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Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Chapter Four -- Findings

Chapter Four -- Findings

4.0 Introduction
In a pragmatic approach a combination of data collection and analysis methods must be grasped upon in order to facilitate an effective understanding of such issues (Ary et al, 2009; Saunders et al, 2009). Thus, a mixed method approach is used in this study from collecting and analysing quantitative and qualitative data in line with the pragmatic approach. Quantitative data is obtained through distributing questionnaires to the selected sample, subsequently; the information and key themes is then directed to guide the design of a focus group.

This chapter addresses the quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis along with reviewing the sample characteristic for the benefit of the reader, before presenting a breakdown of the results.

4.1 Quantitative Data Collection and Analysis
The preceding chapter addressed quantitative data was obtained by means of questionnaires. The aim of quantitative data collection was to gather information by capturing key themes in order to understand employee attitudes and perceptions of organisational change.

Data Collection Instrument
Twenty questions were presented on the questionnaire, separating the questionnaire into two main sections. The first section consisted of the respondents’ information, this section aimed to assess the respondent’s demographic information, such as age, gender, ethnicity, job position, and the respondent’s length of service. It is an essential component to test the demographic sample as it can be useful to understand if the sample is biased and whether the sample can be measured to represent the population (Bradburn, Sudman & Wansink, 2004). Subsequently, eight questions based on change invited respondents to indicate whether they “strongly agree, agree, unsure, disagree or strongly disagree” with a statement (Likert scales). Additionally, five questions on change invited responses on a closed format structure (i.e. multiple choice questions). Overall, a number of questions were knowingly reversed in order to reduce bias.

Sample Characteristic
The final questionnaire sample consisted of 31 employees by means of voluntary and anonymous participation, out of a potential 36 employees; an overall response rate of 86.1%. Several questionnaires were completed individually during a visit to the company, and the others were later collected. The findings suggested that there were considerably more females (74.2%) than male employees (25.8%) (See Table 1).
Gender of Employees
4.1.1 Main Findings
The analysis of the data was obtained by using inferential and descriptive statistics. The names of the measures were given by measuring employee experiences and expectations with organisational change, as well as considering the managers role. Thus, analysing the differences between the measures and association appeared to be the most appropriate way, demonstrating correlation analysis of the measures. Primarily, the most significant correlations were found necessary to be reported.

Descriptive Statistics for all Employees
In analysing descriptive statistics for the selected variables (see Table 2), it appears that AWARENESS has a strong mean indicating that the employees are moderately aware of such changes taking place at New Look Retailers. Additionally, the mean for the variable PARTICIPATION suggests that the respondents perceive employee involvement as exceptionally important during change implementation. Table 3 shows that 45.2% of employees believe that employee involvement is essential, whereas 3.2% employees do not perceive employee participation as important (PARTICIPATION). Conversely, the mean for CO-EFFORTS suggest that the employees are influenced by the organisational efforts during the change process. The MNGT-STYLE mean suggests that employees perceive the style of new managers to be fairly weak.

Variable of all Employees: Participation

Variable of all Employees: Confidence
The frequency table on the CONFIDENCE variable (Table 4) shows that a large number of employees were unsure about their current working environment and the management approaches in which uncertainty existed among those employees (61.3% answered UNSURE), as well as the 29% of employees that suggest that uncertainty exists.
Correlations of Variables of all Employees
Table 5 suggests that there is a strong positive correlation with CO-EFFORTS and POSITION; this emphasises that the job position of the employee determines their expectations on company efforts during change implementation. Conversely, there is a strong negative correlation between TIME and CO-EFFORTS, suggesting that the expectations of company efforts are not dependent on the employees’ length of service. In other words, employees’ perception on the company’s efforts decrease as their time in the organisation increases. Company efforts during change implementation (CO-EFFORTS) were also strongly related to the feelings of employee involvement (PARTICIPATION). TIME was also negatively correlated to PARTICIPATION, signifying that the employees’ length of time in the company determines their perceptions on employee involvement.

