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Doctoral Grant (BOF), Organization- and Management Sciences - 2019BAPDOCPROEX285Posted by: University of Antwerp
Posted date: 2019-Oct-09
The Faculty of Business and Economics is seeking to fill a full-time (100%) vacancy in the Department of Management for a
Doctoral Grant by the University Research Fund (BOF) in the area of Organization- and Management Sciences
Project title: Are structural changes paradoxically undermining organizational adaptability? A study to the impact of continuous structural changes on decision-making within organizations.
Organizations need to continuously adapt in response to evolving circumstances and demands. One way to make organizations more responsive to their external environment is to drastically alter the organizational structure (e.g. mergers, acquisitions, splitting’s, changes of task,…), and thus the way an organization functions. The pace at which such structural changes are introduced has increased significantly over the last decade, leaving less or no recuperation time for organizations and their employees. Corporate governance practices and systems can facilitate the successful implementation of these changes, for instance, by supporting and creating openness in decision-making processes. However, each single structural change inherently threatens the transparency of and participation in decision-making processes. Structural changes are likely to introduce a great deal of uncertainty and anxiety, putting strain on organizations and their employees (see Seo and Hill, 2005). This can lead employees to stick to established work procedures and to avoid new information that does not fit well with their established mode of thinking—thus directly affecting decision-making processes. Moreover, managers in various echelons of the organization will have a tendency to centralize decision-making in order to mitigate the perceived ‘crisis’ as swiftly as possible. These symptoms are expected to be reduced when organizations and employees are given sufficient time to recover from a structural change. However, the few studies on change sequences (for example, Rafferty and Griffin, 2006) have argued that intense structural change sequences will impede such a gradual recovery. This will, in turn, paralyze the working of an entire organization, threatening organizational adaptability (for example, McMurray, 2010). Nevertheless, to date, little is known about how decision-making processes evolve in the light of these continuous structural changes and how this impacts the adaptability of an organization. This research aims to understand the effect of intense structural change sequences on organizational adaptability through their impact on decision-making processes.
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