39th Annual Conference of the European International Business Academy - EIBA 2013

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Sevda Helpap - presenter

Value-oriented Change Communication: How Power Distance-Orientation Moderates the Behavioral Reactions of Change Recipients

Change communication has become a more important factor in introducing and implementing organizational change. The recent literature has discussed different communication strategies, emphasizing participatory and programmatic communication as the most central concepts. However, there is a lack of comprehensive empirical research in assessing the success of these communication strategies. Moreover, individual values, such as Power distance-orientation of change recipients are seldom investigated in studies of change communication. Previous studies have already shown how communication is affected by Power distance-orientation as a common culture dimension (Hofstede, 1980; Hall, 1989; Gudykunst et al., 1996). The developed model examines how the participatory and programmatic change communication impacts the behavioral levels of recipients’ reactions according to the moderating effect of Power distance-orientation. Behavioral reactions of change recipients are conceptionalized as a. the intention to resist the change and b. the intention to engage in Sensegiving activities. A scenario-based quantitative study was conducted with two treatment groups (participatory and programmatic communication of the change vision). A sample of 110 German employees from the pretest was analyzed in order to test the proposed model. The findings support the hypothesized moderating effect of Power distance-orientation for the relationship between communication strategy and resistance intention of change recipients in such a way that in a participatory communication strategy individuals with high PD-orientation demonstrate a significant higher intention to resist the change compared to individuals with low PD-orientation and vice versa. Power distance-orientation however, did not moderate the relationship between the change communication strategy and the intention to engage in Sensegiving activities.
The results indicate the importance of awareness of change recipients´ individual expectations. As proposed in the theoretical framework the perception and assessment of communication highly depends on the cultural bond value-orientation. The study is suggesting a deeper investigation to understand value-oriented change communication.
39th Annual Conference of the European International Business Academy - EIBA 2013


39th Annual Conference of the European International Business Academy - EIBA 2013: Transnational Firms, Markets and Institutions: New Challenges and Opportunities for International Business


Bremen, Germany

Event: Conference