Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Transformational leadership' curbs bad attitudes towards change

Date:
January 9, 2014
Source:
University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management
Summary:
It's no surprise that a cynical attitude towards the prospect of change makes change harder to implement. But it's important to understand that cynicism happens at an Individual and workplace-wide level and both must be addressed to get employee buy-in for change initiatives.

t's no surprise that a cynical attitude towards the prospect of change makes change harder to implement.

But it's important to understand that cynicism happens at an Individual and workplace-wide level and both must be addressed to get employee buy-in for change initiatives. What's more, leaders who can inspire their employees and make them feel confident in their work have the best chance of limiting the development of such disabling attitudes, says a study from the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management.

"Having a leader who can do those things makes people want to change," says Katherine DeCelles, an assistant professor of organizational behaviour at the Rotman School. She led the study with Paul Tesluk of the University of Buffalo and Faye Taxman at Virginia's George Mason University.

Their conclusions were based on information collected through surveys with nearly 700 correctional officers at 14 different prisons in one mid-Atlantic U.S. state. Information on employee insubordination was also gathered.

Not only did researchers confirm that employee cynicism contributed to lower levels of commitment towards change, they also found that a more cynical climate in the workplace led to lower levels of individual commitment towards change, regardless of officers' personal attitudes. A poor climate could bolster individuals' negative attitudes too.

"The cynicism starts to become more of a norm, so it becomes much more entrenched," said Prof. DeCelles.

Cynicism was reduced, however, in workplaces with "transformational" leaders -- people who helped employees see themselves as valuable and competent, and who successfully communicated their ideas about why change was necessary and desirable for everybody.

Prisons are rarely used as subjects for organizational behaviour research, said Prof. DeCelles, who initiated the study after participating in a previous project about rehabilitation activities in U.S. correctional facilities.

However, their rigid, hierarchical structure made prisons ideal for studying the effects of cynicism towards change, she said. With nearly half a million employees, a 38% turnover rate, and two million inmates, the prison system also deserves to be studied because of the resources dedicated to it and the important role it plays in society.

"It really is a significant organization on so many different dimensions and yet we know very little about how it functions," said Prof. DeCelles.

The paper was published in a recent issue of Organization Science.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Katherine A. DeCelles, Paul E. Tesluk, Faye S. Taxman. A Field Investigation of Multilevel Cynicism Toward Change. Organization Science, 2013; 24 (1): 154 DOI: 10.1287/orsc.1110.0735

Cite This Page:

University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management. "'Transformational leadership' curbs bad attitudes towards change." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140109180310.htm>.
University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management. (2014, January 9). 'Transformational leadership' curbs bad attitudes towards change. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140109180310.htm
University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management. "'Transformational leadership' curbs bad attitudes towards change." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140109180310.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program

NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program

AP (Apr. 15, 2014) The New York City Police Department has ended a program that once kept tabs on the city's muslim population. (April 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

AFP (Apr. 14, 2014) To curb the growing numbers of feral cats in the US capital, the Washington Humane Society is encouraging residents to set traps and bring the animals to a sterilization clinic, after which they are released.. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins