Discussion: View Thread

Call for Papers JOB: Collective Reactions to Organizational Change

  • 1.  Call for Papers JOB: Collective Reactions to Organizational Change

    Posted 22 days ago
      |   view attached
    Special Issue Journal of Organizational Behavior:
    Call for Papers: Collective Reactions to Organizational Change

    Guest Editors:
    Alannah Rafferty (Griffith University: a.rafferty@griffith.edu.au)
    Gavin Schwarz (University of New South Wales: g.schwarz@unsw.edu.au)
    Dave Bouckenooghe (Brock University: dbouckenooghe@brocku.ca)
    Karin Sanders (University of New South Wales: k.sanders@unsw.edu.au)

    Objective and Rationale for the Special Issue
    Despite the prevalence and importance of change efforts in modern organizations, changes regularly fail to achieve their  intended aims (Beer & Nohria, 2000; Jacquemont, Maor, & Reich, 2014; Meaney & Pung, 2008; Stouten et al., 2018). Researchers have argued that "at the heart of events…and a main determinant of the extent to which any change can succeed, is how change recipients react to organizational change" (Oreg et al., 2011, p. 462). In this special issue we focus on change recipients' collective reactions to organizational change, which we broadly define as teams' and organizations' responses to change events. This topic has received surprisingly little attention in the change literature. We seek submissions that theorize about and measure collective reactions to organizational change events.

    While several researchers have acknowledged that organizational change efforts inherently involve multilevel processes (Caldwell et al., 2004; Caldwell et al., 2009; Pettigrew et al., 2001; WhelanBarry et al., 2003), only recently have theorists begun to develop theoretical models of collective reactions to change. Rafferty et al. (2013) developed a multilevel model of change readiness, arguing that while the level of measurement when studying change readiness has overwhelmingly been at the individual level, researchers often use these data to make statements about an organization's readiness for change (Bouckenooghe, 2010). This is problematic because relationships that hold at one level of analysis may be stronger or weaker at a different level of analysis and the direction of relationships at different levels of analysis may even be reversed (Ostroff, 1993).

    For this special issue, we seek submissions that help expand our understanding of change recipients' collective reactions to organizational change. We want to understand the content, process, and context factors that predict collective reactions to change. We also seek to understand the mechanisms that underlie the emergence of collective reactions to organizational change. In addition, we are interested in the mechanisms that link collective reactions to change with change outcomes. In the context of this forum, organizational change reactions are broadly considered. As such, we are interested in examining a much wider range of cognitive, affective, and behavioral and/or intentional collective responses to change (e.g., collective uncertainty about change, collective behavioral reactions to change, collective coping with change, etc.) than has been considered in past research.

    Aims and Scope of the Special Issue
    The goal of the special issue is to enhance knowledge and advance theory regarding collective reactions to organizational change events by combining insights from a range of disciplines (e.g., psychology, sociology, complexity sciences, and institutional perspectives). Many studies of organizational change reactions have focused on the antecedents or consequences of these reactions (Schwarz, Bouckenooghe, & Vakola, 2021). In this context, however, we want to further stimulate the debate on collective reactions to change to explore a range of additional topics. More specifically, with this special issue we intend to offer an inclusive home by inviting research that captures the complexity of collective change reactions with its multiple layers.

    Given this context, we welcome submissions that recognize the complex, multifaceted and multilayered nature of collective reactions to change by combining insights at the intersections of psychological (Rafferty et al., 2013), sociological (e.g., Benford & Snow, 2000), institutional (e.g., Powell & Colyvas, 2008), and other organizational frames (e.g., Felin, Foss & Ployhardt, 2015). These perspectives will help to explore collective reactions to change by better understanding how individual-level reactions to change impact organizations undertaking change, and by showing how relations at the macro level are mediated by micro actions and interactions. Instead of assuming that collective reactions to change entail simple aggregations of reactions of individuals holding similar or homogeneous views (Maitlis & Christiason, 2014), we recognize that collective reactions to
    change may also evolve from interactions between individuals holding heterogeneous attitudes, beliefs and feelings about change (Schwarz & Bouckenooghe, 2018). Thus, we encourage contributions that explore the multiple ways in which these reactions may develop or emerge and that explore the dynamic character of collective reactions to change. We also seek to understand the processes through which collective reactions to change may hinder or support change implementation success across organizational systems. In addition, we are interested in the boundary conditions of these relations, and possible interventions (e.g., Human Resource (HR) practices) that can influence these processes.

    To conclude, collective reactions to organizational change are likely to be important when seeking to understand how sand why individuals, team, and organizations are (un)successful when implementing change. Questions that emerge from this focus include how do individual reactions to change influence team, divisional or organizational responses to change, and what does this mean for change success? What happens to individuals and collectives when they realize that their reactions to change are diverging or converging and what does this mean for change success? Conversely, do certain collective reactions to change become normalized and accepted by the individual and collective and how does this process occur and influence change success over time? We argue that attempts to better understand how individuals and collectives make sense, or ascribe
    meaning to change, develop coping strategies and eventually accept or reject change, will assist in allied topics such as why some individuals and collectives fail persistently to cope well with change while others are more successful. These and many other questions regarding collective responses to change remain unchartered research territory. We invite contributions that address such questions.

    Indicative Themes and Possible Issues
    We welcome both theoretical and empirical research using quantitative and qualitative approaches. We especially seek research that relies on multiple sources of data, incorporates multiple levels of analyses, uses multiple methods, and/or is longitudinal (or used multiple waves).
    Some research themes and questions of potential interest include but are not limited to:
    - Collective change attitudes and their multi-level antecedents and consequences
    - Collective behavioral reactions to change and their multi-level antecedents and consequences
    - Collective affective reactions to change and their multi-level antecedents and consequences
    - Sensemaking processes that contribute to the emergence of collective reactions to change
    - The influence of collective reactions to change on coping with change success and failure
    - The role of trust in the emergence of collective reactions to change - Process, content, and contextual factors that promote or hinder the emergence of collective reactions to change
    - Organizational antecedents of collective reactions to change (e.g., HR characteristics; HR strength)
    - Potential interventions (e.g., HR practices) that influence collective reactions to change

    Contributors should note:
    - This call is open and competitive, and all submissions will be blind reviewed.
    - All submissions must conform to the Journal's requirements, including those relating to originality, length, and formatting.
    - The guest editors will select papers for the special issue, but submissions may be considered for other issues in the journal.
    - To be considered for this special issue, papers should be submitted electronically via JOB's online submission system at: http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/job by 15th December 2021.
    - Prior to the initial submission deadline, authors who have questions about a potential project, are encouraged to contact one of the special issue editors.

    ------------------------------
    Karin Sanders
    Professor HRM and Organisational Psychology
    UNSW Business School, Sydney, Australia
    k.sanders@unsw.edu.au
    ------------------------------