University of Jyväskylä

Dissertation: 10 Apr 2015: Understanding change management through the psychological ownership framework (Luoma)

Start date: Apr 10, 2015 12:00 PM

End date: Apr 10, 2015 03:00 PM

Location: Ylistönrinne, KEM4

Jenni LuomaLic.Sc. (Econ) Jenni Luoma defends her doctoral dissertation in Enterprise ”Understanding Change Management through the Psychological Ownership Framework. Examination of Antecedents of Successful Change”. Opponent Professor Frank Lambrechts (University of Hasselt, Belgia) and custos Adjunct Professor Iiro Jussila (University of Jyväskylä).

Understanding change management through the psychological ownership framework – Examination of antecedents of successful change

Organizational change management is defined as a structured approach to transitioning a particular organizational entity from its current state to a desired future state. The purpose of this study is to elaborate theoretical and practical knowledge of change management in organizations in terms of antecedents of successful change by employing the theory of psychological ownership. The identified common antecedents of a successful transition are a clear vision, active participation, effective and credible communication, readiness for change, and demonstration of achievable progress in change. Also, top management support and commitment are crucial for success in organizational change. However, there is a gap in explaining why these particular antecedents contribute to successful change. Thus, the objective in this doctoral research is to advance understanding of the antecedents of successful organizational transition toward the desired state and simultaneously to bring forth the positive effects of change management within planned change. The theory of psychological ownership in organizations facilitates this contribution. As a state of mind, psychological ownership is that state in which an individual feels as if the target of ownership (material or immaterial in nature) or a piece of it is "his/her" (i.e., "It is mine!"). The core of psychological ownership is the feeling of possessiveness and being psychologically tied to an object.  Empirically, the study examines the change planned, implemented, and completed within a global manufacturing company. Research material was collected as an action research project from 2004 through 2007 and analyzed later as a case study. A tool for positive change management, appreciative inquiry, was used for planning and implementing the change. The findings of the study indicate that understanding the psychological ownership framework adds understanding of change management, particularly antecedents of successful change within the context of planned change. Also, positive organizational behavior, in this study AI as a positive approach to change, conceives psychological ownership. Based on both theoretical and empirical examination, psychological ownership explains why particular antecedents are critical to successful change and thus adds knowledge regarding the capability for successful change. Antecedents of successful change (communication, clear vision, participation, demonstration of progress) create the opportunity for satisfaction of the motives of psychological ownership and also affect the extent to which employees have psychological ownership feelings toward the desired state of the organization. Thus, to conclude, the study carries theoretical and practical advantages relevant for planning, implementing, and managing change successfully.

Keywords: psychological ownership, organizational change, change management, appreciative inquiry

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Jenni Luoma
jluoma@hotmail.com