Feeling bad: antecedents and consequences of negative emotions in ongoing change



This paper examines how and why ongoing organizational change is experienced emotionally on an everyday basis and identifies important consequences of such emotional experiences. Three main antecedents to negative emotions in ongoing change are proposed: perceptions of an insecure future; perceptions of inadequate working conditions; and perceptions of inadequate treatment by the organization. Two outcome variables are identified: trust in the organization and withdrawal from the organization. The model is tested with cross-sectional and follow-up data from a field study. Regression and path analysis reveal that: a) ongoing changes are associated with negative emotions; b) this relationship between ongoing changes and emotions is mediated by the three proposed antecedents; and c) negative emotions predict employee lack of trust and employee withdrawal, both immediately and one month later. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.