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Background: Employee attitudes toward change are critical for health care organizations implementing new procedures and practices. When employees are more positive about the change, they are likely to behave in ways that support the change, whereas when employees are negative about the change, they will resist the changes.
Purpose: This study examined how perceived person-job (demands-abilities) fit influences attitudes toward change after an externally mandated change. Specifically, we propose that perceived person-job fit moderates the negative relationship between individual job impact and attitudes toward change.
Methodology: We examined this issue in a sample of Level 1 trauma centers facing a regulatory mandate to develop an alcohol screening and brief intervention program. A survey of 200 providers within 20 trauma centers assessed perceived person-job fit, individual job impact, and attitudes toward change approximately 1 year after the mandate was enacted.
Results: Providers who perceived a better fit between their abilities and the new job demands were more positive about the change. Further, the impact of the alcohol screening and brief intervention program on attitudes toward change was mitigated by perceived fit, where the relationship between job impact and change attitudes was more negative for providers who perceived a worse fit as compared with those who perceived a better fit.
Practical Implications: Successful implementation of changes to work processes and procedures requires provider support of the change. Management can enhance this support by improving perceived person-job fit through ongoing training sessions that enhance providers' abilities to implement the new procedures.
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