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Title: Understanding the temporal sensitivity of enforced accelerated work pace : a grounded theory building approach
Author: Kenealy, Graham J. J.
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2007
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By extending thinking beyond the prescriptive perspectives of current change literature, the organisational principle of rapid change is challenged by the virtues of paced and scheduled change. The research explores how a large UK government organisation copes with radical structural change over time and provides an insight into the temporal effects of 'Enforced Accelerated Work Pace' on behaviour and receptivity within an organisational context. More specifically the research focuses on the negative response behaviour of change, particularly when the change includes radical structural modifications. It considers the effects of time-pacing and scheduling of change initiatives on behaviour; and the failure risk of change initiatives in human terms as a consequence of negative response behaviour borne out of pace and scheduling mismanagement. Change justification and content are well researched, rehearsed and accepted but the temporal and situational aspects of change have largely been ignored by the researchers of the past. Furthermore, there is a distinct absence of strong social and psychological theorising in respect of change receptivity linked to the pace and rate of change, a view well documented by Pettigrew et al. (2001). This research, in the main is not one of understanding cause and effect or starting with a priori hypothesis relating to existing theory. It is the interpretation of human behaviours within a specific context with the explicit aim of developing theories and concepts in the substantive area. Therefore the underlying logic of the research is grounded theory building, a general method that works well with qualitative data collection approaches which involves inducting insights from field based, case data. The emerging insight linked fatigue with poorly managed change rather than just the levels or indeed the type of change as was originally expected. More importantly there is great emphasis on the temporal effects of 'Enforced Accelerated Work Pace' . 'Temporal Sensitivity', the duration of the changes to work patterns played a big part in behavioural responses contributing to the development of the Coping Reflex Stage model. The research also led to the development of the 'Adverse Effect Index' (AEI); a model that brings together the main elements that appear to contribute to the sense of weariness, brought on by 'Enforced Accelerated Work Pace' and presents them in a meaningful way. The development of the model provides for an effective indicator of individuals suffering the effects of change fatigue. Developing perspectives on work pace measurement is difficult particularly when the work output is not easily quantifiable, nevertheless an extension to the AEI model led to developing perspectives on work pace measurement. Termed the' Apparent Work Pace' (A WP) the measure is presented as a real number between 1.0 and 2.0 to represent a moderately slow pace to a much faster pace respectively.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available