Introduction a distinction between antecedent-focused emotion regulation



Cummings and Worley (2009) indicate that
the pace of global, economic and technological development makes change an
inevitable feature of organizational life. However, change is not always smooth
and welcomed by everyone. Resistance to change causes damage to the
organization as well as the individual employee. The most literature on
managing change tend to addressed at two different levels from the perspective
of the individual (how to motivate the individual to be committed to the change
and act accordingly), and from the perspective of the organization (the types
of organizations, systems and structures considered to be supportive of change.
Resistance to change has negative implications for work-related outcomes of the
employees. It has an impact on job satisfaction (Burke, Lake, & Paine,
2009) and, in turn, on the intention to turnover (Neves, 2009). Emotion
regulation is one of the strategies which help employee to regulate their
emotion toward organizational change. Emotion Regulation Strategies refers to
the processes of changing the experience of, and the expression given to,
perceived emotions (Aldao, Nolen-Hoeksema, & Schweizer, 2010). Aldao,
Nolen-Hoeksema, & Schweizer, (2010) made a distinction between
antecedent-focused emotion regulation and response-focused emotion regulation.
Antecedent-focused emotion regulation involves anticipating on the emotion
response before the response is expressed. It changes behaviour and
physiological responding in advance. 
Response-focused emotion regulation occurs later in time. This involves
the actions of individuals when the emotions are already experienced. Gross
model involve of five emotional regulation strategies. First one is situation
selection (emotion regulation strategy avoidance). It focus in avoiding certain
people, place or things in order to regulate emotion (Aldao, Nolen-Hoeksema,
& Schweizer, 2010). This strategy excluded from study because it is not
relevant with purpose of this study and mostly employee not have choice to
avoid organizational change except when they leave organization (Aldao et al.,
2012). The second strategy is situation modification or problem-focused coping.
It means seeking social support as a part of emotion-focused coping. The third
is attentional deployment which can be used to select the aspects of a
situation one wants to focus on (Mikolajczak, Nelis, Hansenne, & Quoidbach,
2008). It focus on distraction, concentration, and rumination. Distraction
means non-emotional aspects, which reduces the negative emotional response
through denial. By focusing on the positive aspects of the situation,
concentration also has a positive effect on one’s emotional response.
Rumination is often associated with negative outcomes. It leads to depressive
symptoms and extended periods of negative emotions. The fourth is cognitive
change which is focus on decreasing the emotional impact by altering the way a
person thinks about a certain situation (Goldin, McRae, Ramel, & Gross, 2008).
The fifth is response-focused emotion regulation which influenced by the
personal meaning that is given to a situation.

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Rational of undertaking the review

Little research is investigated about how
emotion regulation strategies of employee influence the relationship between
resistance to change and job satisfaction (Vakola, & Armenakis, 2011). Most research were
investigated general organizational characteristics that influence resistance
to change, such as communication (Van Dam, Oreg, & Schyns, 2008), participation
(Self, 2007), and confidence in management (Herholdt, 2012). This study will
try to overcome the current gap in research about individual outcomes of, and
emotional reaction to resistance to change by combining the research fields of
organizational change, emotion regulation, and (work) psychology. The objective of this study is to investigate the role of emotion
regulation strategies in explaining the relationship between resistance to
change and job satisfaction.

Aim of Review

This study will provide insight about the relationship
between resistance to change and job satisfaction through the influence of
emotional regulation strategies. It creates awareness among employers about
resistance to change and its effect on job satisfaction.

