Date of Conferral

2014

Degree

Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)

School

Business Administration

Advisor

Lynn Szostek

Abstract

Despite more than 60 years of research about the nature of change, resistance to change remains a problem across industries. Health care leaders have limited knowledge of how health care managers' perceptions of empowerment, years of experience, and resistance to change (RTC) relate. The purpose for this nonexperimental correlational study was to examine the relationship between empowerment, years of experience, and RTC among managers via an online survey. The theoretical framework incorporated Kanter's structural empowerment theory and Kotter's change theory. The sample included 245 out of 1,181 health care managers from Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals in the New York metropolitan region, recruited through a nonrandom purposive sampling method. There was a significant association measured between empowerment and RTC (r = -.132, p = .05), but no association between years of experience and RTC (r = .060, p =.348). The regression model showed that years of experience and perceptions of empowerment together in one model was not a significant predictor of RTC (F(2,242) =2.82, p = .062, R2 = .023). In the model, perceptions of empowerment was a statistically significant predictor of RTC (â = -.136, p = .03), but years of managerial experience was not (â = .074, p = .249). These findings, while not generalizable, offer a unique examination of organizational change among an underexamined population. According to study results, as empowerment increased, RTC diminished. In contrast, experience did not relate to the propensity to resist change. These findings have social implications for VA and general business leaders who may use these results to improve change management plans, empower staff, reduce RTC, and enhance organizational and patient outcomes.