respondents were 51 years or older, as seen in Figure 1.
4.2.1.2 GENDER DISTRIBUTION

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FIGURE 2: GENDER OF RESPODENTS
The gender ratio among respondents, is seen in Figure 2. A total of 158 individuals responded
to the questionnaire, of which there were 61 men and 97 women.

4.2.1.3 LEVEL OF EDUCATION

FIGURE 3: EDUCATION DISTRIBUTION

With regard to the level of education, 62% of the respondents had completed either a diploma
or a degree while 26% were holders of a postgraduate qualification and only 12% held a
matric certificate. The majority of respondents were those who had completed either a
diploma or a degree, as seen in Figure 3.

51

4.2.1.4 HIERARCHICAL POSITION DISTRIBUTION
FIGURE 4: HIERARCHICAL POSITION

As can be seen in Figure 4, 84 respondents or 53%, were non-supervisors, 44 respondents or
28% were supervisors, and 27 or 17% were executives or working in senior management.
Three respondents chose ‘other’ as a position, and it was our conclusion that these
respondents might skew the results as an outlier, and subsequently the respondents were left
out of the presentation of results. The distribution of respondents in the other three
hierarchical positions was however considered to be particularly positive, with the number of
respondents representing each group being similar.

4.2.1.5 WORK EXPERIENCE DISTRIBUTION

52
FIGURE 5: RESPONDENTS’ TENURE IN CURRENT POSITION

When questioned about how long the respondents had held their current position, most
respondents had work experience at the current department of 1-5 years or 42%, while 38%
had held their current position for 6-10 years, 15% where those who had held their current
position for more than 10 years, and 4% had held the position for less than a year. The results
can be viewed in Figure 5.

4.2.2. GENERAL PERCEPTIONS TOWARDS CHANGE

In this section the researcher will briefly cover the results of respondents’ perceptions
towards the change their organisation is experiencing or the change the organisation has
recently experienced. The results in this section are independent of the hierarchical position
of respondents.
Although respondents were either currently or had previously experienced change, the
researcher will refer to the change in the past tense throughout, for the sake of consistency
and simplicity.
4.2.2.1 RESULTS FROM THE QUESTIONNAIRE
4.2.2.1.1 I FEEL THAT THE CHANGE WAS NECESSARY

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FIGURE 6: I FEEL THAT THE CHANGE WAS NECESSARY
Figure 6 shows that respondents were overall in agreement that the change the department
was going through was necessary, with 56% of respondents generally agreeing with the
statement. Only 33% of respondents generally disagreed, and 10% neither agreed nor
disagreed.

4.2.2.1.2 I THINK THAT CHANGES IN THIS ORGANISATION, IN GENERAL,
TEND TO WORK WELL

FIGURE 7: I THINK THAT THE CHANGES IN THIS ORGANISATION, IN GENERAL, TEND TO WORK WELL

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When asked if they thought that changes in their organisation, in general, tended to work
well, 44% of respondents generally disagreed with the statement, while 18% neither agreed
nor disagreed, and 36% generally agreed, as seen in Figure 7.

4.2.2.1.3 IT IS REALLY NOT POSSIBLE TO CHANGE THINGS AROUND HERE

FIGURE 8: IT IS REALLY NOT POSSIBLE TO CHANGE THINGS AROUND HERE
As seen in Figure 8, similar results to the previous question were derived from the statement
‘It is really not possible to change things around here’, where 55% generally disagreed with
the statement, while 14% neither agreed nor disagreed and 31% generally agreed.

4.2.2.1.4 CHANGES SEEM TO CREATE MORE PROBLEMS THAN IT SOLVES

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FIGURE 9: CHANGE SEEM TO CREATE MORE PROBLEMS THAN IT SOLVES
The statement Changes seem to create more problems than it solves was generally accepted
by respondents, with 47% generally agreeing. Meanwhile, 8% neither agreed nor disagreed,
and 44% disagreed. The results can be viewed in Figure 9.

4.2.2.1.5 I FEAR THAT CHANGE MIGHT AFFECT MY POSITION IN A
NEGATIVE WAY

FIGURE 10: I FEAR THAT THE CHANGE MIGHT AFFECT MY POSITION IN A NEGATIVE WAY
As seen in Figure 10, respondents mainly disagreed with the statement I fear that change
might affect my position with 72% generally disagreeing, while 19% generally agreed with
the statement, and 8% neither agreed nor disagreed.