This study going to answer the coming

What the
relation between job satisfaction and resistance to change?What the
impact of emotion regulation strategy on job satisfaction?What the
role of emotion regulation in adopting organizational change?Literature reviewAccording to Holland and Rees
(2010),a literature review is a method of investigating published studies
critically in a systematic approach to retrieve findings that can be applied in
clinical practice. It essential to identify which literature has made
significant contributions to examining the role of emotional regulation
strategies in order to enhance job satisfaction in order to enhance smooth
organizational change project implementation.Search strategyA comprehensive electronic literature
search was conducted on3th November 2017. The keywords are generated from the
study questions formulated. The search was restricted to articles published in
the English language between 2007 and 2017. The keywords used in the search
were: resistance to change, organizational change, emotion regulation
strategies, job satisfaction. CINAHL (Ebsco), Cochrane Library, Google Scholar,
Wiley, Science Direct and Pub-med were the databases used to carry out the
search. Other criteria limiting the search were that the articles had to be
available as free full text. The search produced 38 articles. See table 1 in
appendix of data base search and table 2 for index terms. Article selectionArticles were screened with an
overall goal of ?nding a group of articles that focused speci?cally on job
satisfaction, emotional regulation strategies organizational resistance to
change. The articles were to address the mediating role of emotional regulation
strategies in order to enhance job satisfaction in order to enhance smooth
organizational change project implementation. Inclusion and exclusion criteria
are formed to selected research. Articles focusing on business organization were
included because the emotion regulation aspect of employee same as the health
organization employee. Qualitative, quantitative and mixed design studies were
included in this review. Articles had to be published in English between 2007
and 2017. Articles were excluded if they did not focus on emotional regulation,
if the research design was unclear or of poor quality, if the argument
presented was not well reasoned or clear or if the article focused on organizational
strategies to enhance implementation change generally instead of employee’s regulate
their emotion toward change speci?cally. See table 3 in appendix.Findings of the reviewA three-step screening process was used to
obtain the ?nal sample of articles. The goal of this process of screening was
to determine the state of knowledge related to job satisfaction, emotional
regulation strategies and organizational resistance to change within this
sample. To accomplish this goal, determining patterns, directions, similarities
and differences among the articles within the sample. Articles were read three
times to determine the quality of the writing, to reduce and compare data
within the articles and to analyse and synthesize themes and patterns within
the literature sample. Firstly, 28 articles were selected was based on the
titles fitting. Secondly, 19 articles were selected from reading through the
abstracts. Thirdly, 14 articles were selected based on meeting the inclusion
criteria. The remaining six articles were selected through reading the full
text. Holland & Rees, (2010) and Polit & Beck, (2014) were used as a
framework for critiquing research papers. All the research studies were
investigated to answer our review questions and then a systematic review was
carried out to assess the quality of the articles. Table 4 will illustrated the
including articles with main design features, study population, findings,
limitations and implication for practice.


In this part will discuss the themes
according to the interpretation of the literature based on the critical
evaluation in order to make recommendations based on evidence-based practice. These
themes will be comprehensively analysed and synthesised, evaluated and

The themes that emerged from the literature

 1.        The effect of job satisfaction on
reduction of resistance to change

2.         The
impact of emotion regulation strategy on job satisfaction

3.         The
role of emotion regulation in adopting organizational change

The effect of
job satisfaction on reduction of resistance to change

Struijs, (2012) conducted
a cross-sectional study of 194 participants out of 420

with respons rate
46.19% examined the relationship between resistance to change and

turnover intention,
and whether this relationship was mediated by job satisfaction. Although a
large sample size does not guarantee representativeness, it enhances the validity
of the statistical conclusion (Polit & Beck, 2014). The study findings  showed that people who experienced more
resistance to change, were less satisfied with their job. Whereas Liang-Chuan
Wu and Maggie WU, (2011) conducted empirical study through case study of
company in Taiwan in order to investigate the impact of organizational change
on employee satisfaction level. This study found that age , expertise,
benefits, workload and promotion is contributed factors of employee
dissatisfaction with organizational change. Moreover, this study emphasize the
need to pay attention to employee’s feeling in 
order to ensure the smooth introduction 
of organizational change since employee satisfaction is critical to
organization success.

To conclude, both studies reflect that job
satisfaction is essential for employee to accept organizational change.
Resistance to change has negative impact on job satisfaction. Job satisfaction
is considered as the one of the consequences of resistance to change. Burke et
al (2009) found that employees experience resistance to change, they are
frustrated by the change and develop more negative thoughts and feelings about
their organization.

