Flexibility in change practices and job outcomes for nurses: exploring the role of subjective fit

Authors


Abstract

Aims

To integrate existing theoretical perspectives on change management, subjective fit and occupational stress to better understand the effects of change on employee adjustment.

Background

Although subjective fit with organizational goals and objectives has been shown to have positive effects on employee adjustment, its role in the organizational change–occupational stress context is not understood. This represents a caveat in research when considering the notion that those who feel that they fit with the organization's goals may be better equipped to reconcile and deal with change.

Design

A cross-sectional survey of nurses from public and non-profit sector hospitals was conducted.

Method

Data were collected from 252 public and non-profit sector nurses via online surveys. Data were collected from June–October in 2010. Structural equation modelling was used to test the direct and indirect effects among the focal variables.

Results

The results showed that public and non-profit nurses experience flexibility-limiting and flexibility-promoting change initiatives and that these are differentially related to the perception of administrative stressors and adjustment with these relationships directly and indirectly influenced by perceptions of subjective fit. Flexibility-limiting change initiatives led to lower levels of subjective fit, higher levels of administrative stressors and less favourable adjustment. On the other hand, flexibility-promoting change practices led to higher levels of subjective fit, lower levels of administrative stressors and ultimately better adjustment.

Conclusion

The results further the theoretical understanding of the role of subjective fit in organizational change and occupational stress theories.

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