The Study of the Antecedents and Outcomes of Attitude toward Organizational Change

By Chih, Wen-Hai William; Yang, Feng-Hua et al. | Public Personnel Management, Winter 2012 | Go to article overview
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The Study of the Antecedents and Outcomes of Attitude toward Organizational Change


Chih, Wen-Hai William, Yang, Feng-Hua, Chang, Chih-Kai, Public Personnel Management


In addition to confronting the rapidly changing international conditions and China's enhanced military threat, the R.O.C. Armed Forces is also restricted by military resources and influenced by military reform trends and demand for internal reengineering. Amid the critical juncture of "reform and transition," the military's staff system is one of the central units of the military organization. The system is mainly responsible for the design, execution, monitoring and control of policies. Meanwhile, Streamlining Program for Armed Forces follows Ministry of National Defense's principle of "streamlining the high-level, nourishing the grassroots." Psychologists noted that many factors affect the process from attitude change to actual behavior. However, employees' attitude is still seen as a major factor influencing job behavior and organizational interaction. (1)

The R.O.C. Armed Forces is currently undergoing a major transformation. How to effectively enhance employee's identification and support toward organizational change is an issue that deserves close scrutiny. Yousef (2) studied 474 employees in 30 Arabian organizations and found that employees' job satisfaction and organizational commitment influenced employees' attitude toward organizational change. Iverson's (3) study also showed that job satisfaction and organizational commitment influenced attitude toward organizational change. Therefore, during a period of organizational change, employees' psychological identification and presentation of attitudinal behavior are inevitable topics in the study of organizational change.

Majority of previous literatures on organizational behavior discussed employees' job performance from the perspective of job results and job satisfaction. Many empirical findings supported that job satisfaction affects organizational results. However, there must be an influencing factor between the two variables, and hence the concept that job satisfaction affects a variable and then the variable affects organizational results. (4) Reaching organizational objectives is determined upon employees proactively executing the behavior outside of the role--OCB. (5) Previous studies showed that a rise of employees' job satisfaction stimulates OCB. (6) Also, job attitude is the strongest variable explaining OCB; one of the measurement factors of job attitude is organizational commitment. (7)

Previous studies discovered that job satisfaction and organizational commitment could be the antecedent variables of OCB. (8) However, given the rapid change in the social environment in recent years, organizations of all sizes are undergoing changes such as streamlining or consolidation in order to reach the objectives of enhancing organizational efficacy and sustained development. Past studies also showed that job satisfaction and organizational commitment could also be the antecedent variables for attitude toward organizational change. (9) However, during the process of organizational change, the uncertainty of future environment and job changes would cause fear among employees, which would then affect their behavior. (10) A person's attitude would be influenced by the environmental factor, which would then affect the person's behavior. (11) Therefore, this study treats job satisfaction and organizational commitment of staffers at air force headquarters as the antecedent variables of attitude toward organizational change and OCB as the outcome variable.

The relationships among various constructs were then tested to examine the relationships among staffers' job satisfaction, organizational commitment, attitude toward organizational change and OCB. The findings could be used as a good reference for armed forces managers when they are confronting organizational change and transformation.

Literature Review

The relationship between job satisfaction and organizational commitment

Job satisfaction is defined as a person's emotional response to job specific attributes, while organizational commitment refers to a person's emotional response to the entire organization.

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