Date of Conferral

2017

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Education

Advisor

Laura Weidner

Abstract

Numerous internal and external factors drive decisions to undertake organizational restructuring; according to senior management, restructuring is part of a strategic change. The purpose of this qualitative, exploratory, case study was to examine the effects of organizational restructuring on university employees' behavior towards restructuring and change in the effectiveness of the institution. The conceptual framework drew on the social change theory, a primary triad model, and a congruence model for organization problems to frame the guiding questions: how does restructuring impact employees' motivation and acceptance of change and how does the employees' acceptance of change affect the institution's effectiveness? From a purposeful sample of 130 employees at a small land grant university who had experienced 2, 3, or 4 recent restructurings, 66 respondents answer the open-ended survey. The data also included historical documents and interviews with 6 employees. All data were coded and categorized. Four themes emerged. Employees were reluctant to embrace the change; employees not satisfied with the communication process; employees experienced low motivation, attitude change, and dwindling morale; and employees perceived that there were no significant changes in the effectiveness of the institution. These findings indicate that management should devise practical means by which to communicate, receive feedback, and encourage input from the employees. Cultivating a better understanding of the challenges of the restructuring process by management, can create an atmosphere whereby employees can see themselves involved in the change process as implications for social change.