ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE AND STRESS MANAGEMENT
After studying this chapter, students should be able to:
Describe forces that act as stimulants to change.
Summarize sources of individual and organizational resistance to change.
Describe Lewin’s three-step change model.
Explain the values underlying most OD efforts
Identify properties of innovative organizations.
List characteristics of a learning organization.
and explain its importance.
Describe potential sources of stress.
Explain individual difference variables that moderate the stress-outcome relationship.
The need for change has been implied throughout this text. “A casual reflection on change should indicate
that it encompasses almost all our concepts in the organizational behavior literature. Think about leadership,
motivation, organizational environment, and roles. It is impossible to think about these and other concepts without
inquiring about change.”
If environments were perfectly static, if employees’ skills and abilities were always up to date and
incapable of deteriorating, and if tomorrow were always exactly the same as today, organizational change would
have little or no relevance to managers. The real world, however, is turbulent, requiring organizations and their
members to undergo dynamic change if they are to perform at competitive levels.
Managers are the primary change agents in most organizations. By the decisions they make and their
role-modeling behaviors, they shape the organization’s change culture. For instance, management decisions
related to structural design, cultural factors, and human resource policies largely determine the level of innovation
within the organization. Similarly, management decisions, policies, and practices will determine the degree to
which the organization learns and adapts to changing environmental factors.
We found that the existence of work stress, in and of itself, need not imply lower performance. The
evidence indicates that stress can be either a positive or negative influence on employee performance. For many
people, low to moderate amounts of stress enable them to perform their jobs better by increasing their work
intensity, alertness, and ability to react. However, a high level of stress, or even a moderate amount sustained
over a long period of time, eventually takes its toll and performance declines. The impact of stress on satisfaction
is far more straightforward. Job-related tension tends to decrease general job satisfaction. Even though low to
moderate levels of stress may improve job performance, employees find stress dissatisfying.