The attitude of people towards organizational change; How does psychological safety affect the attitudes of organizational members towards the proposed structural changes at Gelre Hospital’s pharmacy?

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This research investigated the attitudes of people towards organizational changes. The research took place in the context of a pharmacy of a medium-sized hospital in the East of the Netherlands. The organization was reorganizing its organizational structure in order to make a better fit between the organizational structure and the needs of the future. During an organizational change as such, the organizational members of the organization are important. If these organizational members will not change, the organization will not change at all (Schneider, Brief & Guzzo, 1996). Attitudes towards organizational changes and psychological safety were used as central topics during this study. These topics were chosen based on the first impression of the pharmacy of the hospital. The study was conducted as a qualitative case study. To gather data, fifteen interviews were conducted with eleven employees and four members of the management. The results revealed that the organizational members of the pharmacy were neither positive nor negative towards the proposed changes. The attitudes of the organizational members were affected by: the need for change, changes in the past, personal circumstances and the introduction process of the change. Furthermore, psychological safety was important for the attitudes of organizational members because psychological safety will play a crucial role with regard to communication and involvement of organizational members during organizational changes. On top of that, psychological safety will affect some factors which determine the attitudes of organizational members towards organizational changes. Key words: Organizational change; psychological safety; attitudes.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen