From Persistence to Pursuit: A Longitudinal Examination of Momentum During the Early Stages of Strategic Change

Jansen, Karen J.
May 2004
Organization Science;May/Jun2004, Vol. 15 Issue 3, p276
Academic Journal
This study moves beyond the dominant "strategic persistence" view of momentum toward one focused on the energy associated with pursuit of a change goal. A conceptual distinction is made between inertia, the momentum associated with strategic persistence, and the momentum of strategic change. Building on this distinction, a theoretical framework is developed that examines the influence of various change-related events and social processes on momentum during the early stages of organizational change. The research reported in this manuscript was conducted over a 10-month period in an organization attempting to change its culture, employing both qualitative and longitudinal quantitative methods. This study provides validity evidence for the proposed momentum construct and identifies various factors that predict momentum. Results support a spiraling relationship between momentum and goal attainment, such that momentum predicts progress toward goal attainment, which then influences subsequent momentum. Practical implications and directions for future research are provided based on these findings.


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