So hearing about it is as good as seeing it?
Employees’ justice perception and experience of organizational change rumours
Lina Ba* and W. Guillaume Zhao**
Wuhan Technology and Business University*
Abstract: Employee’s perception of justice associated with organizational change can be an essential factor that affects their overall job performance, but little has been known on the impact of unrealized organizational change. Set in a private college, this study utilizes data from interviews with art school teachers to unpack the sense-making dynamics associated with perceived organizational change. Our findings show that negative sense-making as a result of perceived justice breach does not always translate to actions. For instance, while teachers fully understand that their contribution is undermined by the amount of salaries they receive, instead of taking action to engage in retaliation, most of them try to justify the lack of distributive justice. This study also reveals that even before the change process, individuals already begin to engage in sense-making as if the change is real and effective. This research extends the applicability of our existing knowledge on sense-making to unrealized change scenarios, and has implications for theory and practices related to organizational behavior in educational setting.