Emotional Reactions to the Experiences of Transformational Change: Evidence from the Department of Correctional Services of South Africa
AbstractThis is a follow up to a previous paper by the authors on transformational change within an offender correctional environment, which focuses on the human dimension of transformational change. The current treatise captures evidence gathered from Correctional Centres of the Department of Correctional Services of South Africa on correctional officials’ and offenders’ reactions to, and experiences of, transformational change, which entails a paradigm shift from a punishment-oriented philosophy to a rehabilitation-oriented philosophy in terms of treatment of incarcerated offenders (herein referred to as the DCS change). Lack of sufficient empirical evidence on the significant role that the human elements play in the success or failure of transformational change interventions motivate the authors to undertake an empirical study that sought to establish how correctional officials and offenders have reacted to and experienced the DCS change. This was an important study given the fact that arguments have been advanced to the effect that the high failure rate experienced in the implementation of transformational change efforts is due to the neglect of the human factor during transformational change planning process and implementation. This study was intended to benefit managers in both the public and private sector organizations globally and particularly in South Africa, where organizations are currently engaged in massive transformational change efforts as a result the government’s programme of reconstruction and development of the South African society. For purposes of contextualizing people’s reactions to and experiences within the Department of Correctional Services and South Africa in general, an extensive literature study was undertaken. The literature study was followed by the empirical study whereby data was collected by means of two survey questionnaires, namely one for correctional officials, and the other for offenders. The empirical findings pointed to the fact that transformational change evoked various emotional reactions and experiences on the part of both correctional officials and offenders, which ranged from positive affect to negative affect through to introspective-anxious affect.
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