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Open Access The Impact of Cognitive Flexibility on Resistance to Organizational Change

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We investigated the relationship between 3 cognitive personality traits of employees, that is, cognitive flexibility, insight, and self-reflection, and the relationship between 3 variables of resistance, that is, affective resistance, cognitive resistance, and behavioral resistance, to organizational change. The question of how cognitive flexibility was related to each of these variables of resistance to organizational change was then examined. The sample comprised 419 employees from large-scale manufacturers in Taiwan, who had previously experienced organizational change. Our findings indicated that insight and self-reflection were antecedent variables of cognitive flexibility. Of the 3 variables, resistance to organizational change, affective resistance, and cognitive resistance were positively related to behavioral resistance, and affective resistance was positively related to cognitive resistance. Conversely, cognitive flexibility was negatively related to all the variables of resistance. Implications and limitations of this study are discussed, and suggestions for future research proposed.

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Keywords: COGNITIVE FLEXIBILITY; INSIGHT; RESISTANCE TO ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE; SELF-REFLECTION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-06-01

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