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The role of employee involvement in organizational change

17 June 2009

The process in which employees influence organizations is often called participation. In Jelle T. Bouma's dissertation the research is described regarding the way in which participation leads to effective organizational change via so-called mediating effects.

Bouma’s research is limited to one aggregation level -perceptions of individual employees- and aimed at one organizational change type –implementation of customer relationship management (CRM)- in one cultural context –financial organizations in the Netherlands-. In this context CRM refers to the dialog between customers and employees, so that organizations can improve their products and services to attract customers and both build and manage the relations with customers.

The research model has been tested in sixteen Dutch financial institutions. In these organizations, the work of 1217 employees changed because of the implementation of CRM. Via interviews and questionnaires 60 per cent of them has cooperated in the research.

The research results point at a positive influence of employee participation on the effectiveness of CRM organizational change via the mediating roles of ownership, satisfaction, being trusted, trusting others, conflict and local fit. Employee participation contributes via these mediators to the improved CRM effectiveness. Even a low level of employee participation already shows a positive effect on the organizational change.


Jelle Bouma will be awarded his PhD in economics and business on 22 June (1.15pm). His supervisor is prof. P.C. Verhoef, and the title of the dissertation: Why participation works. The role of employee involvement in the implementation of the customer relationship management type of organizational change. Bouma is currently managing director of the Customer Insights Center at the FEB.

Last modified:31 January 2018 11.53 a.m.

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