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The Stressful effects of Organizational change due to the Lack of Control

Aim of the study and strategies employed
The aim of this study is to systematically review available literature on stressful effects of organizational changes resulting from perceived lack of control.
Ogranisational change is inevitable. Although Schabracq and Cooper (2000) view that individuals tend to indulge in repetitive jobs as it provides skills and expertise. Skills and expertise in turn provide a sense of control and equilibrium in work. Change is welcomed if it means complementing or adding to the already existing skills.

However, in today's work interface rapid ongoing change has become the new meaning of stability. Skills quickly become obsolete which takes away the employees sense of control.
The paradigmatic changes in organizations include takeovers, mergers, acquisitions, management buy-outs, outsourcing, organisational restructuring, and re-engineering are Globalisation and technological advancements are all examples of organisational change.
Stress resulting from alterations in the work environment is well documented. Research on organizational change leading to stress/strain and decreased well being has been obtained in two ways: studying the factors that lead to the stress (e.g. job demands, lack of control, lack of training, etc) is one way and the other way is obtained by studying the direct effects of organizational change.

Cork (2005) contends that the models should be used proactively rather than retrospectively. This helps in addressing some of the dimensions and consequences of change. Such a consideration does not guarantee the success of future change, nor does it spur employees on to become innovative and generate new ways of working. However, (Cork 2005) suggests this could simplify the process and allow employees to become more receptive to change and realise the opportunities that exist in contemporary practice
Thus a Holistic approach integrates prevention of major problems and risk factors, by using:

  • A participative design of the innovation and implementation process.
  • User oriented design.
  • A stress reducing job design and
  • Adequate training programme, a personal help network system and enhancing self organizing ability to actively design and manage all current and future technological and job changes.

Schabracq, Winnubst and Cooper (2003) provide a necessary view "It would be better to give reliable information about risks and combine it with an optimistic and courageous personal statement saying that it will be possible to manage the risk in case where the future consequences are predictable and really dangerous it is often better for whole organization to find a small team of volunteers to start a pilot study to test the consequences. This example shows that investing in concrete information in advance pays, reducing typical insecurities and negative attitudes of the people involved".

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