Leadership during organizational change

Title Separator
Irina Balaș
Jan 2017, 2 min. read

In the context of organizations pursuing changes for improving their positions and their ability to perform in competitive markets,
the successful implementation of organizational change has become an essential management task.

The article "Does Transformational Leadership matter during Organizational Change", published by Paul Chou, Assistant professor, Business Administration Department,
Minghsin University of Science & Technology, Taiwan, ROC, in European Journal of Sustainable Development in 2014, is focused on revealing the impact of leadership styles on employees’ behaviors and commitment towards change.

Organizational change is related to transformation of business strategies or major sections of an organization. This process is complex and stressful as it involves adjustments of employees’ normal routines. That is why one of the most important variables impacting the outcomes is leadership, through its capacity to affect the attitudinal dimension of organizational life. For most employees, their manager or team leader is the image of the organization; what they say or do is what the company says or does.

While previous studies focused on the employees’ attitudes and emotional response, the current one investigates the behavioral response, in terms of mechanism through which transformational leadership influences employees’ behavioral support for change.

Chou’s approach explored transformational leadership (referring to leaders that are charismatic, inspire vision, encourage creativity and prove to be supportive regarding the needs of their employees during the change process), behavioral support for change (that integrates three essential behaviors, i.e. compliance, cooperation and championing), as well as self-efficacy (the extent to which an individual believes that s/he can perform a specific behavioral task).

After questioning almost 400 employees from 9 companies, Chou observed a direct influence of transformational leadership on employees’ behavioral support for change, as well as an indirect influence on self-efficacy.

Given this, organizations should support managers to develop competencies associated with transformational leadership. Either through organizational policies or training, coaching and mentoring programs, companies investing in leadership development increase their chances to fulfil successful change processes. With a risk of 60-70% to fail (as estimated by Harvard Business Review), purposeful initiatives to developing specific competencies for transformational leadership and monitoring self-efficacy can make the difference.

If you are an HR Manager or practitioner or having a general interest in the topic, we invite you to read the full article here.