1st Edition

The Social Psychology of Change Management Theories and an Evidence-Based Perspective on Social and Organizational Beings

    320 Pages
    by Routledge

    318 Pages
    by Routledge

    Changes are rarely accomplished by individuals. People are social animals and changes are social processes which have to be organized.

    Social psychology is essential for the effectiveness and development of the field of change management. It is necessary to understand people in change processes. Social psychology also teaches us that meaning is key during change and intervention. Social psychology makes change management comprehensible to people and allows them to consider their actions in groups and the organization on their merits. They may seem obvious and self-evident, but practice and science, as well as the popular change management literature, show that it is not.

    Drawing on the field of social psychology and based on primary research, The Social Psychology of Change Management presents more than forty social psychological theories and concepts that are relevant for the field of change management. The theories and concepts are analyzed and categorized following Fiske’s five core social motives; belonging, understanding, controlling, enhancing self, and trusting. Each theory will have an introduction in which its assumptions and relevance is explained.

    By studying the scientific evidence, including meta-analytic evidence, the book provides practitioners, students and academics in the field of change management, organizational behaviour and business strategy the most relevant social psychological ideas and best available evidence, thereby further unleashing the potential of social psychology in order to feed the field of change management. By categorizing and integrating the relevant theories and concepts, change management is enriched and restructured in a prudent, positive and practical way.

    The overarching goal, however, inspired by the ideas and perspective of leading thinkers like Kurt Lewin, James Q. Wilson and Susan T. Fiske, is to make the world a better place. Social psychologists (being social scientists) study practical social issues, in our case issues related to change management, and application to real-world problems is a key goal. Therefore, this book goes beyond the domain of organizational sciences.

    Research team

    List of Tables and Figures



    1. Social Psychology and Change Management

    2. Model and Methodology

    3. Belonging, Organizational Behavior and Change

    4. Understanding, Organizational Behavior and Change

    5. Controlling, Organizational Behavior and Change

    6. Trusting, Organizational Behavior and Change

    7. Self-enhancing, Organizational Behavior and Change

    8. Towards a Social Psychology of Change Management


    Appendix A: Overview of Authors and Researchers

    Appendix B: Examples of Matrix for each Core Social Motive

    Appendix C: Bibliography



    Steven ten Have, PhD, is a full professor of strategy and change at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands, chairman of the Foundation for Evidence Based Management, and partner at TEN HAVE Change Management, the Netherlands.

    John Rijsman, PhD, is a full professor of social psychology at Tilburg University, the Netherlands. He obtained his PhD in experimental social psychology from the University of Louvain in 1970, and, after a short stay at the University of Southern Illinois, was asked in 1972 to become chair of social psychology at the new faculty of psychology in Tilburg, where he has stayed ever since.

    Wouter ten Have, PhD, is a full professor of organization and change at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands, visiting university lecturer of change management (MBA health- care management) at the Amsterdam Business School, the Netherlands and partner at TEN HAVE Change Management, the Netherlands.

    Joris Westhof, MSc, is a business consultant at Zestgroup, the Netherlands.