The impact of
emotion regulation strategy on job satisfaction

Changes often provoke resistance by
employees and can lead to the experience of a variety of emotions. It is
important to pay attention to resistance to change and the way employees
regulate their emotions, because both can have an important impact on
work-related outcomes, such as job satisfaction and turnover intention. Several
studies were conducted to investigate the role of emotional regulation
strategies in several variables related to employee. Hulshegar, Lang, Schewe,
& Zijlstra, (2014) conducted experimental field study of 41 participants
aimed to investigate the relationship between deep acting, automatic regulation
of emotions in employee health well-being and increase performance. This study
found that emotional regulation strategies are positively enforcing employee
health well-being and increase performance. The findings of previous study is
supported by Siu, Cheung, & Lui, (2015). The researchers conducted Survey
of 311 participants to investigate the mechanism  underlying the relationships among positive
emotion, work well-being(job satisfaction and stress symptoms and  turnover intention. This study findings was that
positive emotion were positive related to job satisfaction and decrease
turnover intention.

To sum up, evidence indicates that the
emotional regulation affect the job satisfaction and intention to turnover
among employees. It is emphasize the need to examine the role of emotional
regulation strategies in order to enhance job satisfaction in order to enhance
smooth organizational change project implementation.

The role of
emotion regulation in adopting organizational change

an emotion regulation strategy is effective or ineffective depends on how that
specific strategy influence employee’s reaction to a certain situations. The emotion
regulation strategies can be effective for the reason that they can help human
to handle the situation better, by positively modifying (the attention or
meaning of) the situation.for the reason that they can help human to handle the
situation better, by positively modifying (the attention or meaning of) the
situation. Situations are often modified by seeking social support to better
cope with the changing situation rather than resistance (Cummings & Worley,
2009). However, situation modification can also have negative and
ineffective outcomes for individuals (Avey, Wernsing, & Luthans, 2008). If
an employee experience resistance to change and talks with somebody who has
also a negative opinion about the change, a higher level of resistance to
change will lead to more job dissatisfaction. Focusing on non-emotional aspects
of the change, emotions are positively regulated by shifting the attention away
from the change.

Avey, J, 
Wernsing, T. & Luthans, F,( 2008) carried out a cross sectional
study in the form of a 132 validated online survey for employee
from different organization to explicate the relationship between positive
employees and their attitudes and behaviours that have implications for
positive organizational change. Although the sample background enhance the
generalizability of the outcome, as participants were from different type of
organization, with different change experience, the validity of the outcome is
affected by the sampling selection method (Holland & Rees , 2010). This
study findings provide beginning support that positive employees may indeed be
a very important ingredient in positive organizational change. Malik,
S. & Masood, S, (2015) conducted study to examine the mediating role
of psychological capital on the relationship between emotional intelligence and
resistance towards change through personally administered questionnaires. The
sample was 170 employees from telecom organizations operating in Pakistan. The
findings show that emotional intelligence leads to stronger psychological
resources which play a significant role in employee’s proactive attitudes
towards change.

To summarize studies finding, it is clearly that
emotional regulation strategies play an effective role to enhance adaptation of
employee with organizational change.


conclude all literature findings including in this review, the job satisfaction
can effect positively in enhancing employee adopting organizational change.
Moreover, positive emotional GFDFDEEEcan be enhancing both job satisfaction
and easily adopting organizational change.


This review is just beginning of building knowledge
about emotional regulation strategies and its effectiveness on enhancing
employee coping and adopting with organizational change. This review is limited
by the key phrases used for searching, the databases accessed, the frame and
method of searching for literature, and time constraints. Further studies is
recommended to promote depth of understanding and knowledge development related
directly to emotional regulation strategies and it is implication in health
care settings. It is important to investigate how can train employee to use
emotional regulation strategies to adopted organization change.