Employees' perceptions of organizational restructuring: The role of social support



Swanson V & Power KG (2001) Employees' perceptions of organizational restructuring: The role of social support. Work and Stress, 15 (2), pp. 161-178.

Organizational change and restructuring is often perceived as leading to increased occupational stress, impacting negatively on the psychological well-being of employees. This pragmatic study investigates the role of social support and dispositional affect as moderators of role stress post-restructuring for employees in a public utility company. A total of 176 employees, including 37 managers, 60 graded staff and 78 industrial staff completed a self-report questionnaire, approximately 1 year postrestructuring, retrospectively assessing role conflict, ambiguity, overload and positive and negative feedback pre- and post-restructuring. Results suggested that overall role stress increased for managers/ senior officers and graded staff, but not for industrial staff. Social support was linked with lower role stress, more positive feedback and less negative feedback at post-restructuring. For certain role stressors this impact was moderated by dispositional affect, but the effect was not consistent across occupational groups. Positive affect enhanced the effect of manager support in reducing role conflict for graded staff, and the effect of co-worker support in increasing positive feedback and reducing negative feedback for industrial staff. Findings suggest that managers should pay particular attention to support and feedback for employees during periods of chronic occupational stress following organizational restructuring.

Organizational Restructuring; Role Stress; Social Support; Positive Negative Affect; Occupational Groups

Work and Stress: Volume 15, Issue 2

Publication date31/12/2001
PublisherTaylor and Francis

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Professor Vivien Swanson

Professor Vivien Swanson

Professor, Psychology