The Changing Workplace and Its Effects: Employee attitudinal and behavioral responses over time in an American company

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Applied Behavioral Science


Sociology & Anthropology


The present study explores the multiple ways employees are affected by pervasive and complex organizational change. Across a 10-year period, the authors surveyed 525 white- and blue-collar workers on four separate occasions during which time the company experienced, for example, a difficult financial period, several large downsizing events, the implementation of new technologies, and a move toward a “flatter” managerial structure. At Time 4, shortly after the organization experienced a substantial economic turnaround, the authors found that most but not all of the job and organizational attitudes returned to Time 1 levels. Many of the measures of health and various indices of the work—family relationship however showed both positive and negative lasting effects. These findings are discussed in light of current thinking regarding worker engagement and the psychological contract between workers and organizations.