Original Research

Organisational wellness: Human reaction to change

Tonja Blom
South African Journal of Business Management | Vol 49, No 1 | a2 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajbm.v49i1.2 | © 2018 Tonja Blom | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 March 2018 | Published: 28 June 2018


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Abstract

Organisational change has become inevitable. Although modernity is characterised by change, humans struggle with change as the future becomes increasingly unpredictable. The extended disorder that has become the norm can cause a sense of loss as well as anxiety for individuals, organisations and society.

 

Unrelieved stress becomes perpetual and will undeniably influence organisational change efforts negatively. Thus, the impact of fear, anxiety and stress at an individual and organisational level is accentuated.

This study followed a qualitative research approach and adopted a grounded theory methodology. Negative emotions dominated the research data which further indicated that individuals find it difficult to engage with change in a meaningful manner as fear, anxiety and stress dominate.

 

Thus, human reactions to change are discussed, as the organisational challenge seems to be how to find workable methods to reduce fear, anxiety and stress. Else it may become persistent, intense, chronic or recurring. Real-life stresses may then further hamper individual functioning.

 

The researcher conceptualises the anti-leader and anti-manager. These concepts depict the negative characteristics of leadership and management which invariably increase individuals’ fear, anxiety and stress levels. Emotions elicited by the anti-leader or anti-manager could potentially split, divide and fragment a workforce.


Keywords

coherence; human reaction to change; leadership; organisational change; stress

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