Handbook on Implementation Science
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Handbook on Implementation Science

Edited by Per Nilsen and Sarah A. Birken

The Handbook on Implementation Science provides an overview of the field’s multidisciplinary history, theoretical approaches, key concepts, perspectives, and methods. By drawing on knowledge concerning learning, habits, organizational theory, improvement science, and policy research, the Handbook offers novel perspectives from a broad group of international experts in the field representing diverse disciplines. The editors seek to advance implementation science through careful consideration of current thinking and recommendations for future directions.
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Chapter 8: A theory of organizational readiness for change

Bryan J. Weiner


Organizational readiness for change is defined as organizational members’ psychological and behavioural preparedness to implement change. Two facets of organizational readiness for change are described: change commitment, or the extent to which organizational members exhibit shared resolve or determination to implement the change; and change efficacy, or the extent to which organizational members share a sense of confidence in their collective capabilities to implement change. The chapter discusses conditions that give rise to readiness, change valence and informational assessment of task demands, resource availability, and situational factors. When organizational readiness is high, organizational members are more likely to initiate change implementation, persist in the face of obstacles or setbacks, and engage in cooperative or even championing behaviour in support of the change effort. The conditions for appropriately testing the theory are discussed by highlighting the circumstances in which organizational readiness is likely to be practically and theoretically relevant. Approaches to measuring organizational readiness for change that align with the theory are also discussed.

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