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“On the Move” or “Staying Put”: Locomotion, Need for Closure, and Reactions to Organizational Change1


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    The present research was supported by NSF Grant SBR-9417422.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Arie W. Kruglanski, Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742. E-mail:


Four studies conducted in various organizations in Italy, employing contemporaneous and longitudinal designs, tested hypotheses relating 2 personality constructs—need for cognitive closure (Kruglanski & Webster, 1996) and locomotion tendency (Higgins, Kruglanski, & Pierro, 2003; Kruglanski et al., 2000)—to individuals’ ability to successfully cope with organizational change. Across diverse organizational settings, populations studied, types of organizational change implemented, and measures of coping with change, we found that need for closure was negatively related, and locomotion tendency was positively related, to coping with change. We also found that the negative relation between need for closure and coping was attenuated where organizational climate is supportive of change, and that degree of successful coping with change determines post-change work attitudes.