Organisational receptivity for change
: A multilevel approach

  • Manjusha Hirekhan

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The main theoretical contribution of this thesis is in the development and advancing of the organisational receptivity for change (ORC) theory adopting a multilevel perspective. Organisational change is a multilevel, multifaceted and complex phenomena which require cohesiveness of all levels for effective change implementation (Pettigrew et al., 1987; Butler, 2003). The ORC theory has been around for a decade, still, there is not much development on the original model (Bennett and Ferlie 1994; Butler 2003). Butler and Allen (2008) argue that receptivity factors are ‘higher order capabilities’ that organisations use to achieve intended strategic agendas. According to them higher the receptivity to change, the more flexible the organisation is to adapt to the environmental pressures.

Emerging economies and high pace changing industrial sector provide best opportunities for advancing the theory and research on organisational change (Meyer and Gelbuda, 2006). Therefore, the research context of this thesis is the renewable energy sector in India.

This study adopts a cross-sectional multilevel research design, and quantitative methods of analysis for the survey based primary data, to assess how organisational receptivity for change affects performance outcomes at different levels within an organisation.

The three key findings of this thesis are: (1) ORC factors as higher order dynamic capability interact across the levels and have potential to affect performance outcomes at individual perception and behavior towards change (e.g., resistance to change), project and organisational level. (2) ORC as higher order dynamic capability acts as an antecedent, influences, and foster ambidexterity by enabling a firm to alter its capability based by negotiating the fit between existing and new organisational practices. (3) the key moderators/factors (HR power and competence, social climate and daily work context) act as a process, practices, activities and/or mechanism at various unit levels within an organisation that works effectively along with ORC factors to impact performance outcome variables (including employees response to change).
Date of Award2017
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorMichael J Butler (Supervisor) & Pawan Budhwar (Supervisor)


  • organisational receptivity for change
  • organisational ambidexterity
  • HR power and competence
  • social climate
  • daily work context
  • renewable energy sector
  • India
  • hierachical linear modelling

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