Organisational commitment and responses to planned organisational change: An exploratory study

  • CM Visagie
  • C Steyn
Keywords: organisational change, organisational commitment, personal valence, organisational valence, change readiness


Previous research has identified organisational commitment as a
pre-requisite to the successful implementation of organisational
change. Change managers rely on the commitment of employees
when implementing organisational change, but organisational
commitment may decrease in response to the change. This
appeared to be the case when a South African telecommunications
organisation embarked on an organisational change initiative in
2008. The commencement of the change was followed by largescale
employee resignations, suggesting a possible decline in
organisational commitment as a result of the change. Organisational
change is complex and is accompanied by cognitive, affective
and behavioural responses from employees, but little research
has been conducted to show how these responses are related to
organisational commitment. This study attempts to address this
gap by exploring whether levels of organisational commitment are
related to employee attitudes towards change, and whether these
attitudes are related to the manner in which employees perceive the
change process. Data were collected from 113 employees through an
electronic survey. The findings indicate that affective and normative
commitment are positively associated with change readiness,
personal and organisational valence. Change readiness, personal
and organisational valence are, in turn, positively associated with
employee perceptions of change communication and training.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1998-8125
print ISSN: 1561-896X