Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Management

Advisor

Branford J. McAllister

Abstract

Managers must know how to operationalize change, as well as manage the attitudes and emotions associated with transforming the organization. Managing the culture involved with organizational change is a challenge in any environment, and perhaps even more so when managing a virtual workforce. The problem addressed in this study was that while there is considerable research on organizational change, there is little research concerning the influence of trust in leadership, frequency of change, and history of change on virtual faculty resistance to change in higher education. As a result, there is a lack of knowledge and understanding regarding how context influences a virtual faculty member's resistance to change. The purpose of this study was to gain insight into how three dependent variables (trust in leadership, frequency of change, and history of change) impact a dependent variable (virtual faculty resistance to change), measured using an adapted survey. The study was based on the theory of planned behavior, the theory of attribution, and the transactional stress model. Data were collected from 189 online faculty and the relationships between variables were evaluated using multiple linear regression. Trust in leadership regarding integrity and ability along with gender were significantly associated with resistance to change. Frequency and history of change did not have a significant relationship with resistance to change. The research has potential to effect positive social change by contributing to a greater understanding among higher education administrators during the planning, communication, and implementation of change of how trust in leadership, frequency of change, and history of change impact online faculty response to change.