Experiences of work within rapidly changing organizations.

  • T. M. Galvin

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


This study set out to explore the nature of work experiences within rapidly changing organizations. There were three research aims connected with this area of inquiry. A secondary objective related to an elucidation of the research process with great emphasis subsequently being placed upon the experiential aspects of the investigation. Before data collection, a methodological stance was developed. This was founded within the phenomenological tradition and utilized an adaptation of Glaser and Strauss's (1967) grounded theory model of discovery research. Access was gained to four suitable research settings with 82 individuals participating in the research. Data collection was primarily through in-depth interviewing although other research instruments were used. Qualitative analysis was undertaken by successive combinations of data to finally produce five category groupings. These data groupings formed the basis of the presentation of results. It was observed that groups of individuals reacted by characteristically engaging in behaviour following a sequential pattern. Instances of collective illness were also acknowledged. At the level of individual experience, rapid change was suggested to produce both pleasantness and unpleasantness. Although there were reports of physical and psychological disturbances attributed to rapid change, individuals demonstrated the existence of many factors counteracting unpleasant consequences. Finally, communications were found to be most pertinent to the research topic. Consolidating the data groupings, an explanatory framework was offered which centred upon what emerged as four crucial facets of experience and behaviour. These dimensions of Awareness, Uncertainty, Evaluation and Homeostasis were discussed and compared with existing literature. The findings provided material for evaluating Alvin Toffler's (1970) notions of experiences of work within rapidly changing organizations. In addition, implications for the management of change were highlighted. With many insights into the dynamics of social science research also being gained, the investigation was taken as meeting both primary and secondary objectives.
Date of Award1983
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath

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