Continuous Organizational Change and Burnout

By Gary Rees and Sally Rumbles.

Published by The Organization Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Within the last three years, the global economic crisis has prompted unprecedented change with organizations traditionally considered as solid, crumbling and liquidating in front of incredulous stock brokers and global audiences. This paper considers the extent to which continuous organizational changes lead to organizational burnout. Whilst traditional approaches to burnout have concentrated on individual and job burnout, research into organizational burnout remains limited. A key emerging trend is the concept of organizational resilience and strategies for coping with continuous change. Our initial research into this area suggests that organizations and their employees respond to change in a variety of ways, such as the “boiled frog syndrome”, the “empty shell syndrome”, and “survivor syndrome”. Survey research from a sample of 100 companies contacted revealed some alarming results. Whilst many organizations recognised that they had serious concerns about the rate of change and the impact upon the business, very little concern was expressed in relation to their employees and employee welfare. This paper explores these emerging themes and consequences for management through the use of further primary data collection from in-depth semi-structured interviews. Suggestions for further research and managing burnout are provided.

Keywords: Organizational Change, Resilience, Engagement, Burnout, Duty of Care

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp.179-194. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 815.697KB).

Gary Rees

Director of Post Graduate HR Programmes, Department of Human Resource and Marketing Management, Portsmouth University, Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK

I lecture, write, and carry out research into change management. Over the last few years, I researched organizational change from both an academic and practical perspective. I carried out research using a sample of 100 organizations in the UK. My recent outputs include: Organizational Behaviour, second edition (2011) by French, R., Rayner, C. Rees, G. & Rumbles, S. Wiley Publications, Rees, G. & Rumbles S.; “Continuous Changes, Organizational Burnout and HR’s role”, HR Bulletin – Research and Practice, CIPD; a conference paper presented on “Continuous Changes and Organisational Burnout” at the Australian Caucus of the Standing Conference on Organizational Symbolism on 30th November 2010; and Leading, Managing, and Developing People (2010), by Rees, G. and French, R. (editors), CIPD Publi- cations.

Sally Rumbles

Portsmouth University, Hampshire, UK

I lecture, write and research in a number of Human Resource management areas. Recently these have focussed on change management and the links to engagement and the role of HR. Recent publications include Organisational Behaviour, second edition (2011) by French, R., Rayner, C. Rees, G. & Rumbles, S. Wiley Publications, Rees, G. & Rumbles S.; Two chapters in Human Resource Management editors Gilmore, S. and Williams, S. (2012) and two chapters in Managing, and Developing People (2010), Rees, G. and French, R. (editors), CIPD Continuous Changes, Organizational Burnout and HRs role, HR Bulletin Research and Practice, CIPD; a conference paper presented on Continuous Changes and Organisational Burnout at the Australian Caucus of the Standing Conference on Organizational Symbolism on 30th November 2010.

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