Conference on "Changing Emotions" location:Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Sciences and the Arts. Brussels, Belgium date:9 October 2009
Job satisfaction and performance are of interest to many organizational researchers because they contribute to a healthy organization. After a merger, employees’ levels of job satisfaction and performance typically decrease. Although the goal of merging usually is to (re)gain financial success, this goal is often not reached due to employees’ merger-related stress reactions (e.g. Terry et al., 1996).
Previous studies found that employees’ perception of organizational change due to a merger is negatively associated with employees’ identification with the newly merged organization (e.g. van Knippenberg & van Leeuwen, 2002). In other organizational research, identification with one’s organization has been found to be associated with both job satisfaction and performance (e.g. Mathieu & Zajac, 1990). In the current study, we investigated whether the relationship between employees’ perception of organizational change and changes in their job satisfaction and performance was mediated by emotions.
The research was conducted in a recently merged professional mental health organization. Eighty-four employees filled out a questionnaire regarding their perception of organizational change, their emotions and their levels of job satisfaction and performance. We hypothesized that the perception of organizational change would be positively related to negative emotions and negatively related to positive emotions. Positive and negative emotions in turn were expected to be related to higher and lower levels of job satisfaction/ performance respectively.
The predictions were largely borne out by the results. Perceptions of organizational change are thus differentially associated with positive and negative emotions, both of which furthermore predict self-reported job satisfaction and performance.