Coping With the Stress of Transformational Change in a Government Department
AbstractTransformational organizational change is a significant life event for employees within the organization in question and can be a source of considerable stress. However, the causal pathway by which the experience of change results in stress is still unclear. The current study looks at transformational change in a government department. An openended interview methodology was used to explore why change can be stressful and how individuals employ coping responses to deal with it. Five sources of change stress were found: increased workload, uncertainty/ambiguity, interpersonal conflict, perceived unfairness, and perceived loss. Fifteen coping responses accounted for the data. These were categorized into four coping types: task-centered coping, emotion-focused coping, cognitive coping, and social support coping. Four of the five stressors were related to the use of certain coping types. A model is proposed to account for the process of coping with organizational change stressors, which is offered for quantitative validation.