John Vongas, Associate Professor of Management, Publishes a Conceptual Paper on Radical Change

By John Vongas, February 18, 2024

Have you ever wondered what happens inside a person's mind as they experience a radical change at work? In our recent paper accepted at the journal Review of Managerial Science, coauthor Raghid Al Hajj and I develop a model that details this process in both radical change agents (those initiating the change) and recipients (those being subjected to the change). Titled "Radical Intrapersonal Change: Three Usual Suspects, One Unusual Organizational Context," our paper proposes how a radical change can impact a person's work motivation and goal achievement, and sheds light on how one's emotional intelligence can influence these relationships. While this work is purely theoretical, we hope that future researchers will take on a data-driven/empirical approach. For all inquiries, please contact me at It will be a pleasure to share the paper.


As organizational change becomes more radical, frequent, and unpredictable, our knowledge of the mechanisms governing change at the intrapersonal or within-person level remains limited. In this systematic review of the management and I/O psychology literatures, we offer a novel theoretically based definition of radical change taking place within an individual. Drawing on the theories of dissonance and attitudes toward change, we also present a conceptual model that merges cognitive, affective, and motivational dimensions to explain how an individual’s goal pursuit and achievement are influenced by radical change. In doing so, we move away from studying change at the ‘macro’ organizational level to focus instead on the processes underpinning one’s personal radical change. We further differentiate these processes between two important role occupiers, namely change agents and recipients, and recommend that future scholars consider other boundary conditions and mediating mechanisms. Finally, we conclude with some research-based implications for managerial praxis. We urge future researchers and practitioners to try to better understand the self-transformative experience that is ‘radical change’ and to incorporate this deeper understanding in their theorizing and practice, respectively.