Date of Conferral
Failure accompanies most organizational change efforts. Change agents' efforts focus on employee resistance or readiness to change without considering employee ambivalence. Motivational interviewing (MI) may reduce ambivalence and improve the success rate of organizational change initiatives. The purpose of this experimental research was to evaluate the effectiveness of MI to increase readiness to organizational change, to assess the influence of MI on change-related beliefs, and to investigate the relationship between beliefs and readiness to change. The theoretical framework was the transtheoretical model of change, the theory of planned behavior, and social cognitive theory. Through random assignment, 56 employees of a company undergoing change and located in the Midwest region of the United States populated the experimental and control groups. Members of the experimental group participated in 3 motivational interviewing sessions over a 30-day period. Participants indicated their readiness and underlying change-related beliefs by completing the Job Change Ladder and the Organizational Change Recipients' Belief Scale. Within and between group differences from a mixed ANOVA revealed that MI significantly increased readiness to change. There was not a significant difference between the beliefs of both groups as indicated by the results of the MANOVA test. Participants' beliefs explained readiness to change as evidenced by the results from the use of multiple regression. The findings indicate that leaders of organizational and societal change initiatives could incorporate MI to prepare individuals and groups to embrace the change process, thereby improving the chances that the change initiative will be successful.