16.12.2015
Doctoral Dissertation

21.12. Ph.D. (Econ) Sari Savolainen (Faculty of Information Technology, Cognitive Science)

Time:

21.12.2015 11:00 — 14:00


Location: Mattilanniemi , Agora, Martti Ahtisaari -sali (Aud. 1)
M.Sc. Sari Savolainen defends her doctoral dissertation in Cognitive Science ”Kognitiivinen tunnearvioteoria ja psykologinen hyväksyminen organisaatiomuutoksen kohtaamisessa”. Opponents Professor Matti Kamppinen (University of Turku) and Ph.D., Rector Vesa Taanila (Turku University of Applied Sciences) custos Professor Pentti Saariluoma (University of Jyväskylä). The doctoral dissertation is held in Finnish.

Sari Savolainen, photo Lasse AhonenD.Sc. Sari Savolainen defends her doctoral dissertation in Cognitive Science ”Kognitiivinen tunnearvioteoria ja psykologinen hyväksyminen organisaatiomuutoksen kohtaamisessa”. Opponents Professor Matti Kamppinen (University of Turku) and Ph.D., Rector Vesa Taanila (University of Turku) custos Professor Pentti Saariluoma (University of Jyväskylä). The doctoral dissertation is held in Finnish.

Abstract

This study investigates the cognitive appraisal theory and psychological acceptance organizational change. In this study organisational change is change of generation in small family firms and these situations are the most suitable for studying these theories because in small family firms succession always brings along very different changes. The goal of this study is to examine emotional processes of people in connection to enterprises and organizations by two central theories, specifically cognitive appraisal theory (Lazarus 1966; Scherer 1999) and psychological acceptance (Hayes, Strosahl & Wilson 1999). Further this study examines such factors, which influence forming of cognitive appraisal and psychological acceptance at time of forming and during development of the new situation being faced.

Empirically the research consists of case data based on interviews from several cases in Finland, Ireland, Switzerland and Italy. After a careful selection process the data was selected from the total interview material from 10 family firms and 25 informants to this study. Based on theory 8 analysis questions were created and one research question to fulfil the goal of the study. Analysis of interviews was hermeneutic analysis.

The results of this study present that positively appraised meanings for oneself AND/OR positively appraised possibilities influence to new situation leads to acceptance of the moment. Correspondingly negatively appraised meanings for oneself AND negatively appraised possibilities influence to new situation leads to resistance of the new situation. Further results indicate that these original cognitive appraisal and psychological acceptance mind structures are quite permanent and needs strong experiences or significant new information to change them and the personality of individuals’ influences the ways they give meanings to different factors, like goals, values, skills and experiences. This study shows that all efforts used to inform all participants of change at the earliest moment are important because first formed cognitive appraisal and psychological acceptance looks to be quite permanent and then requires much more effort to be changed.

Keywords: appraisal, acceptance, emotions, decision making, organizational change, family business succession

 

More information

Sari Savolainen

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sari.savolainen@jyu.fi