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4.2.2.1.6 I THINK THAT THE CHANGE SUITS/ IS COMPATIBLE WITH THE
OVERALL DEPARTMENT CULTURE

FIGURE 11: I BELIEVE THAT THE CHANGE SUITS/ IS COMPATIBLE WITH THE OVERALL DEPARTMENT CULTURE
When asked on the subject of department culture with the statement ‘I think that the change
is compatible with the overall company department’, 44% of respondents generally disagreed
with the statement, as seen in Figure 11. Also 43% of respondents generally agreed, while
13% neither agreed nor disagreed with the statement.
4.2.2.1.7 I THINK THE CHANGE MIGHT CAUSE UNCERTAINTY ABOUT WORK
ROLES IN THE DEPARTMENT

FIGURE 12: I THINK THE CHANGE MIGHT CAUSE UNCERTAINTY ABOUT WORK-ROLES IN THE COMPANY

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Figure 12 shows that when faced with the statement I think the change might cause
uncertainty about work roles in the department, 59% generally agreed with it, while 36%
generally disagreed, and 5% neither agreed nor disagreed with the statement.

4.2.2.2 EMOTIONAL AND ATTITUDINAL ISSUES BY HIERARCHICAL
POSITION
In this section the results will be analysed by comparing the hierarchical positions of
employees. The section will furthermore be divided into five sub-sections: Relationships
between people; Perceptions of change; Uncertainty; and Conflict, power and politics.

4.2.2.2.1 RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN PEOPLE
4.2.2.2.1.1 I BELIEVE THE CHANGE PROCESS WILL POSITIVELY INFLUENCE
RELATIONS BETWEEN ME AND MY CO-WORKERS
FIGURE 13: I BELIEVE THE CHANGE WILL POSITIVELY INFLUENCE RELATIONS BETWEEN ME AND MY CO-WORKERS
Figure 13 shows that 59% of non-supervisors generally agree with the statement I believe the
change process will positively influence relations between me and my co-workers.
Supervisors seem to generally have different views on the subject, unlike respondents from
other hierarchical position groups, with 44% generally agreeing with the statement, 14%
neither agreeing nor disagreeing, and 43% generally disagreeing. Among executives, 52%
generally agree with the statement, 4% neither agree nor disagree, and 45% generally
disagree.

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4.2.2.2.2 PERCEPTIONS OF CHANGE
4.2.2.2.2.1 I FEEL THAT THE CHANGE WAS NECESSARY
FIGURE 14: I FEEL THAT THE CHANGE WAS NECESSARY

When questioned if they felt the change was necessary, the respondents were generally in
agreement with the statement, with all hierarchical position groups mostly agreeing. Figure
14 shows that 74% of executives generally agreed with the statement, while 18% of
executives disagreed. Both supervisors and non-supervisors participating answered similarly,
the responses of supervisors were fairly distributed along the scale, with 50% of supervisors
generally agreeing, while 42% generally disagreed. The remaining 7% neither agreed nor
disagreed; 54% of non-supervisors generally agreed, while 34% generally disagreed and 12
neither agreed nor disagreed.

4.2.2.2.3 UNCERTAINTY
4.2.2.2.3.1 I FEAR THAT THE CHANGE MIGHT AFFECT MY POSITION IN A
NEGATIVE WAY

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FIGURE 15: I FEAR THAT THE CHANGE MIGHT AFFECT MY POSITION IN A NEGATIVE WAY

Figure 15 shows that executives generally disagree with the statement I fear that the change
might affect my position in a negative way, where 41% disagreed, and a total of 86%
generally disagreed with the statement. The supervisors participating had a fairly even
distribution of answers, although a larger share of managers than non-supervisors and
executives agreed with the statement. Overall, more supervisors generally disagreed with the
statement, 84%, than generally agreed with it. Non-supervisors, similar to the supervisors,
mostly disagreed with the statement, although their answers were spread fairly evenly on the
scale. A total of 61% of non-supervisors generally disagreed with the statement.

