Skip to main content

Faculty & Research


No Change Is an Island: How Interferences Between Change Initiatives Evoke Inconsistencies That Undermine Implementation

Journal Article
Organizational change research has concentrated on the challenges of implementing isolated changes, paying little attention to the interactions among concurrent change initiatives. The authors' longitudinal real-time study of a multinational technology firm examines how two corporate change initiatives interfered with each other. The interfering initiatives provoked inconsistency judgments (cognitive, normative, and procedural) and the emergence of collective emotions that undermined change performance. Top managers’ responses fueled the sharing of inconsistency judgments and emotions that fed into a recursive process that, over time, provoked emotional uncertainty, elicited moral emotions, and eroded emotional attachment to change. The authors' process model reveals inconsistency judgments as a previously overlooked socio-psychological mechanism underpinning interferences between change initiatives. The authors reveal the limitations of examining organizational change in terms of isolated initiatives and call for research that considers the dynamics between change initiatives.

Professor of Strategy