Chapter Nine. Best Practices in Leading Organizational Change: Workplace Recovery Following Major Organizational Transitions

Mitchell Lee Marks

Just about every work organization in recent years has gone through a merger, acquisition, downsizing, restructuring, or other major transition. While we live and work in an era when “the only constant is change,” there comes a time when senior executives will genuinely conclude that the disruptiveness of transition is over and will prod their people to look ahead to new opportunities. The employees, however, may be neither ready nor willing to charge ahead. Their vision will be obscured by the emotional residue of anger, distrust, and depression left over from a challenging transition. Nor will they have the confidence that they can achieve the desired results—their self-esteem will be battered and their faith in their organization broken. Most significantly, the troops will not see how any personal gain will result from business success. Instead, they will fixate on memories of their fallen comrades: the casualties of layoffs and downsizings, and the “walking wounded” whose careers were sidetracked by mergers and acquisitions.

Workplace Recovery

This chapter describes best practices in leading workplace recovery after major organizational transition. It is based on the observation—derived from personal involvement in more than one hundred major organizational transitions and a review of both academic and practitioner-oriented ...

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