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Title: An exploration of the worker's emotional experience during organisational change : a qualitative study
Author: Talat, Usman
ISNI:       0000 0004 5358 0897
Awarding Body: Manchester Metropolitan University
Current Institution: Manchester Metropolitan University
Date of Award: 2015
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The current thesis investigated the emotions of workers at a hospital in the United Kingdom. Historically, the topic of emotion has received scant attention from academics in organisation research. It has been placed antithetical to reason and since the Second World War, for the most part, it has remained off the research agenda. It was in the early 1990’s that emotion started to attract attention and since then, research on the topic has gained momentum. Extending this movement further, the current thesis specifically asks the question: How is emotion experienced by workers involved in organizational change? As a research theme, organisational change has attracted attention by scholars interested in worker emotion. A change context involves emotion because workers stand to gain or lose prospects in such environments. Emotion is a form of adaptive behavior and from a research viewpoint, there is space to further develop our knowledge of how emotional experiences of workers emerge in organizational change. Focusing on this space, the current thesis specifically looks at the mental components of emotion. Case study based investigation and qualitative analysis was conducted with participants employed at a hospital enduring change. Findings show that emotion as an experience involves intentionality, feelings, and beliefs. To understand how these are formed, further empirical analysis also showed that congruence, immediacy and certainty were related components of emotional experiences that emerged in change. Contributing to knowledge of emotion and implications for change management, the current thesis found that change was met with two types of participant reactions. Firstly, in anger and fear there was a perception that change was doomed to fail. Secondly, there was uncertainty about how change was important for participant prospects. These represent barriers to change which were not managed at the hospital. The contribution is the recommendation that practical policy aimed at setting up programs designed to manage employee adjustment to change should be established. Contributing to knowledge of emotional experiences of workers involved in change research, findings propose the presence of intentionality. Related to this core component, the participants experienced feelings of frustration. Intentionality functioned to turn feelings to emotion by providing direction towards persons and change programs. Intentionality was present in both beliefs and feelings, wherein the latter component was found to be directly about things rather than through mediation of some logical belief system with clear rationale. Additionally, findings suggest that beliefs and to a lesser extent feelings, explicated congruence, immediacy, and certainty. The latter three concepts represent new territory in the field of organizational change. Integrating the above findings, the current thesis proposes the tripartite model of emotion. The model represents how mental components co-operate and represent a dynamic understanding of emotion in change. In the field of organizational change, such a model has not been proposed in terms of the components that it integrates. The model provides a fresh way of thinking about emotion and how workers endure such experiences during change. Future research can extend the model and review its applicability to other organisational arenas. The methodology employed in the current thesis is designed to elicit the interpretations that participants harbored in thinking about emotion during change initiatives. The collection and analysis of data involved techniques that reduce, compare, and synthesize data. The technique is designed for this study and presents a possible set of tools available for use in other research projects.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available