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Organizational Change and Employee Stress

  • Michael S. Dahl

    ()

    (DRUID, Department of Business Studies, Aalborg University, DK-9220 Aalborg Ø, Denmark)

This article analyzes the relationship between organizational change and employee health. It illuminates the potentially negative outcomes of change at the level of the employee. In addition, it relates to the ongoing debate over how employees react to and respond to organizational change. I hypothesize that change increases the risk of negative stress, and I test this hypothesis using a comprehensive panel data set of all stress-related medicine prescriptions for 92,860 employees working in 1,517 of the largest Danish organizations. The findings suggest that the risk of receiving stress-related medication increases significantly for employees at organizations that change, especially those that undergo broad simultaneous changes along several dimensions. Thus, organizational changes are associated with significant risks of employee health problems. These effects are further explored with respect to employees at different hierarchical levels as well as at firms of different sizes and from different sectors. This paper was accepted by Jesper Sørensen, organizations.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1100.1273
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Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

Volume (Year): 57 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (February)
Pages: 240-256

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Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:57:y:2011:i:2:p:240-256
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  1. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
  2. Alexandre Mas, 2008. "Labour Unrest and the Quality of Production: Evidence from the Construction Equipment Resale Market," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 229-258.
  3. John D. Sterman & Nelson P. Repenning & Fred Kofman, 1997. "Unanticipated Side Effects of Successful Quality Programs: Exploring a Paradox of Organizational Improvement," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(4), pages 503-521, April.
  4. Alan B. Krueger & Alexandre Mas, 2002. "Strikes, Scabs and Tread Separations: Labor Strife and the Production of Defective Bridgestone/Firestone Tires," Working Papers 125, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  5. Daniel Kahneman & Dan Lovallo, 1993. "Timid Choices and Bold Forecasts: A Cognitive Perspective on Risk Taking," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 39(1), pages 17-31, January.
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