Chapter 14: Trust and Strategic Change: An Organizational Justice Perspective
Mark N.K. Saunders INTRODUCTION For organizations and their employees, change is often argued to be a way of life. Textbooks such as Balogun and Hope-Hailey’s (2008) Exploring Strategic Change emphasize the ubiquitous nature and ever-increasing pace of change for organizations and those working within them. Within organizations, change may relate to the strategic development of the organization or be more restricted in scope and operational in nature (Thornhill and Saunders, 2003). It may occur incrementally, continuously or in the form of punctuated equilibrium, that is, where periods of stability are interspersed by significant changes (Burnes, 2009). The management of strategic change has been argued invariably to create uncertainty and, where it involves people, to be often problematic (McCalman and Paton, 1992). Where change is perceived as threatening, it is likely to be met with resistance and require careful implementation to overcome fears (Mabey and Salaman, 1995). Change in such contexts is helped where trusting relationships exist throughout the organization (Hope-Hailey et al., 2010). Human resource practices can therefore play an important role in the management of change whether it is incremental, continuous or punctuated equilibrium through the creation and maintenance of trust. The primary focus of this chapter is to explore the nature of trust in relation to employees’ treatment during strategic change. In particular, I consider the impact employees’ treatment during change can have on their trust and the relative importance of the institutional and the personal (calculative and relational) aspects of that trust and the strength of their...
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