The organisational literature has overlooked the diversity of change agents’ psychological ownership experiences in the context of major (or second-order) change. The present study addressed this lacuna. The study used the case study method and focused on six Israeli state-religious schools, which adopted a new liberal curriculum. Thirty-one semi-structured interviews were conducted with six principals and 25 teachers (middle-level managers and educators). Analysis of the findings revealed the types of psychological ownership that change agents experience (ownership by process, by interest, and by means); two main components of the agents’ psychological ownership (accountability and territoriality); and three perceived types of sharing associated with ownership (active, passive, and defensive). The implications of the findings are discussed. MAD statement: Building on a real case study of major change in public schools, the paper describes the varieties of psychological ownership during change implementation. Committed change agents can have different types of ownership experiences, different drives that make them accountable to the change at hand, different territorial outlooks, and different sharing orientations. Three ideal types of psychological ownership experiences are suggested and practitioners can use them to diagnose organisational dynamics and intervene in the process.
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- Change agents
- psychological ownership
- second-order change