Communicating multiple change : understanding the impact of change messages on stakeholder perceptions

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Laster, Nicole Mary

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This study explored change implementation communication from a multifaceted (more than one at any particular time) change perspective. It examined how employees make sense of and respond to the organizational coordination of multifaceted change efforts. The case of a merger provides the backdrop for which to understand the multiplicity and complexity of organizational change (both planned and unplanned) and how the communicative organizational response to these overlapping and subsequent changes both complement and compete with the initially introduced change. This project was organized into two studies. The first explored the messages stakeholders recall receiving from implementers about multifaceted change. The second tested the relationships between change messages and specific individual and organizational change outcomes. Thematic analysis revealed that implementers used four different change messages. Statistical analysis revealed that multifaceted change messages create higher levels of change satisfaction, message quality, change liking, and organizational trust. Moreover, messages including information about the multiplicity (or magnitude) produced the least degree of perceived deception, the greatest degree of coping efficacy, and higher degrees of organizational competency appraisals.