Avoiding change: Antecedents and outcomes of managers’ laissez-faire leadership during organizational interventions
By understanding more about why managers avoid supporting implementation, organizational prerequisites that will increase chances of manager support can be identified.
The aim of this post-doc project is to study outcomes of managers’ avoidant behaviours in conjunction with organizational interventions, and antecedents of such behaviours. The project will use employee data from organizational intervention that includes five measurement points over a time period of three years. Manager data collected by Statistics Sweden (SCB) that includes two measurement points will be used to study the relationship between managers’ prerequisites and their avoidant behaviours.
Organizational interventions are an important measure in efforts of improving work environments and thereby employee health. Unfortunately, these interventions often fail to reach targeted results. Beyond directly hindering improvements in work environment a failed intervention also increases the risk of future failures due to reluctance to engage effort in changes that is perceived as standing little chance of success. One frequently suggested reason to the failures is managers’ avoidance of taking role-specific responsibilities for leading implementation of these interventions. Increasing knowledge about this relationship, as well knowledge about what causes managers to avoid supporting implementation is important for increasing the success rate of organizational interventions.
Generating knowledge on why managers avoid rather than support implementation can help organizations create conditions under which organizational interventions stand a better chance of succeeding, and thereby improve the health and well-being of employees.