Time-resolved measurements of electro-optical response and Fourier-transform infrared absorption have been employed to study the submolecular motion of a surface stabilized ferroelectric liquid crystal (SSFLC) mixture during a field-induced reorientation process. All observed submolecular groups were found to rotate in unison about the layer normal in a steady d.c. field. In a transient situation, the FLC director can respond rapidly to a pulsed driving field. However, the orientation distribution was found to spread at first and then slowly converge to the new direction of the FLC director. When the field is switched off, all the core groups relax to a steady-state direction with varying relaxation times. The results reveal that submolecular fragments of different molecular species in the FLC mixture move correlatively in a steady d.c. field and during a field-induced reorientation process.