4.2.2.2.3.2 I BELIEVE THE CHANGE WILL BE BENEFICIAL FOR ME
PERSONLLY

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FIGURE 16: I BELIEVE THE CHANGE WILL BE BENEFICAL FOR ME PERSONALLY

When respondents were questioned if they thought the change would be beneficial for them
personally, it became evident that executives mostly agreed with the statement, with 78% of
executives generally agreeing with the statement, while only 8% generally disagreed. In
comparison, 39% of supervisors generally agreed with the statement, while only 43%
generally disagreed. The answers of non-supervisors were fairly evenly distributed, with 55%
generally agreeing with the statement, 30% generally disagreeing, and 14% neither ageing
nor disagreeing. The results can be seen in Figure 16.

4.2.2.2.4 CONFLICT, POWER AND POLITICS
4.2.2.2.4.1 I THINK THE CHANGE WILL INCREASE CONFLICT IN THE
DEPARTMENT

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FIGURE 17: I THINK THE CHANGE WILL INCREASE CONFLICT IN THE COMPANY
As seen in figure 17, executives to a large extent agreed with the statement I think the change
will increase conflict in the department, with 66% generally agreeing. Supervisors responded
to the statement quite differently, with 33% generally disagreeing with it. Another 9% of
supervisors neither agreed nor disagreed with the statement. Furthermore, around 57% of
supervisors generally agreed with the statement. Similarly to the supervisors, non-supervisors
mostly disagreed with the statement with 41% generally disagreeing. Meanwhile, 45% of
participating non-supervisors generally agreed, and 14% neither agreed nor disagreed with
the statement.

4.2.2.2.4.2 I FEEL I HAVE BEEN INCLUDED IN THE CHANGE PROCESS
FIGURE 18: I FEEL I HAVE BEEN INCLUDED IN THE CHANGE PROCESS

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There appeared to be a difference in how respondents answered the statement I feel I have
been included in the change process, depending on their hierarchical position, as seen in
Figure 18. It is clear that executives agreed with the statement, with 33% strongly agreeing,
and a total of 70% generally agreeing they had been included in the change process in some
way.
The responses of supervisors were unequally distributed along the scale, with 33% of
supervisors generally agreeing, while 61% generally disagreed. The remaining 5% neither
agreed nor disagreed. When compared to the answers of executives, the results of non-
supervisors are quite different. Non-supervisors, for the most part disagreed, with 63%
generally disagreeing, while 26% generally agreed with the statement.

4.2.2.3 PROCESS
This section will continue covering the results by comparing the hierarchical positions of
employees. The section will be divided into two sub-sections: Participation and involvement;
and desired process.

4.2.2.3.1 PARTICIPATION AND INVOLVEMENT
4.2.2.3.1.1 I FEEL I HAVE A VOICE WHEN IT COMES TO THE CHANGE
PROCESS
FIGURE 19: I FEEL I HAVE A VOICE WHEN IT COMES TO THE CHANGE PROCESS

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When questioned if respondents felt they had a voice when it comes to the change process,
the distribution of answers was in many was similar to the previous question on whether
respondents felt they were included in the change process, as seen in Figure 19.
Executives mostly agreed, with 37% agreeing with the statement, I feel I have a voice when it
comes to the change process, with 19% strongly agreeing, and 19% somewhat agreeing to the
statement. Therefore, 75% of executives generally agreed with the statement.
The responses of non-supervisors were fairly evenly distributed, although generally they were
more likely to disagree that they had a voice when it came to the change process; 55% of the
non- supervisors participating generally disagreed with the statement, while only 42%
generally agreed. The remaining 4% therefore neither agreed nor disagreed.
Supervisors were in more disagreement than executives and non-supervisors with the
statement, with only 12% generally agreeing. On the contrary, 78% generally disagreed when
asked whether they felt they would have a voice when it came to the change process. The
remaining 11% neither agreed nor disagreed with the statement.
4.2.2.3.1.2 I ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE IN THE DECISION-MAKING IN
MATTERS THAT AFFECT ME AT WORK
FIGURE 20: I ACTIVELY PARTICIAPTE IN THE DECISION MAKING, IN MATTERS THAT AFFECT ME AT WORK

Figure 20 displays the distribution of responses when respondents were questioned if they
agreed or disagreed with the statement that they actively participated in the decision-making,
in matters that affected them at work.

