From support to mutiny: Shifting legitimacy judgments and emotional reactions impacting the implementation of radical change

Quy Nguyen Huy, Kevin Corley, Matthew S. Kraatz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

90 Scopus citations

Abstract

Based on a three-year inductive study of one organization's implementation of radical organizational change, we examine the critical role played by middle managers' judgments of the legitimacy of their top managers as change agents. Our analysis revealed middle managers' shifting judgments of the change agents' legitimacy that arose with their emotional reactions and produced rising resistance to the change effort. Our inductive model illustrates the dynamic, relational, and iterative relationships among change recipients' legitimacy judgments of change agents and arising emotional reactions in various phases of planned change, which explain recipients' emergent resistance to the change effort. Our model allows us to contribute to theory on radical organizational change, resistance to change, and legitimacy judgments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1650-1680
Number of pages31
JournalAcademy of Management Journal
Volume57
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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