The following paper reviews the article Organizational Culture, Organizational Change and Emotions: A Qualitative Study by Smollan and Sayers (2009).
The key issue of the qualitative study conducted by Smollan and Sayers (2009) is connection between organizational culture, corporate alterations and emotional response of the personnel of the company to these changes. Duck (1993) underlines that the fundamental essence of any change is closely connected with the dimension of feelings and emotions. Eriksson (2003) supports such stance on the issue of concern. Hence, it is apparent that a relevant approach of the company that aims to connect with its employees should align their values, beliefs and priorities with the core elements of organizational culture.
Smollan (2009) compares the response of the employees to alterations in the company with the notion of roller-coaster. Moreover, Smollan and Sayers (2009) underline that the course of organizational change is multidimensional and requires consistent and gradual implementation.
The research conducted by the authors of the qualitative study covers a vast area of knowledge. Nonetheless, it has clear and definite aims and objectives of investigation and analysis. The stated purpose of the study is as follows:
There is little literature that integrates employees emotional responses to change with an analysis of their organizations affective cultures. We aim to fill this gap by reporting on the findings of a qualitative study on changes experienced in multiple settings. (Smollan & Sayers, 2009)
The theoretical topic of the currently reviewed study is focused on the constructs of organizational culture, emotions and organizational change. The issue in question is identified in the stated purpose. The section of Literature Review explains and discusses every core element of the relevant theoretical framework. The course of definition and explanation is constructive, relevant and consistent. Moreover, the authors of the study provide gradual transition from one concept to another. To be more precise, Smollan and Sayers (2009) connect each notion and discuss every crucial term in the context of overall research course and related concepts.
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It is relevant to review the definitions the authors of the study have provided for the key concepts. The notion of emotion is defined on the basis of the constructs presented by Lazarus (1991) and Frijda (1988). Moreover, the concept of emotion is aligned, compared and distinguished from the notions of mood and affect. Such an approach is considered consistent and constructive since it provides proper comprehension of the issue in question.
It is essential to underline that not all the identifications of the notions are definitions since some of them are considered to be detailed explanations focused on thorough description of the essence of the phenomenon and its peculiarities. Nonetheless, the authors included in the theoretical part of study a clear and precise definition of the key concept of the work provided by Schein (Schein, 2004). It is defined as a unity of assumptions, beliefs, values, customs, structures, norms, rules, traditions and artefacts (Smollan & Sayers, 2009). The concept of organizational change is also defined properly and thoroughly.
The central assumption within the operative paradigm of the research study is strongly connected with the correlation between the level and quality of the organizational culture and emotional response of the corporate personnel to organizational changes introduction. Actually, the principal assumption is as follows: the phenomenon of organizational culture plays a crucial role in such processes as generation of emotions in the period of change implementation as well as in terms of providing impact on their expression or suppression. (Smollan & Sayers, 2009).
Moreover, the currently reviewed study assumes that the affective type of organizational culture is the optimal way to assist the personnel to accept the changes and benefit from them both at individual and corporate levels.
The authors of the study took qualitative/social constructionist research approach in the course of investigation. It was chosen for the currently reviewed study since qualitative research provides proper comprehension of the key constructs and conceptual frameworks of the study.
Moreover, the crucial concepts of the investigation were subjected to social constructionist treatment in order to present thorough and profound insight into the analyzed phenomenon.
The section of conclusion is essential to the overall significance level of the work. Hence, the study by Smollan and Sayers (2009) made an essential contribution to the field of organizational culture and alteration process within it. Furthermore, the course of investigation confirms the initially presented assumption about essential correlation between organizational culture, emotions and the phenomenon of organizational change.
The course of organizational change implementation should not alter the fundamental aspect of organizational culture in order to be constructive and efficient. The lessons of the currently reviewed research study are directly connected with the change policies in terms of crisis faced by the organizations in the period of 2008-2009. Thus, emotional responses and the level of actual acceptance of the organizational changes by corporate employees are considered to depend on the key values of the organizational culture framework directly. Moreover, they are also dependent on their successful alignment and congruency with the paradigm of values demonstrated by the personnel. Such a conclusion opens new directions for further research work.
The recommendations for future research concern national and ethnic impact on the outcomes of organizational change implementation. Therefore, it is expected to broaden the scope of research by means of cross-cultural studies and investigation at the national level of other countries.