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Navigating organizational change: change leaders, employee resistance and work-based identities

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Resistance to change is a socially constructed phenomenon that is generated and defined through interaction. We develop two hypotheses aiming at a better understanding of resistance. First, we propose that 'resistance to change' can be understood as employee utilization of self-enhancement strategies in response to a threat to their work-based identity. Second, we propose that resistance can be perceived as a threat to change leaders' work-based identity, and as such their response to resistance may include self-enhancement strategies. Qualitative and quantitative research conducted with law firms involved in a merger supports the hypotheses. We suggest the differential in successfully navigating organizational change may be shifting the starting point: from looking at how what we do is affected, to how the change and change management impacts how we feel about who we are.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/24527/

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