Change Management and Factors causing Resistance to change

In today‟s world, changes are inevitable and dealing with changes has become a part of everyday life, in and out of work. Changes are for individuals, society and organizations. The reasons and type of changes at work are well documented in literature. For example, at workplace changes can occur as a result of execution of a new corporate strategy or integrating an acquisition (Miles, 2010), as a result of intensifying competition, changes in communication media, supply chain networks, distribution chains, economical changes (Paton and McCalman, 2008), to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of a manufacturing or service system, increase quality and flexibility to meet customers‟ demands (Chen and Tsai) or changes that occur due to changes in technology, attitudes and values of employees, goals and needs of the organization, resources and capabilities and laws, politics and government regulations that govern the functioning of the organization (Song, 2009). In its simplest terms, change is „the process of intentionally moving from one defined state to another‟ (Sun Microsystems, 2008). In other words, change management is the systematic approach to dealing with change, both from the perspective of an organization and on the individual level. A more elaborate definition of change management would be, „Activities involved in (1) Defining and instilling new values, attitudes, norms, and behaviors within an organization that support new ways of doing work and overcome resistance to change; (2) Building consensus among customers and stakeholders on specific changes designed to better meet their needs; and (3) Planning, testing, and implementing all aspects of the transition from one organizational structure or business process to another‟ In his view, the primary goal of change management is to make organizations more effective, efficient and responsive to changing business conditions and is therefore crucial for an organization‟s survival. Organizational changes are influenced by organizational culture, source of change, social background of employees working in it, educational history, employment history, management style, problem ownership and experience of the organization involved in change (Patton and McCalman, 2008). Though changes are inevitable, organizational changes is

1947) Resistance is described as “a combination of an individual reaction to frustration with strong group-induced forces” . some just shudder at the mere thought of changes that alter their current status quo. The organization then takes the necessary steps to educate the employees on the need and importance of change and engages them in the process. They stress that taking into consideration employee feelings.a complex task and are usually regarded with weariness by many. Impact of change process on employees Change process exerts a drastic change on employees‟ attitudes and behaviors at workplace. This is because they alter the status quo and upset the established way of doing things and sounds threatening technical and psychological perspective (Kotter and Schlesinger. Negative attitude and skepticism among participants forms the biggest obstacle in change management while supportive attitude and openness to change will improve change management (David and Songer. Hiatt and Creasey. thoughts and beliefs will help them identify the factors that drive their behavior towards change. The organization and its employees are initially at a comfort stage where everything proceeds normally during which the need for change arises. Duffy (2003) characterized people based on their attitude or perceptions regarding change. 2009. Once the employees start to realize its significance and impact. This is followed by creating awareness among the employees regarding the need for change and its implementation which is met with denial or indifference from the employees involved in it. Kurt Lewin introduced the term resistance in his field theory and later work on group dynamics (Lewin. Fearful are those who find change to be threatening and a means of making things worse. 2008). goes on to discuss the factors that will and will not influence employee‟s motivations towards change. In fact. Aiken and Keller (2009) in their article. and confident are those who find it inspiring and take it as a challenge. resistance since change is usually resisted by for many reasons. It was often noted that people and resistance from them play a very important role in change management. 2003). hopeful are those who find it encouraging. Roberts (2011) notes that where some people welcome change and view them as a challenge or opportunity to make things better. This is followed by the next stage. they overcome their earlier reservations and accept the changes. Then they become committed to achieving the change outcomes successfully and work towards it with enthusiasm.

feelings of failure. At the individual level we find psychological factors such as resentment. It has been found that change disrupts our expectations and produces a loss of the psychological equilibrium we value. frustration. He adds that from the perspective of a manager or consultant these forces may seem an obstruction. fear. persistence. It has been found that loss of control is the most important cause of resistance. habit. They affect the change process directly or indirectly. and rejection of outsiders. and to return to equilibrium are the most salutary”. selective perception and retention. preserve. maintaining stability. tradition. Two of the authors comment on resistance at the organizational level. Driving factors of Change Some driving factors have been identified that appreciate the change process and absence of which may resist and defy the successful implementation of change initiatives. and threats to power or influence.Resistance to change Watson (1969) defines resistance as all the forces that contribute to stability in personality or in social systems. and low motivation preference for stability. Since resistance to change is a natural reaction of people to anything that significantly interrupt their status quo. These are divided into three main categories. Mullins discusses organization culture. Yet he continues by stating that “From a broader and more inclusive perspective the tendencies to achieve. conservatism. self-distrust. systemic and cultural coherence. Thus. Internal factors: Internal factors are the elements within the organization that enforce . External factors: External factor are the elements outside the organization that drives the changes. vested interests. sacred values. and insecurity. he sees resistance to change as a natural reaction of individuals and social systems originating from the need for a relatively stable situation. Causes of Resistance to Change Many causes of resistance are listed in the publications. investment in resources. Watson discusses conformity to norms. past contracts and agreements.