64
Executives almost entirely agreed with this statement, with 89% generally agreeing. No
executives disagreed, somewhat disagreed, only 7% of executives strongly disagreed with the
statement.
Different results can be observed amongst supervisors, with 61% generally disagreeing.
Supervisors neither agreeing nor disagreeing accounted for 7%, while only 32% generally
agreed with the statement.
The answers of non-supervisors were quite different from those of the executives and similar
to the ones of supervisors, with only 31% of non-supervisors generally agreeing with the
statement, compared to 89% of executives. The number of non-supervisors generally
disagreeing with the statement accounted for 62%, which is in contrast to the results of
executives, where 7% generally disagreed.

4.2.2.3.2 DESIRED PROCESS
4.2.2.3.2.1 I WOULD HAVE PREFERRED SOME THINGS DONE DIFFERENTLY
FIGURE 21: I WOULD HAVE PREFERRED SOME THINGS DONE DIFFERENTLY

When questioned if participant would have preferred some things done differently, all three
groups of executives, supervisors and non-supervisors provided similar answers. Out of the
three groups, executives agreed the most with the statement, with 92% generally agreeing,
while 8% generally disagreed. Supervisors were also quite positive towards the statement,
with 84% generally agreeing, 9% neither agreed nor disagreed, and 7% generally disagreed.
Non-supervisors also agreed with the statement, with 78% generally agreeing. Meanwhile

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11% of non-supervisors generally disagreed with the statement. The results can be seen in
Figure 21.

4.2.2.4 OUTCOMES
In this fourth and final section, the results will continue to be analysed using the hierarchical
positions of employees, as in the previous two sections.

4.2.2.4.1 THE CHANGE PROCESS HAS MADE IT EASIER FOR ME TO PERFORM
CERTAIN TASKS

FIGURE 22: THE CHANGE PROCESS HAS MADE IT EASIER FOR ME TO PERFORM CERTAIN TASKS

As seen in Figure 22, the opinions of the respondents were divided on this question.
Executives were somewhat split, with 48% generally disagreeing. Meanwhile, 37% generally
agreed with the statement, and 15% neither agreed nor disagreed.
Supervisors answered quite differently, as a higher proportion (71%) of respondents
disagreed. For the most part though, 16% of supervisors neither agreed nor disagreed, while
14% of supervisors participating generally agreed with the statement.
The perception or attitude of non-supervisors regarding the subject were somewhat split, with
57% generally disagreeing, while 31% generally agreed. Less than a quarter of non-
supervisors, or 12%, neither agreed nor disagreed with the statement.

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4.3 FACTOR ANALYSIS
According to Field (2010: 101-103), factor analysis is used to reduce a large set of variables
into a smaller set of underlying dimensions, called factors. It consists of three phases,
namely:
• Factor extraction: where clusters of variables with a high degree of commonality are
identified;
• Factor loadings: which can be examined to identify and name the underlying
dimensions of the original set of variables; and
• Factor rotation: where variables are aligned more distinctly with a particular factor.
The results of factor analysis in this study are as follows:
4.3.1 Principal Component Factor Analysis
A principal component factor analysis with varimax rotation of 29 Likert scale questions
from the questionnaire used was performed on data gathered from 158 respondents. Factors
were retained using the Kaiser criterion where only factors with Eigen values greater than one
are retained; hence seven factors were retained. The seven factors accounted for about 68%
of the total variation.
Table 4.2: Principal Component Factors
Factor Eigenvalue Difference Proportion Cumulative
Factor1 9.49244 6.74454 0.3273 0.3273
Factor2 2.74789 0.72365 0.0948 0.4221
Factor3 2.02425 0.32718 0.0698 0.4919
Factor4 1.69707 0.39605 0.0585 0.5504
Factor5 1.30101 0.04363 0.0449 0.5953
Factor6 1.25739 0.13754 0.0434 0.6386
Factor7 1.11985 0.1921 0.0386 0.6772
Factor8 0.92774 0.10587 0.032 0.7092
Factor9 0.82187 0.03202 0.0283 0.7376

