Lessons leaders can learn from those living through change

This study adopts a ‘bottom-up’ approach and describes the personal journey of employees living through major organizational change. It highlights step-by-step recommendations for leaders to respond to the nine themes stemming from the employee experience.

Change is all over the place. Climate change, geopolitical reshuffling, technological innovation and more. The business world is no exception.

In this increasingly integrated global landscape, organizational change initiatives often come with the goal of transformation: restructures, spin-offs, mergers and acquisitions or culture change initiatives. For employees, the process of transformation is often accompanied by strong emotions and thus could generate a change of their psychological state. In this longitudinal action research, we used the lenses of social identity and belonging to collaboratively explore a four-year organizational merger and restructuring process with employees from within the legacy organization. This study focuses on the three phases of employees’ experience and provides leaders with nine key steps drawn from the advice and recommendations of those living through change to navigate better the complexity.

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Hult International Business School
Hult International Business School
Ashridge Executive Education