Postprint of: Xerri, M, Nelson, S & Brunetto, Y in 2015, 'Importance of workplace relationships and attitudes toward organizational change in engineering asset-management organizations', Journal of Management in Engineering, vol. 31, no. 5, pp. 641-655.
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Effective asset management is an important factor that can affect public well-being by reducing accidents and break-downs in public utilities. To be effective, asset managers, engineers, and technicians must be open to the continuous change involved in adopting best practice in the industry. The paper examined the impact of workplace relationships (perceived organizational support and leader-member exchange) on attitudes toward organizational change, affective commitment, and psychological well-being for Australian asset managers, engineers, and technicians working in physical asset management. Social exchange theory provided the theoretical framework, and a self-report survey was administered to examine 255 asset managers, asset management engineers, and asset management maintenance employees. The major findings from a structural equation model indicate that perceived organizational support was positively correlated with an employee’s attitude toward organizational change, and supervisor-subordinate relationships and perceived organizational support were positively correlated with an employee’s emotional attachment to the organization. Perceived organizational support, attitude toward organizational change, and affective commitment were positively correlated with employee psychological well-being. The implication of the findings is that Australian engineering asset management employees’ well-being and attitude toward organizational change is influenced more by their relationship with the organization, compared with the relationship with their supervisor. This research provides support for management seeking to enhance employee attitudes toward organizational change and employee outcomes in physical asset management organizations.