Date of Award

Fall 2022

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Psychology, PhD


School of Social Science, Politics, and Evaluation

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Stewart Donaldson

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Michelle Bligh

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Jason T. Siegel

Terms of Use & License Information

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Rights Information

© 2022 Mona Farid-Nejad


change management, employee well-being, mindfulness, motivation, organizational change, retention

Subject Categories



As the world of work becomes increasingly uncertain, organizations and their employees must adapt and change to survive and remain solvent in light of market and social changes. Most organizational-level change management approaches, however, fail to consider the repercussions of change on employees and often do not consider the psychological resources employees need to weather the storms of change. Guided by previous research concerning the benefits of mindfulness, the current dissertation seeks to understand the benefits of trait mindfulness as a personal resource for employee well-being, motivation, and retention during organizational change. In the initial pilot study, organizational change vignettes were developed and tested to assess their ability to induce various levels of change uncertainty. A sample of 161 U.S.-based participants recruited from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk were randomly assigned to one of three experimental conditions (high-uncertainty, low-uncertainty, and control) and asked to read a vignette followed by an activity in which they were asked to write sentences from the vignette that caused them to feel certain, uncertain, or reflected the routine of the person in the vignette (Hogg et al., 2010; Sentence activity instructions varied based on experimental condition.) The sentence activity formed an uncertainty prime that was then followed by a change uncertainty questionnaire (Rafferty & Griffin, 2006) to test the effectiveness of the vignettes in inducing various levels of change uncertainty. Results indicated that the vignettes and sentence activity effectively induced appropriate levels of change uncertainty in their respective experimental conditions. To further assess the benefits of mindfulness as a personal resource to employees experiencing organizational change, the main study recruited 685 U.S.-based adults from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk platform and randomly assigned participants to one of two vignette conditions derived from the pilot study (high-uncertainty or control). The low-uncertainty condition was removed, as path analyses would not allow for more than two experimental conditions for independent variables. Participants were asked to read the vignettes and complete the same sentence activity performed in the pilot study. The vignette activity was followed by a survey that included scales assessing employees’ levels of change uncertainty, trait mindfulness, self-regulation, affective responses to change, motivation to continue with job responsibilities, and intentions to turn over (Brown & Ryan, 2003; Gabrys et al., 2018; Gagné et al., 2015; Rafferty & Griffin, 2006; Watson et al., 1988). Analyses examined the effects of change uncertainty on negative affect, autonomous motivation, and turn over intentions. The study further assessed the role of trait mindfulness as a moderator of main effects between change uncertainty and the dependent variables, and considered self-regulation as a mediator in the relationship between trait mindfulness and negative affect, autonomous motivation, and turn over intentions. Final path analyses were conducted to assess the full theoretical model. Results revealed that, as hypothesized, change uncertainty was related to negative affect, decreased motivation, and increased intentions to turn over amongst participants, and that negative affect was reduced amongst those high in trait mindfulness. Further, as hypothesized, self-regulation explained the relationships between trait mindfulness and both motivation and turn over intentions. Contrary to hypotheses, trait mindfulness was associated with reductions in autonomous motivation across both conditions and increased intentions to turn over amongst those in the high-uncertainty group. Additionally, self-regulation did not mediate the relationship between trait mindfulness and negative affect. The findings from the current study have implications for employee well-being and mindfulness interventions in organizational change settings. This work provides valuable tools and findings for future research concerning mindfulness and motivation, and provides an understanding of ways in which mindful employees respond to change differently than their peers. Further implications for both research and practice are discussed.



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