by Marga Biller Comment April 6, 2021
What is the impact of multiple interfering change initiatives on employees? During the March LILA Harvard meeting, Rouven Kanitz shared the findings from a 4 year longitudinal qualitative study which revealed key factors that contributed to the harmful outcomes. The values and norms signaled by different initiatives led to negative individual emotional states such as those related to uncertainty (confusion and worry), moral (indignation and shock), and detachment (annoyance and apathy). Individual emotions were later translated into the social network and became collective emotion where a significant number of people were sharing, thinking, and feeling negative emotions. Over time, these negative emotions affected people who then became disengaged. This affected the performance of the change initiatives through delays, requirement of more resources, and departure of senior management.