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The role of dispositional mindfulness in employee readiness for change during the COVID-19 pandemic

Purpose The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has forced organisations to change the way they work to maintain viability, even though change is not always successfully implemented. Multiple scholars have identified employees' readiness for change as an important factor of successful organisational change, but research focussed on psychological factors that facilitate change readiness is scarce. The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether employee dispositional mindfulness contributes to readiness for change. Design/methodology/approach Employees (n = 301) from various industries in New Zealand participated in an online survey shortly after the local COVID-19 lockdown ended. The employees' levels of mindfulness, readiness for change, well-being and distress were assessed using well-validated psychometric scales. Multiple regression analyses tested the effect of mindfulness on readiness for change, with well-being and distress as moderating variables. Findings The results show that the effect of mindfulness on readiness for change is moderated by both well-being and distress. Mindfulness has a positive, significant effect on readiness for change when levels of well-being are high and levels of distress are low. Practical implications These findings have important implications for organisations who aim to promote readiness for change in their employees. Even though mindfulness has been shown to be beneficial, organisations also have to consider the mental states of their employees when managing change. Originality/value This study provides empirical evidence that dispositional mindfulness may facilitate the employees' readiness for change, but only when levels of well-being are high and distress are low.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Roemer, A., Sutton, A., & Medvedev, O. N. (2021). The role of dispositional mindfulness in employee readiness for change during the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Organizational Change Management, ahead-of-print(ahead-of-print). https://doi.org/10.1108/jocm-10-2020-0323
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