(2) Correlations of Variables of all Employees
Table 6 shows that there is a strong positive correlation between the two variables LEARNING and PARTICIPATION, this suggests that both variables assist employees during organisational change. Additionally, there is a strong positive correlation with LEARNING and CONFIDENCE, and a moderate correlation between PARTICIPATION and CONFIDENCE, whereas there is a negative correlation between CONFIDENCE and REACTION. This suggests that as organisational learning and readiness increases (LEARNING AND PARTICIPATION) the confidence among employees also increases (CONFIDENCE). Conversely, as employee confidence increases (CONFIDENCE) their reaction level decreases (REACTION). In other words, organisational support (LEARNING) and employee involvement (PARTICIPATION) is required during organisational change to reduce employees’ negative effect (REACTION), and increase employee CONFIDENCE through organisational support.

Differences based on gender
The correlations of the sample between male and female employees are presented below to evaluate the differences and coefficients between the variables.
Correlations of Variables of all Males
Table 7 highlights the correlation between the selected variables of all male employees. Similar to the whole data set, there is positive correlation between CO-EFFORT and PARTICIPATION, and a negative correlation between CO-EFFORTS and TIME, and a particularly strong negative correlation between PARTICIPATION and TIME. Conversely, there appears to be a weak coefficient between the variables PARTICIPATION and POSITION, and TIME and POSITION as compared to the whole data set.
(2) Correlations of Variables of all Male
The above variables for all male employees followed a dissimilar pattern overall, with a less significant relationship between the variables. The table suggests that the coefficient between the selected variables were also low, signifying that the male employees did not compose a strong link between organisational learning and employee participation during organisational change (LEARNING and PARTICIPATION). Additionally, there is no significant relationship between LEARNING and REACTION as compared to the whole data set.
(1) Correlations of Variables of all Females
The correlations for all females followed the same pattern as for the whole data set. All correlations were significant, with a strong positive correlation between CO-EFFORTS and POSITION, and a moderate correlation between CO-EFFORTS and PARTICIPATION. There was a strong negative correlation between the variables CO-EFFORTS and TIME, as well as POSITION and TIME.

(2) Correlations of Variables of all Females

Table 10 suggests that the coefficient for the selected variables of all females is considerably high, as well as following the same pattern as for the whole data set. There is a strong link between LEARNING and PARTICIPATION, as well as LEARNING and CONFIDENCE. Additionally, there is a much stronger correlation (negative) between LEARNING and REACTION as compared to the whole data set. 

Differences based on length of service
The employees’ length of service analysis was conducted by dividing results into 0-3 years and 3-5+ years categories. Correlation analyses for each data set were performed after analysing the variables REACTION and RESISTANCE using a frequency table to determine employees’ attitude and perception in conjunction with their length of service.

Employees Who Have Been Working at New Look for 0 to 3 years

Table 11 highlights the variable (REACTION) on how employees would react to sudden change in an organisation (employees working 0-3 years). The frequent choice that employees made was “Go with the flow” with a percentage of 42.1%, and 26.3% of employees selected “Acceptance”, as well as the 21.1% that selected “Force yourself to deal with it”. Conversely, Table 12 highlights the choice given to the reason why employees are resistant to change (RESISTANCE). The most frequent choice was “Fear of unknown” (47.4%) and “Fear of personal impact” (21.1%).
Correlations of Variables for Employees Who Have Been Working at New Look for 0 to 3 Years
Table 13 highlights the correlations between the selected variables for employees that have worked with the company for 0 to 3 years. There is a strong positive relationship between CO-EFFORTS and POSITION, suggesting that employees that have been working less than 3 years determine their position by company efforts, as well as the readiness to participate (PARTICIPATION). However, there was no significant relationship between TIME and PARTICIPATION as compared to the whole data set.
(2) Correlations of Variables of all Employees Who Have Been Working at New Look

Furthermore, employees that have been working between 0 to 3 years at New Look showed higher correlation coefficients for the selected variables, specifically between LEARNING and PARTICIPATION, and LEARNING and CONFIDENCE. Conversely, there appears to be a fairly weak link between REACTION and CONFIDENCE as compared to the whole data set. 
Employees Who Have Been Working at New Look for 3 to 5 years plus

Employees Who Have Been Working at New Look for 3 to 5 years plus
Table 15 highlights the category in which employees (working between 3-5+ years) fall under followed by sudden change in an organisation. 57.1% selected “Become stressed”, followed by “Go with the flow” and “Force yourself to deal with it” (14.3%). The choices followed a dissimilar pattern as compared to employees working at New Look between 0 to 3 years. Conversely, Table 16 highlights the category that employees feel strongest about; a large number of employees (working between 3-5+ years) selected “Fear of personal impact” (64.3%), followed by “Fear of change” and “Previous bad experience” (14.3%).
New Look for 3 to 5 years plus
Employees that have been working at New Look for over 3 years showed a strong link between POSITION and PARTICIPATION as compared to the whole data set, suggesting that their perception of employee involvement is determined by their job position. Conversely, there was a low correlation coefficient between TIME and PARTICIPATION as compared overall. The variables for CO-EFFORTS and POSITION, and PARTICIPATION followed a similar pattern to the whole data set, with a strong positive correlation.
(2) Correlations of Variables of all Employees Who Have Been Working at New Look

