Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

John J. Elshaw, PhD.


Studies have largely portrayed individual resistance as a pervasive, irrational, and problematic response to organizational change initiatives. The current study confronts this interpretation with a model of attitudinal inconsistency that provides a more holistic perspective of the individual during times of change. Inconsistency reveals the degree to which the mental evaluations of a change initiative may conflict and produce weak attitudinal foundations to govern behavior. Measuring affective-cognitive consistency, the tests in this study demonstrate that employees may form inconsistent attitudes towards a change initiative. Inconsistency relates negatively to the perceived quality of management transition techniques such as participation, communication, structured procedure, managerial supportiveness, and supervisor supportiveness. Consistency also seems to serve a role in the process of attitudinal change. Consistency partially mediates all five of the above predictors of openness to change. Post hoc analysis provides further evidence of the importance of a supportive culture in reducing inconsistency. Taken together, these results should cause some pause in the criticism of resistance. The mental processes behind perceived resistant attitudes and behaviors may display consequential dimensions beyond uniform negativity.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number