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Goal setting and plant closure: When bad things turn good
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Örebro universitet. (The CEROC research group)
2011 (English)In: Economic and Industrial Democracy, ISSN 0143-831X, E-ISSN 1461-7099, Vol. 32, no 1, 135-156 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Research has shown that closedowns seem to result in increased productivity even though allproductivity targets have been abandoned. The closedown case analysed in this article is differentfrom previous research since management came to employ high goals for productivity and efficiencythroughout the entire closedown process (29 months). The article argues that individuals gradually accept the demise and detach themselves from the dying organization by adopting new careergoals which they can start pursuing after the actual closure, thus the closure becomes a subgoal.

This study examines change in the dependent variables’ mean values, and the relationships betweengoal setting, job performance, goal commitment, organizational citizenship behaviour (OCB), jobsatisfaction and job-induced tension. A longitudinal design (N = 151) based on two data points (T1:February 2006, T2: February 2007) were tapped into the annual goal setting process. The resultssupports that goal setting was effective in this specific closedown scenario.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 32, no 1, 135-156 p.
Keyword [en]
commitment, control, job loss, productivity, restructuring
National Category
Applied Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-43596DOI: 10.1177/0143831X10376615ISI: 000286375700008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-43596DiVA: diva2:358547
Available from: 2010-10-22 Created: 2010-10-22 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Organizational death and employee motivation: Investigating a plant closure in a multi-plant organization
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Organizational death and employee motivation: Investigating a plant closure in a multi-plant organization
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Major organizational changes are often connected with a variety of negative outcomes for both employees and the organization alike. As a contrast to this, organizational deaths have instead been associated with increased productivity and motivation to perform, despite certainty of job loss. These results have been regarded as counter-intuitive, since employment and job security are regarded as a foundation for work motivation.

Consequently, this thesis aims at investigating the motivational aspects of organizational deaths in terms of change in motivation as individuals adjust to changing realities. The thesis rests on three empirical studies.The first study's results showed (contrary to theoretical postulations) that goal setting was able to influence employees' in-role and extra-role performance, job-induced tension, commitment to the closure, and job satisfaction. The second study showed that organizational productivity, efficiency, performance, motivation and psychological climate increased for both blue-collar and white-collar employees'.

The results of the third study lend support to the anecdotal reports that high-performers stop performing during organizational deaths. However, this study also found that low-performers perceiving low justice increased their effort which may show that they have a personal gain in performing (e.g., positive self-perception). The results of the empirical studies support the notion that organizational productivity increases along with employees' motivation to perform.

Finally, a common pattern in the data was that most positive variables increased and the negative variables decreased. These results are explained by the adoption of new goals, which creates horizontal coherence (harmony) among goals, which gives rise to goal proximity (motivation increases due to moving closer to the goal).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, 2010. 68 p.
Keyword
Plant closure, closedown, goal theory, goal setting, motivation, organizational death, productivity, efficiency, performance and psychological climate
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-43603 (URN)978-91-7447-156-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-11-19, David Magnussonsalen (U31), Frescati Hagväg 8, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: In press. Paper 2: Submitted. Paper 3: Submitted. Available from: 2010-10-28 Created: 2010-10-22 Last updated: 2010-10-25Bibliographically approved

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