Importance of change appraisal for employee well-being during organizational restructuring – findings from the Finnish industry’s extensive transition

Krista Pahkin, Karina Nielsen, Ari Vaananen, Pauliina Mattila-Holappa, Anneli Leppanen, Aki Koskinen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The global recession has forced the Finnish forest industry to carry out major restructuring activities. Employees have faced different kinds of restructuring, mainly aimed at reducing staff and production. Many studies have shown the negative consequences of restructuring on employee well-being by using negative, ill-health indicators. Our aim is to examine the extent to which change appraisal influences both the negative and positive aspects of work-related well-being among employees who continue working in the organization after the restructuring process. We also examine the role of different actors (top management, immediate supervisor, employees themselves) in how the change is appraised. The study investigated blue-collar employees working in the Finnish forest industry during a period of extensive transition (2008–2009). All six participating factories underwent restructuring between baseline and the follow-up survey (n=369). After adjustment for gender, age and baseline well-being, negative change appraisal increased the risk of experiencing more stress and less work enjoyment. Negative change appraisals thus also damaged the positive, motivational aspects of employee well-being. The results showed the importance of offering employees the opportunity to participate in the planning of changes related to their work as regards positive change appraisal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-455
Number of pages11
JournalIndustrial Health
Issue number5
Early online date27 Jun 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Change appraisal
  • Change management
  • Affective well-being
  • Restructuring
  • Employees

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