The influence of emotional intelligence and Locus of control on resistance to change within the essential services provision industry
Van Rooyen, K.M.
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The aim of this study pertains to investigating potential factors that may have influenced the unsuccessful implementation of a new department structure in a service provision industry. The psychological aspects of emotional intelligence, Locus of control and their respective influence on levels of resistance to change are investigated. The proposed literature indicates that high resistance to change would typically be connected to low Emotional Intelligence and an external Locus of control. The perceived resistance to accepting the new structure of the department is hypothesised to perhaps be due to the existence of low levels of Emotional Intelligence and an external Locus of control. A quantitative approach was used in which standard questionnaires were used to determine the relationship between these three constructs namely high resistance to change, low levels of emotional intelligence and external Locus of control. Thirty-four (34) participants volunteered to take part in the study which pertains to 85% of the total employees in the engineering department. These employees form parts of various sub-engineering divisions including the new sub-engineering department. Cronbach’s Alpha was used as an indication of the reliability and validity, the relationship between constructs was determined by Pearson’s product-moment correlation coefficient and multiple regression was employed as both the forced-entry method as well as the step-wise method. The results indicated that the psychological aspects measured did not contribute fully to the Resistance to Change experienced by employees however the regression model did indicate that 22.6% of the sub-construct RTC Cognitive Rigidity could be accurately predicted by ELOC and EI Self-Awareness. A suggested change framework is constructed from using various aspects from existing frameworks described in the literature and a balanced scorecard is recommended for implementation purposes. It is recommended that further studies should be conducted to investigate the reason for high Resistance to Change, with the focus on the influence of leadership on the implementation of change.