Table 18 suggests a low coefficient between the selected variables for employees working over 3 years with the company as compared to the whole data set. CONFIDENCE and LEARNING are the only variables that are significantly correlated, suggesting that organisational support is required for encouragement and confidence. Conversely, there is a weak relationship between LEARNING and PARTICIPATION when compared overall, this suggests that employees that have been with the company for over 3 years perceive organisational learning and participation as considerably low during the change process.

Testing Hypotheses
Chapter 2 proposed five hypotheses; subsequently, correlation analyses were conducted based on these hypotheses tested against the variables. 

Correlations of Variables of all Employees- Testing Hypothesis 1
In analysing Hypothesis 1 (ATTITUDES and EXPERIENCES) against the selected variables it appears that there is a moderate relationship between HYPOTHESIS 1 and PARTICIPATION and CO-EFFORTS. This suggests that employee attitudes and previous bad experiences determine their role in the organisation, as well as their perceptions of organisational efforts that determines their feelings of belonging and value.
Correlations of Variables of all Employees- Testing Hypothesis 2
Correlations for Hypothesis 2 that is expressed through the variables CONFIDENCE and ATTITUDE display a strong positive correlation between H2 and LEARNING and CONFIDENCE, indicating that organisational learning results in improved employee confidence and positive attitudes towards organisational change, as well as reducing uncertainty within the organisation. Conversely, there are low levels of correlation between H2 and PARTICIPATION, REACTION and RESISTANCE variables. This was specifically displayed in dealing with uncertainty within the organisation (H2) and employee efforts to participate during the change process (PARTICIPATION).
Correlation of Variables of all Employees- Testing Hypothesis 3
The correlations for the variables shown in Table 21 display higher levels of correlation between the variables; all correlations tested against Hypothesis 3 (MNGT-STYLE and LEARNING) are significant. Strong positive correlations were found between H3 and LEARNING and CONFIDENCE, suggesting management support and attention is required to facilitate an effective change implementation through communication to increase employee confidence. The coefficients for H3 and CO-EFFORTS displayed a fairly weak correlation, as well as for the variable REACTION. The relationships suggest organisational efforts (CO-EFFORTS) are required in order to consider the fundamentals of the human element during organisational change, as well as reducing employee negativity (REACTION).
Correlations of Variables of all Employees- Testing Hypothesis 4
All correlations for the selected variables in Table 22 are significant (p<.01 and p<.05) when tested against Hypothesis 4 (PARTICIPATION and ATTITUDES). Specifically, H4 and PARTICIPATION were strongly correlated, suggesting that employee involvement and employee responsibilities are required to the effective implementation of organisational change. Additionally, there appears to be a moderate significant correlation between H5 and LEARNING, CO-EFFORTS and ATTITUDES variables. This was specifically displayed in feelings of employee involvement (H4) and organisational support and effort during the change process (LEARNING, CO-EFFORTS and ATTITUDES).
Correlations of Variables of all Employees- Testing Hypothesis 5
Table 23 displays significant correlations between the selected variables and Hypothesis 5 (COMMUNICATION and REACTION). Strong positive correlations were found between H5 and CONSISTENCY, suggesting that communication to employees is required in order to acquire consistent performance from employees through reducing negativity. Additionally, employee confidence within the organisation (CONFIDENCE) was correlated to a moderate level to organisational communication that determines the effect on employees (H5). Negative correlations were also found between H5 and PARTICIPATION and CO-EFFORTS, as well as positive moderate correlations between H5 and LEARNING. This suggests that limited communication within the organisation will decrease employee involvement through a lack of organisational support.