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Factor10 0.78985 0.07275 0.0272 0.7648
Factor11 0.7171 0.04743 0.0247 0.7895
Factor12 0.66967 0.06209 0.0231 0.8126
Factor13 0.60758 0.06962 0.021 0.8336
Factor14 0.53796 0.03919 0.0186 0.8521
Factor15 0.49878 0.04396 0.0172 0.8693
Factor16 0.45482 0.01634 0.0157 0.885
Factor17 0.43847 0.0377 0.0151 0.9001
Factor18 0.40077 0.04026 0.0138 0.9139
Factor19 0.36051 0.03994 0.0124 0.9264
Factor20 0.32057 0.02305 0.0111 0.9374
Factor21 0.29751 0.01927 0.0103 0.9477
Factor22 0.27824 0.02961 0.0096 0.9573
Factor23 0.24863 0.02828 0.0086 0.9659
Factor24 0.22035 0.02419 0.0076 0.9735
Factor25 0.19617 0.02306 0.0068 0.9802
Factor26 0.17311 0.02177 0.006 0.9862
Factor27 0.15134 0.02355 0.0052 0.9914
Factor28 0.1278 0.00652 0.0044 0.9958
Factor29 0.12127 . 0.0042 1

4.3.2 Orthogonal Varimax
The results of an orthogonal rotation of the solution are shown in Table 4.3. When loadings
less than 0.40 were excluded, the analysis yielded a seven-factor solution simple structure.

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Table 4.3: Orthogonal Varimax
Factor Variance Difference Proportion Cumulative
Factor1 4.8069 1.36152 0.1658 0.1658
Factor2 3.44538 0.47517 0.1188 0.2846
Factor3 2.97021 0.08698 0.1024 0.387
Factor4 2.88323 0.86052 0.0994 0.4864
Factor5 2.02271 0.2443 0.0697 0.5562
Factor6 1.77841 0.04535 0.0613 0.6175
Factor7 1.73306 . 0.0598 0.6772

4.3.3 Estimates for rotated factor loadings
The table below shows that only one item loaded on to factor 7. The factor analysis was
therefore repeated restraining the solution to six factors.
Table 4.4: Estimates for rotated factor loadings
Variable
Component
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
b11 0.6881
b14 0.769
b15 0.7635
b16 0.8445
b17 0.7148
b29 0.5513
b19 0.6479
b25 0.6654
b26 0.776

69
b27 0.5707
b28 0.6296
b1 0.8465
b2 0.7121
b3 0.6487
b4 0.6042
b12 0.4737
b5 0.7299
b6 0.7958
b7 0.7035
b9 0.5581
b8 0.4475
b13 0.541
b18 0.6858
b24 0.6884
b20 0.5352
b21 0.5588
b22 0.5718
b23 0.5615
b10 0.7852

4.3.4 Principal Component Factor Analysis (Rotated)
A principal component factor analysis with varimax rotation of 29 Likert scale questions
from the questionnaire was repeated on the data gathered from 158 respondents. The factor

70
solution was constrained to six factors which accounted for about 63% of the total variation,
as seen in Table 4.5.
Table 4.5: Orthogonal Varimax
Factor Variance Difference Proportion Cumulative
Factor1 5.12458 1.72628 0.1767 0.1767
Factor2 3.39831 0.35943 0.1172 0.2939
Factor3 3.03887 0.08922 0.1048 0.3987
Factor4 2.94965 0.77751 0.1017 0.5004
Factor5 2.17214 0.33566 0.0749 0.5753
Factor6 1.83648 . 0.0633 0.6386

4.3.5 Repeated estimates for rotated Factor loadings
Table 4.6: Estimates for rotated factor loadings
Variable Component
1 2 3 4 5 6
b10 0.601
b11 0.744
b14 0.785
b15 0.783
b16 0.767
b17 0.667
b29 0.548
b19 0.721
b25 0.599
b26 0.791

71
b27 0.487
b28 0.611
b5 0.761
b6 0.703
b7 0.724
b9 0.611
b13 0.511
b1 0.851
b2 0.722
b3 0.638
b4 0.591
b12 0.471
b8 0.516
b18 0.664
b21 0.486
b24 0.569
b20 0.581
b22 0.588
b23 0.594

4.3.6 Rotated Component Matrix showing variables
Table 4.7: Rotated Component Matrix showing variables
Component
Six (6)
Factors
Item
No Description 1 2 3 4 5 6
Factor 1: b16 I feel I have a voice when it comes to the 0.844