It is Cleary seen from the figure that at certain level say A. Change Management Model Change management focus on the tactics and strategies that lead to successful implementation of change. different management structure and the change in their status and power in an organization. Lack of trust creates misunderstanding between the initiators and implementers of change. stability or resistance to . level of resistance. There are many barriers that hinder the successful implementation of change.   Fear of unknown increases the stress level among the employees to resist the change. Lack of motivation and non-compliance results when employees realize that the proposed change will not result in any improvement. role ambiguity and lack of interest arise from improper communication of the reasons of change. way of imposing change. These driving factors also involve situational factors. It doesn‟t mean that one should resist the change but it does mean that stability is required after too much optimistic changes in order to avoid disruption. level of information. Boredom task ambiguity. extent of urgency and speed of change. Resistance to change is one of the biggest barriers.the organization to impose the changes Personal factors: personal factors are the personality traits which makes people realize the need for change. Situational factors are different circumstances and background of change faced by an organization when it passes through the change process which involves cultural insights. Misconception about change initiatives and the consequences of the change directly affects employee‟s behavior such as fear of loss of their jobs. This model proofs the fact that adaptation to repetitive change will definitely results in constructive production but simultaneously it can be destructive too.Some of the factors that resist the change are as follows:     When the reason and purpose of change is not properly communicated misunderstandings arise which in turn causes lack of group coordination. The change management has been conceptualized by this model. new rules. value the initiatives and combine forces with the change process. . Factors that cause resistance to change To implement the change is not simple process. amount of politicking.

People resist change because they fear the negative outcomes associated with the change. In short. Build measurement systems by providing consequences in either case into the change process that tell people when they are succeeding or failing. counseling or information as suitable to achieve change successfully. such as making time for informal discussion and feedback.loss is easier to deal with if there is something to swap it. and support their decision making. resistance to change is not always the bad for change process. Keep observing good change management practice. facilitation. to express their views. participation. This will help alleviate potential fears. negotiation or coercion. Recommendations Initiator and implementers of change should determine the level of resistance and organizational inertia and then adopt the strategies to manage resistance by education. Resistance to change/stability is required after adaptation of the change. This model reveals the driving factors of change that lead to success or failure. Where the changes involves a loss. discover what will or might replace that loss . counseling. providing coaching. . Give people time.change is required immediately for a short span of time after adaptation of the changes.

A. 282-6. R. ``Survive and thrive in times of change‟‟.a paradigm shift. 10.emerald . Training and Development Journal. Iles. Return to Work and Psychological Issues. C. Bovey. pp. W. Carol Steiner (2001) „A role of individuality and mystery in managing change‟ 4. 14-17 May 2003 7.T. 3. 19 No. 29 No. April. Vol. Portugal. pp. (1984).D. (1988). pp. . Paper for “Power Dynamics and Organizational Change IV” Symposium at the 11th EAWOP Conference in Lisbon.com 3. Rafe Harwood article Models of Change and Overcoming Employee Resistance 5.W.7 2. SecurityManagement. `Making peace with change‟‟. Andrew Hede „Resistance to organizational change: the role of defence Mechanisms‟ Journal of Managerial Psychology 16. Scott. 9. www. Vol. & Cranfield.library. 25-7. Bennebroek Gravenhorst (2003) A Different View on Resistance to Change. ACC Review (2006) Issue 8 8.References: 1. Gillian Ragsdell (2000) journal of change management. Band.. „Developing Change Management Skills‟ 6. ``Implementing change: insights and strategies of the supervisor‟‟. and Jaffe. D. S. Engineering. Social Work. Wayne H. Kilian M. 21-2. V. A holistic approach to organizatonal change management. Weinbach. (1995). (2009). 3.

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