Chapter 6

Change

Until this point, we have considered what goes into ensuring a strong and healthy match between employees and their workplace. We have looked at how practitioners gain a deep understanding of what is required on the job and how this is translated into recruitment, assessment, and development initiatives. We have looked at person-environment fit, with its supplemental and complementary components that attach employees to their jobs, managers, teams, and organizations.

We have yet to consider change to the employment relationship. Change can take a variety of shapes and sizes, from a department-wide reshuffle with layoffs to a request by a manager to take on different job responsibilities. Either way, change disrupts the status quo and, depending on the health of the psychological contract, can lead to unintended consequences for the organization.

As varied as the change itself, employees can react differently to the same situation. How optimistic they are, whether they value security, and their age can all affect whether employees welcome change and are likely to accept its consequences. Some individuals crave change in the workplace and, in fact, their psychological contract would be threatened if they didn't experience some sort of change every couple of years.

Change is a necessary part of any healthy organization. To react effectively to consumer preferences or market forces, companies alter how work is performed and who is assigned to it. The reality is that ...

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