Communication is key.
Repetitive reorganizations cause change fatigue, which creates employee resistance to further
organizational change. This paper investigates how such fatigue arises. The results show that
uncertainty and workload are mediating factors. The effect of change fatigue is not moderated
by the perceived success of the prior reorganization, participation in that process, or leadership
characteristics. It is only slightly moderated by the satisfaction of employees about the
communication during the prior organizational reorganization.
Resistance against organizational reforms is commonly misunderstood. Whereas the academic
literature suggests minimizing resistance by coercive means, eventually crushing it, this paper
suggests something entirely different. Change fatigue as a form of resistance to upcoming
reorganizations emerges from experiences with earlier reforms. Each time a new major
organizational change is planned, change fatigue among personnel increases. Therefore,
drastic changes should only be a last resort where no alternative solution can be employed.
If reorganizations are necessary, the prime concern should be to take measures to avoid and
reduce uncertainty among employees, preferably by good communication.