Facilitating change: The role of adaptability and LMX for change support

Pedro Neves, Karen van Dam

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Abstract

Employee adaptability is of crucial importance in today's dynamic business environments. Yet, we still have limited knowledge of how the effects of individual adaptability are influenced by the work environment, and leaders in particular. In light of Uncertainty Reduction Theory, we hypothesized that employees with high adaptability will be more trustful toward change management and more supportive of the change, particularly when Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) is high. At two points in time, we collected data from 244 employees working in companies undergoing substantial organizational changes. Our main findings support the theoretical model, offering important insights into the mechanisms and boundary conditions involved in employees’ change responses. Practitioners should beware that while individual adaptability is a central element for change responses, it also largely depends on social relationships within the work context (i.e., LMX), suggesting the need to stimulate both in order to promote the appropriate change response.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Behavioral Science
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • adaptability
  • change support
  • LMX
  • organizational change
  • trust

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