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Participation &
involvement

change process
b14
The implications of the change have been
clearly communicated to me by my superiors 0.769
b15 I know what to expect from the change process 0.763
b17
I actively participate in the decision-making in
matters that affect me at work 0.714
b11
I feel I have been included in the change
process 0.688
b10
I am confident that I will be able to influence
the extent to which the changes will affect my
job 0.601
b29
The change process has made it easier for me
to perform certain tasks 0.551

b26 I feel the change has been successful so far 0.776
Factor 2: Change
process

b25 I feel the change will have a positive impact 0.665
b19
For the most parts change processes tend to run
smoothly around here 0.647
b28
I am pleased with the way the change process
has been handled 0.629
b27
It is my opinion that the change will be
permanent 0.571

b6
I fear that the change might affect my position
in a negative way 0.703
Factor 3:
General
perception
towards change

b5
Change seem to create more problems than it
solves 0.761
b7
I think the change might cause uncertainty
about work-roles in the department 0.724
b13 I fear that the change may threaten some part 0.511

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of the department culture
b9
I believe the change will be beneficial for me
personally 0.611

Factor 4:
Relationship
between people

b1
The change process has affected work
relationships in a positive way 0.851
b2
I believe the change process will positively
influence relations between me and my co-
workers 0.722
b3 I feel that the change was necessary 0.638
b4
I think that changes in this organisation in
general tend to work well 0.591
b12
I believe that the change suits/ is compatible
with the overall department culture I believe
that the change suits/ is compatible with the
overall department culture 0.471

Factor 5: Desired
process

b24
I would have preferred some things done
differently 0.688
b18
I’m concerned about implementation issues
related to the change process 0.664
b21
I am confident in my ability to deal with the
planned structural changes 0.486
b8 0.516

b22
My superiors have been supportive throughout
the process 0.588
Factor 6:
Communication

b23
I can generally count on good feedback from
my superiors 0.594
b20
It is really not possible to change things around
here 0.581

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Table 4.7 above show the following correlations between variables within factors and
between factors themselves

Factor 1: Participation and involvement
Six items which are; ‘I have a voice when it comes to the change process, changes have been
clearly communicated, I know what to expect from the change process, I participate in the
decision-making, I have been included in the change process, I am confident that I will be
able to influence the extent to which the changes will affect my job’ and ‘change process has
made it easier for me to perform certain tasks’ were loaded under factor one with loading
range from 0.844 to 0.551. The alpha value for the first factor 0.877 which indicated that
there is a strong level of agreement among the respondents for factor one. The items loaded
under factor one ‘understand the importance for decision making processes. Hence factor one
was named as participation and involvement.

Factor 2: Change Process
Five items which are ‘change has been successful, change will have a positive impact,
change process tends to run smoothly, pleased with the way the change process has been
handled’ and ‘change will be permanent’ were loaded under factor two with loading range
from 0.776 to 0.571. The alpha value 0.812 which indicated that there is a strong level of
agreement among the respondents for factor two. The items loaded under factor two
‘understand the importance of handling the change processes. Hence factor two was named
change process.

Factor 3: General perception towards change
Five items which are ‘change might affect my position, change seem to create problems,
change might cause uncertainty, change may threaten some part of the department culture’

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and ‘change will be beneficial’ were loaded under factor three with loading ranging from
0.703 to 0.611. The alpha value is 0.766 which indicated that there is a strong level of
agreement among the respondents for factor three. The items loaded under factor three
regarded the uncertainty and uncomfortable attitude/ perception of employees on change.
Hence factor three was named general perception towards change.

Factor 4: Relationship between people
Five items which are ‘change process has affected work relationships, change process will
positively influence relations, change was necessary, changes in this organisation in general
tend to work well’ and ‘change suits/ is compatible with the overall department culture’ were
loaded under factor four ranging 0.851 to 0.471. The alpha value 0.832 which indicated that
there is a strong level of agreement among respondents for factor four. The items loaded
under factor four identify the importance of relationships between people/employees during
the change process. Hence factor four was named relationship between employees/people.
Factor 5: Desired process
Four items which are ‘things done differently, implementation issues related to the change
process, ability to deal with the planned structural changes’ and ‘change will be beneficial
for me personally’ were loaded under factor five ranging from 0.688 to 0.516. The alpha
value is 0.463 which indicated that there is a strong level of agreement among the
respondents for factor five. The items loaded under factor five ‘have preferred things done
differently’. Hence factor five was named ‘desired processes.

