Author(s), Title and Publication

Petrou, P., Demerouti, E., & Schaufeli, W. B. (2016). Crafting the change: The role of employee job crafting behaviors for successful organizational change. Journal of Management, DOI: 10.1177/0149206315624961.


Though it is widely recognized that organizational change communication is the most effective strategy to improve employee adjustment to change, little is known about how change communication enhances more proactive employee reactions to change. This longitudinal survey study addresses job crafting behaviors as a tool used by employees to respond to and cope with organizational change. Job crafting is defined as voluntary self-initiated employee behaviors targeted at seeking resources (i.e., asking a manager or colleagues for advice), seeking challenges (i.e., asking for more responsibilities), and reducing demands (i.e., eliminating emotional, mental, or physical job demands). The authors proposed that on the basis of employees’ promotion (i.e., motivated by their wish to grow and frame goals in terms of “gain” or “nongain”) or prevention (i.e., motivated by sense of responsibility and frame goals in terms of “loss” or “nonloss.”) regulatory focus, employees respond to change communication via job crafting behaviors that enhance or hinder their adjustment to change.

A three-wave longitudinal design among 368 police officers revealed that change communication positively predicts adaptivity for all employees and negatively predicts the unfavorable type of job crafting (i.e., reducing demands). While adequate change communication is linked to increased job crafting behaviors for promotion-focused employees, inadequate change communication is linked to increased job crafting behaviors for prevention-focused employees. Furthermore, seeking resources is positively associated with employee work engagement, seeking challenges is positively associated with adaptivity, and reducing demands is negatively associated with engagement. Seeking resources and seeking challenges were positive and effective employee tools for successful adaptation to organizational change.

Implications for Practice

Organizations should 1) ensure that organization change is known to everyone and communicated in an efficient, clear, adequate, and nonthreatening way, and 2) ensure that all employees (especially prevention-focused employees) have enough autonomy and are encouraged to display job crafting behaviors.

Location of Article

The article is available online at:
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Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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