GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Title of Paper:
An Investigation into the Impact of Organisational Change on Employees: Case Studies from Upsizing and Downsizing Organisations.
Paper Proposal Text :
Uwem Udo
Liverpool Business School, Liverpool John Moores University

An Investigation into the Impact of Organisational Change on Employees: Case Studies from Upsizing and Downsizing Organisations.

This research aims to illuminate and evaluate current assumptions about the change model theory in business management domain, and the impact of organisational change on employees within the engineering private sector by comparing and contrasting related theories and case studies on organisational changes within the millennium. There is the need for a specific empirical study to examine and fill the gap in the literature about the impact on employees as a result of current organisational changes. Hence, alongside the key theories of change model, this research offers two case studies from engineering companies within the United Kingdom. The first case study is a change involving an upsizing workforce, ongoing rebranding and integration of numerous business operating procedures. The second case study is a contrast change involving downsizing, relocation of business and closure of sites. Exploring these case studies provides a significant knowledge and a unique contribution within the subject matter. It is believed that findings in this research are equally applicable to the Gulf States due to the current significant large-scale upsizing embarked by organisations to boost economic development and employment for nationals.

Sustainability represents a significant form of organisational change and the performance and sustainability of businesses is central to current debate. Impact on employees resulting from organisational change will have multiple adverse effects on business productivity, profitability and economic development systems of the whole financial region, particularly in countries that are economically structured on sustainability by the private sector. It is estimated that 70% of organisational changes do not achieve its intended objectives. According to Adhikari (2007), understanding and using the right change model and leveraging on them is a sure formula for success, however, not too many organisations have done it successfully in the past. Employees are the biggest asset in any organisation and maintaining business growth, which is fundamental to economic sustainability, is a prerequisite to any organisational change initiative. Furthermore, existing literature on organisational change is anecdotal and prescriptive and organisational researchers have not studied this topic in a rigorous and systematic way (Luthans and Sommer (1999); (Cited in Daft, 2008)). The prevalence of unsubstantiated generalizations and subjective case studies requires a holistic study and a validation of the relationship between organisational change and the impact on employees.

Although organisational changes appear to be frequent in global economies today, for continual existence of these organisations and economic sustainability of developing countries, there is the need for a good understanding of this subject and for all stakeholders to take drastic steps in implementing changes (Rocha and Granerud, 2011). The dynamism of change itself requires a framework for utilising an appropriate methodology which will cause the implementation of an effective organisational change. This study takes the view that, gaining perspectives of employees at multiple levels is needed for the development of more detailed theoretical frameworks for the effective implementation of organisational change. Finally, attempts will be made to identify and analyse the extent of the impact on employees as a result of organisational change, underpin its consequences and suggest appropriate solution and alternatives.

Key words: Organisational change; sustainability; downsizing; upsizing.
Country context: United Kingdom, The Gulf states.