4.2 Qualitative Data Collection and Analysis
The aim of the qualitative data collection was to obtain a depth of information to explore the role of the manager in organisational change along with investigating their perceptions and attitudes during the change process. The discussion was based on the recent change processes at New Look, these are: organisational policy changes (i.e. contractual changes), and technological changes. Primarily, the data was collected to support the findings of quantitative data.
The most appropriate technique for this section of the study is recognised as the content analysis, where the main themes are distilled from the focus group (see Appendix 8), also known as the “scissor and sort”, a technique used to analyse the findings (Stewart et al, 2007).
  • Data Collection Instrument
Information was obtained by means of a focus group following a guide of eight core questions, which were put across the group, as well as demographic questions. Questions were intentionally descriptive following key words such as “what” and “how” to obtain sufficient feedback.
  • Sample Characteristic
A total of six members of the management team volunteered to participate in the focus group discussion from the selected store. The discussion proceeded for approximately 45 minutes in which it was audio tape recorded. 

4.2.1 Main Findings
Subsequent to following a guide of eight core questions, four main categories were recognised: 
1) management responsibilities
2) organisational measures
3) resistance
4) communication and procedures to combat challenges.

  • Management Responsibilities
Questions around management responsibilities provided responses on the management teams perceptions around organisational change, these included responses such as “stress; dealing with organisational change”. Conversely, the store manager provided solid information on the management actions, these included responses such as, “plan and prepare prior to change”. Responses such as “fight to address the essential information” were provided by the store manager, as well as management responsibilities of providing employees with the advantages of organisational change, and why the change is taking place. 

  • Organisational measures and communication
In obtaining managers perceptions on the Human Resources measures and communication to the store, it appears that the organisation conducts solid measures; which includes “planning and preparation through management training”, as well as HR updates, confidential meetings with regional store managers, and distributing posters. However, the store manager felt strongly about insufficient information provided to the management team before change implementation, in which the management team agreed upon. The store manager suggested that the organisation should attain input from store managers before implementing change, and further argued that “managers are the last to know about change”, which the deputy manager agreed and stated “managers should be informed first about change, as they are running the store and should be aware of such changes taking place before hand”. The store manager and the deputy manager argued that “HR has a lack of knowledge in the way the store is run”.

Additionally, organisational measures also included conference calls, which the manager and supervisors stated that it is “a waste of time”, as there information can be communicated through other sources such as instant messages and emails.
  • Resistance
The questions around resistance during organisational change proved there is considerably increasing employee resistance towards changes taking place at New Look. The store manager affirmed that there is growing resentment towards changes taking place at New Look, specifically from employees that have been working with the company for a long time, suggesting that employees may fear their job role and “new ways of doing things”. Supervisor A and B further added that “employees clearly do not perceive the change to be the overall organisations decision, but however a managers decision”. 

When the group were asked the consequence of resistance among employees, the responses received were a) an effect on organisations productivity, b) a result of absenteeism, c) unmotivated individuals, d) unhappy staff, and e) low performance -“not attaining 100% from staff”. Furthermore, employees’ resistance to change provoked informal communication, such as rumours. The deputy manager added that there were increasing complaints from staff that have been working with the company for a long time, and fewer complaints from new staff. 
  • Managers communication to employees and procedures to combat challenges 
The final questions required responses from the management team to draw attention to their role when dealing with resistance to change. The store manager highlighted “a procedure of consultancy with individual staff” in order to combat negativity from employees, as well as undertaking measures such as training and one-to-one meetings. Subsequently, a discussion emerged on the recent policy change (i.e. contractual changes) in which the store manager argued her duties of presenting employees with reasonable options and compromising with employees, that is “meeting in the middle with the staff before agreeing upon any decisions”. Further measures that the management team clarified were observations on employees in order to recognise resistance to change.

  • Observation
Upon observation in the focus group discussion, it appears that the store supervisors had little knowledge about the internal organisation factors; there was limited input from all supervisors and mostly dominated by the store manager. In this way, it can be argued that there is a lack of communication between the store manager and supervisors.

4.3 Conclusion
This chapter has aimed to describe and discuss the results from the quantitative and qualitative stages of the study. The use of a mixed method approach has provided a triangulation of the data, thus improving the validity of the study. 

The findings of the study suggest that organisational change is over-managed rather than cultural led, that is, placing a less importance on considering the important human dimension when implementing change in organisations, thus a consequence of uncertainty within the organisation. The analysis across the selected demographic groups suggested perceptions and attitudes towards organisational change, as well as analysing descriptive statistics measuring employee perceptions around the change process, and testing the hypotheses.
The overall findings will be discussed further in the following chapter.

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