Goal priorities, cognition and conflict: Analyses of cognitive maps concerning organizational changes

Timo Septer

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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    Organizational changes are often supported by some employees while others are opposed. Proponents will expect the positive effects of the change to be larger or more important than possible negative effects. Do opponents expect these positive effects to be smaller, or do they find the positive effects less important than the negative effects? Are the consequences that people expect of organizational change related to their work department or function? Are people who expect an organizational change to have a big positive effect on a particular goal, likely to expect more positive effects on other goals? And when supporters and opponents discuss, when can they better share all information and when only information that suits their preference?
    In this thesis, these questions are answered by analyzing cognitive networks (or graphs) with cause-effect relations. These networks contain individual expectations about the extent to which a reorganization will contribute positively or negatively to achieving certain goals. In addition, employees may differ in what goals they find more important (for example, is quality more important than productivity or vice versa). We introduce a way to predict the extent to which an employee will support the change based on that cognitive network and the importantance of the goals. We analyze which differences in the reasoning of the impact of organizational change particularly contribute to conflict over the desirability of the organizational change. We illustrate our approach with data on the perceived consequences of reorganisations in three Dutch semi-public organizations.
    Translated title of the contributionDoelprioriteiten, cognitie en conflict: Analyses van cognitieve netwerken over organisatieveranderingen
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • Wittek, Rafael, Supervisor
    • Stokman, Frans, Supervisor
    • Dijkstra, Jacob, Co-supervisor
    Award date28-Sept-2017
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Print ISBNs978-90-367-9982-9
    Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-9981-2
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


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