Nowadays, employees’ readiness for change plays a key role to implement many organizational change initiatives.
Using a sample of 510 bank employees in Jordan, this study seeks to analyze how high-performance human resource management practices and affective commitment impact employees’ readiness for change. We also seek to study the role of readiness for change in improving employee performance.
The results obtained through statistical analysis demonstrate a positive association between some high-performance human resource management practices with both affective commitment and readiness for change. Results also show a positive relationship between affective commitment and readiness for change.
We have also found that readiness for change is positively related to employees’ individual performance. Finally, our findings show that hierarchy culture positively moderates the relation of high-performance human resource management practices with affective commitment.
Organizational change has become a core activity to sustain the efficiency of organizations and increase their ability to respond and adapt to the environment and to the competitive marketplace which imposes changes (Mabey, Salaman & Storey, 1998). By using a variety of HRM practices to provide organizations with human resource who possesses the required knowledge, skills, abilities, and behavioural trends to accomplish change strategies, the human resource management (HRM) function can play a central role in enhancing organizational change (Ullah, 2012).
Employees readiness for change “reflects the extent of the cognitive and emotional tendency of individuals to accept and adopt a specific plan to purposefully change the status quo and move forward ”(Wang, Olivier & Chen, 2020, p. 20) . As individuals play an essential role in the change process, readiness for change is considered a key construct to implement many change initiatives (Rusly, Corner & Sun, 2012).
Nevertheless, researchers have pointed out that many important topics related to antecedents and consequences of readiness for change have not been previously studied. In organizational change research, the focus has often been at the organizational level in a macro-level focus on systems (Judge, Thoresen, Pucik & Welbourne, 1999). Some researchers also adopted a micro-level perspective on change, focusing more on the role of individuals in implementing changes. Nevertheless this aspect still needs further research and exploration, due to the importance of the central role that individuals play in the success of change initiatives. Only some antecedents (such as policies supporting change, trust in peers and leaders or participation at work) and very few consequences (e.g., perceived benefits of the change process) have been previously analysed in deep (Choi, 2011; Drzensky, Egold & van Dick, 2012).
5.3. Limitations and future research suggestions
The present study has some limitations that it is necessary to mention. Firstly, this research only considers affective commitment, one of the components of organizational commitment (Meyer & Allen, 1991). As organizational commitment also includes normative and continuous commitment (Ben Moussa & El Arbi, 2020) future research could test if the other components play a similar role than affective commitment in the proposed model. Although each component can be seen as a function of different antecedents and produce different outcomes (Meyer & Allen, 1991), there is some evidence that normative and, at less extent, continuance commitment, could play a similar role than affective commitment in the proposed research model (Meyer, Stanley, Herscovitch & Topolnytsky, 2002).
Secondly, the limitation of our study to bank employees in Jordan opens the debate of generalizability of our results. Differences regarding the development and importance of HRM management in different countries or national culture differences could influence the obtained findings .