Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Parker, Chris P.

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Organizational change--Psychological aspects


The question of how individuals cope with organizational change continues to be an increasingly important topic. This longitudinal study attempted to integrate models of change by including specific dispositional traits that help to predict how individuals interpret and cope with change. A four-stage model proposed by Isabella was enhanced to include behaviors and coping strategies that individuals use as they move through the change process. It was predicted that certain dispositional traits would predict certain coping behaviors and outcomes. Additionally, it was predicted that certain coping strategies and dispositional traits would be more related to themselves and certain stages throughout the change process. A total of 115 participants were recruited from various sites that included individuals who were going thorough some stage of the job transition process. Data was collected over a three-month time period, including four waves. Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) and regression were the two main analytic strategies used to analyze the relationships between dispositional traits, coping strategies, and key outcomes. Although specific hypotheses were not confirmed, results indicated important relationships between dispositional traits, coping behaviors, and outcomes for individuals encountering a job transition. Results generally indicate that individuals who have a Positive Outlook and are Risk Tolerant are going to be likely to use Problem-Focused Coping strategies, wheras individuals who do not possess these traits will be likely to use Emotion-Focused Coping strategies. This study suggests that an individual's disposition and his or her coping strategies will impact change-related outcomes such as anxiety, depression, life satisfaction, and openness to change. Implications for research and practice are also discussed.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 122-127)


vii, 149 pages




Northern Illinois University

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