Change readiness: Trust in change agents and its influence on the five change beliefs
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This dissertation has examined the topics of change readiness and trust in change agents. The purpose of the dissertation was to examine how the five change beliefs and trust in change agents work together to create readiness for organizational change in a company, through addressing the research question; how can trust in change agents increase recipient readiness to change by influencing the five change beliefs? The aims of the dissertation were divided into one theoretical and one practical aspect, set out to further develop the research conducted on the five change beliefs identified by Armenakis and colleagues (1993, 1999, 2002) by incorporating trust in change agents, and provide advice for management and future research based on the findings from analysis of primary and secondary data. The primary data was obtained through a survey developed by Cawsey, Deszca, and Ingols (2016), which was sent to a construction company. As this dissertation is a case study, the main goal is not to generalize the findings, but to conduct a preliminary study which can be the basis for further research. Interpretive research paradigm was used to complement the aims, as the primary data is both based on and affected by personal viewpoints. Through thematic analysis important themes and trends were uncovered, where it was found that (1) communication can influence discrepancy, appropriateness, and principal support, (2) participation can influence efficacy, and (3) perceived fairness can influence principal support and valence. Support was found for the model presented in chapter two, which suggests that recipients’ trust in change agents can positively influence the five change beliefs, which will result in increased readiness for change. Further, the achieved change readiness will positively affect the chances for organizational success.
Master's thesis in Strategy and Management