stressed man

In this article we examine the perceptions people have of how much change occurs in a workplace, and how those perceptions affect behaviours.

In a 2017 article in the British Journal of Management*, Rafferty and Jimmieson comment on this issue. Let’s examine what they say.

A subjective matter

How much is too much? How much is just right? How much is not much? How you answer questions like these would vary from person to person.

It’s similar when we talk about organisational change. Some people would say there’s too much change happening in the workplace. Others would disagree and say it’s just a normal amount.

There’s no objective thing called ‘too much change’, but there are subjective opinions about it. Employees have differing perceptions about it. Some are more sensitive to change than others. Some handle it alright and don’t mind it – or see opportunities in it – and others feel uncomfortable about it.

A turbulent organisation

People who perceive that change happens ‘too much’ are more likely to regard the organisation as turbulent. They may see it as unstable or as undergoing change for change’