Affective and cognitive responses to organizational change: The role of appraisal processes

K. van Dam, Shaul Oreg, Noga Sverdlik

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractAcademic


    Introduction Organizational change can evoke strong affective responses in employees, which may impact their attitude toward the change. Until now, research has paid relatively little attention to employees’ appraisal process during change. Using Appraisal Theory (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984; Oreg et al., 2018) as a theoretical framework, we investigated the relationships of employees’ appraisal of goal congruence and coping potential with their affective responses and change attitude. Methods We conducted a two-wave online study among employees undergoing organizational change. We obtained data from 372 respondents at Time 1 and 262 at Time 2; resulting in a sample of 159 matched participants. The data were analyzed with hierarchical regression analysis and bootstrapping (using Hayes’ (2018) Process macro). Results Goal congruence and coping potential were each significantly related to positive and negative affect at Time 1; moreover, they had an interacting impact on affect. In turn, positive affect and negative affect were related to change attitude at Time 1, while positive affect at Time 1 was also related to change attitude at Time 2, even after controlling for change attitude at Time 1. Conclusion This study provides more insight into the affective and cognitive processes that underlie employees’ responses to organizational change. The findings emphasize the relevance of positive appraisals and emotions, involving coping potential and positive affect, for the formation of employees’ change attitude. Scholars and practitioners may benefit from greater attention to employees’ perceptions of goal congruence and coping potential.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019
    EventEmotions 2019: 7th International conference on emotions, well-being, and health - Tilburg University , Tilburg, Netherlands
    Duration: 16 Oct 201918 Oct 2019


    ConferenceEmotions 2019


    • organizational change; appraisal processes; emotions; change responses


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