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Article

Uncertainty and Emerging Tensions in Organizational Change: A Grounded Theory Study on the Orchestrating Role of the Change Leader

1
Department of Economics and Business, University of Sassari, Via Muroni 25, 07100 Sassari, Italy
2
Department of Human Sciences for Education, University of Milan-Bicocca, Piazza Ateneo Nuovo 1, 20126 Milano, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Sebastian Jarzebowski, Michael Bourlakis and George A. Zsidisin
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 4776; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094776
Received: 15 March 2021 / Revised: 16 April 2021 / Accepted: 19 April 2021 / Published: 24 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Resilient Supply Chains)
We draw on the grounded theory methodology to analyze an automation project in a global parcel delivery company, as implemented in three parcel sorting hubs in two countries, seeking to identify key factors in successful change and the role of the change leader. We show that a crucial—but often neglected—aspect of successful change is the detection and management of tensions stemming from uncertainty. By recognizing and managing uncertainty and tensions (in this case, manual vs. automated, corporate vs. site, and planned vs. emergent), the change leader, here the industrial engineering function, can orchestrate the differing views and expectations of corporate actors toward a successful implementation of a change program. In line with recent theories on paradoxes and tensions in organizational change, our empirical outcomes imply that effective leadership of change requires the conscious acceptance of uncertainty and tensions between opposite options in key decision areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: organizational change; uncertainty; tension; grounded theory; change leader; automation organizational change; uncertainty; tension; grounded theory; change leader; automation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Virili, F.; Ghiringhelli, C. Uncertainty and Emerging Tensions in Organizational Change: A Grounded Theory Study on the Orchestrating Role of the Change Leader. Sustainability 2021, 13, 4776. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094776

AMA Style

Virili F, Ghiringhelli C. Uncertainty and Emerging Tensions in Organizational Change: A Grounded Theory Study on the Orchestrating Role of the Change Leader. Sustainability. 2021; 13(9):4776. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094776

Chicago/Turabian Style

Virili, Francesco, and Cristiano Ghiringhelli. 2021. "Uncertainty and Emerging Tensions in Organizational Change: A Grounded Theory Study on the Orchestrating Role of the Change Leader" Sustainability 13, no. 9: 4776. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094776

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