Factor 6: Communication
Three items which are ‘my superiors have been supportive, count on good feedback from my
superiors’ and ‘not possible to change things around here’ were loaded under factor six
ranging from 0.588 to 0.581. The alpha value is 0.699 which indicated that there is a strong
level of agreement among respondents for factor six. The items loaded under factor six ‘have
good feedback from their employees’. Hence factor six was named ‘communication’.

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4.4 RELIABILITY ANALYSIS

Cronbach’s Alpha is a measure of internal consistency. When alpha is 0.70 or higher it is
considered acceptable in most social science research situations. This suggests that there is
internal consistency within these items.
The individual alpha tells you how the overall alpha would improve if that item was to be
removed from the questionnaire.

Table 4.8: Item analysis for participation and involvement
Item
No
Description Cronbach’s Alpha
estimate
b11 I feel I have been included in the change process 0.849
b14 The implications of the change have been clearly
communicated to me by my superiors
0.846
b15 I know what to expect from the change process 0.841
b16 I feel I have a voice when it comes to the change process 0.857
b17 I actively participate in the decision-making in matters that
affect me at work
0.866
b29 The change process has made it easier for me to perform
certain tasks
0.865
b10 I am confident that I will be able to influence the extent to
which the charges will affect my job
0.891
Total Scale Cronbach’s Alpha 0.877
The scale above appears to have good internal consistency, with a Cronbach’s alpha
coefficient of 0.877. All the items seem to correlate very well with the scale.

Table 4.9: Item analysis for change process

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Item
No
Description Cronbach’s Alpha
estimate
b19 For the most parts change processes tend to run smoothly
around here
0.814
b25 I feel the change will have a positive impact 0.772
b26 I feel the change has been successful so far 0.725
b27 It is my opinion that the change will be permanent 0.811
b28 I am pleased with the way the change process has been
handled
0.748
Total Scale Cronbach’s Alpha 0.812
The scale above appears to have good internal consistency, with a Cronbach’s alpha
coefficient of 0.812. All the items seem to correlate very well with the scale.

Table 4.10: Item analysis for change process
Item
No
Description Cronbach’s Alpha
estimate
b5 Change seem to create more problems than it solves 0.687
b6 I fear that the change might affect my position in a
negative way
0.745
b7 I think the change might cause uncertainty about work-
roles in the department
0.682
b9 I think the change will increase conflict in the department 0.716
b13 I fear that the change may threaten some part of the
department culture
0.775
Total Scale Cronbach’s Alpha 0.766
Apparently for the most part the items of the scale are consistent. The Cronbach’s Alpha
coefficient of 0.766 is clearly acceptable.

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Table 4.11: Item analysis for general perception towards change
Item
No
Description Cronbach’s Alpha
estimate
b1 The change process has affected work relationships in a
positive way
0.8014
b2 I believe the change process will positively influence
relations between me and my co-workers
0.7984
b3 I feel that the change was necessary 0.807
b4 I think that changes in this organisation in general tend to
work well
0.788
b12 I believe that the change suits/ is compatible with the
overall department culture I believe that the change suits/
is compatible with the overall department culture
0.798
Total Scale Cronbach’s Alpha 0.832
The scale above appears to have good internal consistency, with a Cronbach’s alpha
coefficient of 0.832. All the items seem to correlate very well with the scale.

Table 4.12: Item analysis for desired process
Item
No
Description Cronbach’s
Alpha estimate
b8 I believe the change will be beneficial for me personally 0.474
b18 I’m concerned about implementation issues related to the
change process
0.322
b21 I am confident in my ability to deal with the planned
structural changes
0.408

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b24 I would have preferred some things done differently 0.364
Total Scale Cronbach’s Alpha 0.463
The scale above appears to have unacceptable internal consistency, with a Cronbach’s alpha
coefficient of 0.463. All the items seem to not correlate with the scale.

Table 4.13: Item analysis for communication
Item
No
Description Cronbach’s Alpha
estimate
b20 It is really not possible to change things around here 0.861
b22 My superiors have been supportive throughout the
process
0.328
b23 I can generally count on good feedback from my
superiors
0.353
Total Scale Cronbach’s Alpha 0.669
The scale above appears to have questionable internal consistency, with a Cronbach’s alpha
coefficient of 0.669. Not all the items seem to correlate very well with the scale.

