The aftermath of organisational change: How employee wellbeing and performance are affected and how employability plays a coping role in the negative effects of reorganisation in a Dutch public sector organisation.
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Downsizing practices continuously prove to have both negative short- and long-term effects on employees who survived such them (Cascio, 2004; Mossholder et al., 2000; Boxall & Purcell, 2011). When organizations decide to change their internal structure, it is important to acknowledge this in order for the renewed organization to be prosperous (Cascio, 2012). This thesis researches the mediating role of workload and the moderating roles of procedural justice and employability in the effects of organizational change on employee performance and wellbeing. The research was conducted among a group of internal advisors (N=148) of the Dutch executive Ministry ‘Rijkswaterstaat’. Due to Rijkswaterstaat’s recent organizational change that led to the founding of a new department, Verkeer- and Watermanagement, a practical problem emerged concerning the relevance of this group of workers for the organization. The advisors have a versatile set of tasks at work, in which flexibility is required but where employees feel limited in their capabilities due to the newness of their department. Their perceptions considering the organizational change were measured based on the following main question: “To what extents are VWM’s internal advisors’ performance and wellbeing affected by the way they experienced organisational change, and to what extent are these relationships mediated by workload and moderated by their employability and perceived procedural justice?” With regression analyses, this study has shown that wellbeing is affected by organizational change, and that workload plays a mediating role in this process. Instead of arguing that it is important for employees to be more employable and perceive more procedural justice in order to cope with organizational change, this study has found that being less employable and perceiving less procedural justice increases the negative impact of organizational change considerably. There was no evidence found for a negative impact on performance. This leads to the conclusion that despite the organizational change and its accompanying negative impact, workers tend to still enjoy work and see themselves as productive an good employees. By investing in the employability of this group of advisors, Rijkswaterstaat can enhance the capabilities of their employees and decrease their negative perceptions of organizational change. This will enable them to feel better at work and be more valuable for the organization on the long-term.