Longitudinal associations between employees’ beliefs about the quality of the change management process, affective commitment to change and psychological empowerment
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Organizational changes are costly ventures that too often fail to deliver the expected outcomes. Psychological empowerment and affective commitment to change are proposed as especially important in turbulent contexts characterized by multiple and ongoing changes requiring employees’ continuing contributions. In such a context, employees’ beliefs that the changes are necessary, legitimate and will be supported, are presumed to increase psychological empowerment and affective commitment to change. In a three-wave longitudinal panel study of 819 employees, we examined autoregressive and cross-lagged relations among latent constructs reflecting change-related beliefs (necessity, legitimacy, support) and psychological reactions (psychological empowerment, affective commitment to change). Our findings suggest that psychological empowerment and affective commitment to change represent largely orthogonal reactions, that psychological empowerment is influenced more by beliefs regarding support, whereas affective commitment to change is shaped more by beliefs concerning necessity and legitimacy.