4.5 RESULTS FROM CROSS-TAB ANALYSES
Cross-tab analysis refers to the Pearson chi-square test of association (Dawson and Trapp,
2004), and is used for assessing the strength of association or interdependence between two
or more categorical variables. At the 5% level of significance, the strength of association
between two categorical variables is said to be statistically significant if the P-value is smaller
than 0.05. If the P-value is greater than or equal to 0.05, it is said that the two variables are
independent of each other at the 5% level of significance. In this study, all expected cell
frequencies were greater than 5. As such, results of data analysis obtained from Pearson’s
chi-square tests of association were all valid.

4.5.1 Cross tabulation for Age

80
The chi-square test was used to test the relationship between age and each of the six factors
of change management.
Associations that are significant at the 5% level are indicated by *.
Table 4.14 Results obtained from cross-tabulation analysis (Age)
Factor 1: Participation ; involvement Observed
chi-square
value
P-
value
I am confident that I will be able to influence the extent to which
the changes will affect my job
9.0026 0.173
I feel I have been included in the change process 10.7365 0.097
The implications of the change have been clearly communicated
to me by my superiors
11.1129 0.085
I know what to expect from the change process 9.1689 0.164
I feel I have a voice when it comes to the change process 16.5615 0.011*
I actively participate in the decision-making in matters that affect
me at work
7.2304 0.300
The change process has made it easier for me to perform certain
tasks
10.4357 0.107
Factor 2 : Change process
For the most parts change processes tend to run smoothly around
here
6.7592 0.344
I feel the change will have a positive impact 4.7806 0.572
I feel the change has been successful so far 8.6886 0.192
It is my opinion that the change will be permanent 9.8928 0.129
I am pleased with the way the change process has been handled 15.4121 0.017*

81
Factor 3: General perception towards change
Change seem to create more problems than it solves 6.0083 0.422
I fear that the change might affect my position in a negative way 7.566 0.272
I think the change might cause uncertainty about work-roles in
the department
9.45 0.150
I think the change will increase conflict in the department 6.2004 0.401
I fear that the change may threaten some part of the department
culture
12.1696 0.058
Factor 4: Relationship between people
The change process has affected work relationships in a positive
way
4.1249 0.660
I believe the change process will positively influence relations
between me and my co-workers
3.465 0.749
I feel that the change was necessary 7.8263 0.251
I think that changes in this organisation in general tend to work
well
8.1313 0.229
I believe that the change suits/ is compatible with the overall
department culture I believe that the change suits/ is compatible
with the overall department culture
2.9131 0.820
Factor 5: Desired process
I believe the change will be beneficial for me personally 7.4415 0.282
I’m concerned about implementation issues related to the change
process
5.3173 0.504
I am confident in my ability to deal with the planned structural
changes
8.713 0.190
I would have preferred some things done differently 11.0038 0.088

82
Factor 6: Communication
It is really not possible to change things around here 7.5581 0.272
My superiors have been supportive throughout the process 3.6413 0.725
I can generally count on good feedback from my superiors 1.7901 0.938
Legend: Significance at *P

erception towards change
Change seem to create more problems than it solves 6.0083 0.422
I fear that the change might affect my position in a negative way 7.566 0.272
I think the change might cause uncertainty about work-roles in
the department
9.45 0.150
I think the change will increase conflict in the department 6.2004 0.401
I fear that the change may threaten some part of the department
culture
12.1696 0.058
Factor 4: Relationship between people
The change process has affected work relationships in a positive
way
4.1249 0.660
I believe the change process will positively influence relations
between me and my co-workers
3.465 0.749
I feel that the change was necessary 7.8263 0.251
I think that changes in this organisation in general tend to work
well
8.1313 0.229
I believe that the change suits/ is compatible with the overall
department culture I believe that the change suits/ is compatible
with the overall department culture
2.9131 0.820
Factor 5: Desired process
I believe the change will be beneficial for me personally 7.4415 0.282
I’m concerned about implementation issues related to the change
process
5.3173 0.504
I am confident in my ability to deal with the planned structural
changes
8.713 0.190
I would have preferred some things done differently 11.0038 0.088

82
Factor 6: Communication
It is really not possible to change things around here 7.5581 0.272
My superiors have been supportive throughout the process 3.6413 0.725
I can generally count on good feedback from my superiors 1.7901 0.938
Legend: Significance at *P

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