This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Organizational Change Recipients and Choosing an Opinion Leader: A Mixed Methods Investigation




Vitale, Dean

Type of Degree





To better understand the phenomenon of opinion leadership within the context of organizational change, a study of employees was conducted across two banks in the midst of a corporate merger. Qualitative and quantitative data on organizational culture and employee self-report and other-reported attitudes and personality are analyzed from interviews and survey questionnaires. Results suggest significant differences in mid-merger change attitudes between legacy banks. Employees of the dominant bank were more likely to describe their referent organizational opinion leaders (OOL) with work-related terms, whereas employees of the dominated bank were more likely to describe their respective opinion leaders with interpersonal terms expressing positive affect. Neither the strength of influence wielded by organizational opinion leaders (OOL), nor the leadership style of OOL differed between banks. However, a multi-level analysis suggests OOL job performance predicts OOL strength of influence.