Middle Managers' Emotional Experiences Amid Unplanned Organizational Changes During the Covid-19 Pandemic: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology, Concentration in Industrial-Organizational Psychology (Thesis Program)



First Advisor

Mendiola Teng-Calleja, PhD


The COVID-19 pandemic compelled organizations to undergo unplanned changes in order to adapt and respond to the crisis; with these changes came a multitude of emotional responses from employees. Through the lens of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, this study explored the emotions of middle managers and their direct reports during these unplanned changes, how middle managers attended to these two sets of emotions, and how they made sense of the change experience. Findings demonstrated that both middle managers and direct reports had negative and positive emotional experiences during unplanned changes. These emotions were associated with both the organizational changes and the context in which the changes were located. They can also be seen as illustrative of the middle managers' unique, dual position in the organization. Results were analyzed and discussed through the paradoxes of: 1) emotions, 2) the pandemic and, 3) the middle manager. Recommendations were made for future research.

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