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Frederica Hendricks-Noble


Employee resistance to change can impede organizational success. Resistance can occur when the proposed change is beneficial. Trauma-informed care requires a complete paradigm shift within a behavioral health organization to be executed successfully. This single-case study explored the leadership experience of employee resistance to change during the implementation of trauma-informed care in a large nonprofit behavioral health organization. Data were collected through semistructured interviews with 4 organizational leaders, and a thematic analysis was conducted on internal documents, including staff satisfaction surveys, exit interviews, meeting minutes, strategic plans, manuals, the organizational website, and information from the employee portal. Findings were validated through data triangulation and member checking. Results indicated that a change management process, effective use of available staff satisfaction data, and improved communication can lessen the experience of resistance. Trauma-informed care is seen as a positive change that enhances the workplace. Thus, its implementation is an opportunity for leadership to engage the workforce and the organization’s clients. This study has the potential to create positive social change by providing behavioral health leaders with insights to effectively address employee resistance to change when implementing a trauma-informed framework.

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