The convergence of computer and communication technology, the readily availability, affordability and popularity of this new technology, as well as the impact of consumer behaviour of a diversity of technology-centred generations on global economic activities, all contribute to the provision of a base for the emerging of an information revolution that will both be far-reaching and unsettling. Society accordingly needs an appropriate and effective frame of reference, terminology and methodology for the establishment of psychological skills with which to equip people to handle the complexity of change in the future. The promovenda recognized the challenge to equip individuals and organizations with the required psychological skills. She studied the change phenomenon through action research and did this by way of a theoretical and empirical investigation. The thesis investigated change, planned change, transformation and related phenomena, such as technological development, globalization, diversity of the work force, ethical issues and generational differences in order to construct a context with which to understand the complexity of escalating and accelerating change. Predictable individual and organizational reactions to change were emphasized, whilst the principles of a learning organization were put forward as the best option for effectively dealing with change and transformation. Individual reactions to change formed the base of an integrated framework for the understanding of the psychodynamics of the phenomenon. Change cycles with characteristic phases were discussed. A holistic model of a phased approach to change was formulated, based on preceding research work by the candidate and also served as a frame of reference for the effective handling of change. The psychological dynamics of each phase were described and these also formed the foundation of a questionnaire, workshop and follow-up session related to the management of change. The theoretical investigation led to proposals on how leaders might render individual assistance to employees during interventions of planned change. The empirical component of the investigation consisted of a preliminary and a main investigation. The presentation of a workshop and accompanying follow-up session were assessed by means of a questionnaire that was completed prior to, during and after the intervention, amongst other by use of Cronbach’s approach to reliability assessment of the instrument, multiple analysis of variance with concomitant Scheffé tests as well as Hotelling’s T2 test for the comparison of profiles. Proficiency in the handling of change was continually presented as the most preferred option that individuals and organizations could use for the establishment of learning skills with which to realize future change in the present day.
Thesis (PhD(Psychology))--University of Pretoria, 2008.