Date of Conferral

2019

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Management

Advisor

Kenneth C. Sherman

Abstract

Global change-failure rates remain over 70%, despite over a half-century of research, theory development, and mitigation strategies. Although researchers studying the problem of change failure recognize that subcultural perceptions influence change success, especially in hybrid organizations where subcultural differences are more profound, the perceptions that predispose a subculture to support or resist organizational change remain relatively unknown. The purpose of this exploratory case study was to address the problem of the high cost of change failure by identifying perceptions that influence change success within a maritime organization. The study’s conceptual framework was founded on the interpretive paradigm and social constructivist epistemology, leveraging insights from change, conflict, social identity, attachment, cultural, and construal level theories. Data were collected from 20 shipboard workers attending a maritime institute through questionnaires, focus group discussions, and face-to-face interviews. Manual and software assisted analysis of the data revealed potentially influential perceptions related to trust, value, communication, inclusiveness, and respect that are worthy of future research and quantitative analysis, particularly in relation to their situational context and net combined influence. Researchers and change designers may use insights and methods from this study in developing future studies on subcultural perceptions. More successful perception-mitigating change designs could support positive social change by reducing operational costs associated with change failure and fatigue, as well as organizational stress and frustration associated with directed change.

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