resistance to change

Topics: Change management, Management, Organization Pages: 6 (1543 words) Published: August 15, 2014


Resistance to change
Robert Fields
MGT/426
June 29, 2014
T H
Resistance to change
Organization Change can be defined as an influence where a company or an organization moves away from the normal state and schedules towards better goals in order to increase its effectiveness and also keep up with the changing markets and technologies(Donaldson, 1996). During the change process in the organization, resistance is always expected from various teams and individuals which include the organizational level, the group level and also the individual level. Perren (1996) tried to describe resistance as a reaction that usually occurs when someone is in distress, which comes about in order to reduce the distress levels. The change agents can manage this resistance by getting to understand the reasons for change and also give you the opportunity for planning on the strategies to follow in addressing the said factors. There are several reasons that bring about resistance. They can be divided into two main parts which include organization resistance and individual resistance: Organizational resistance: Most organizations are usually conservative when it comes to change, and in most cases they tend to be paranoid hence resisting change. Some of the reasons for this kind of resistance include: Threat of power: With the change process, some groups within the organization may become more powerful than a specific manager therefore he may be opposed to change. He may also be afraid of losing control if the change requires reduction in powers of that specific individual. By reducing the said manager’s power, his prestige and reputation may be affected hence the resistance. Group inertia: Individuals in an organization may resist change because the group they belong to does not agree with the said change. This may come about especially when members of higher rank resist the change, the lower ranking managers may be afraid to go against their bosses. Organization structure: Every organization is usually divided into different sub-systems where an organization may want to change just one group/ sub-system, but changing one sub-system in the said group may affect the rest of the group’s operations and stability. This may cause confusion and unplanned spending in order to change all the other groups. Threat of specialization: A group that specializes in specific task may feel threatened if the said task is assigned to different, newly trained individuals. An example includes; when the IT (information technology) section feel threatened when the company buys computers for every individual in the organization or when they teach more people on using the said computers. Sunk costs: The top management may resist change because they may feel that the heavy capital invested in assets or training of employees may go to waste when the change process occurs. The individual resistant involves resistance that is brought about by the employees and other individuals in the organization which includes: Poor communication: When the employees involved don’t understand the reasons for change, they may feel that they are not getting involved in the changes that are happening in the organization which may bring about negative reactions causing resistance. Informing them of the changes makes it easier for them to handle and cope with it especially if the change affect them directly in their work stations. Some employees may also not understand the need for change since they may feel that they have been in that specific organization for a long time, doing the same thing over the years therefore feeling that the current method of working is the most effective.

Habits and relationships: Sometimes change in the organizations may threaten to modify the relationships between the employees by making changes in their interaction patterns. Employees working in the same group or room are usually friends. Moving them to different groups may be seen as a...

References: Bozak M. (2003) Using Lewin’s force field analysis in implementing a nursing information system. Computers, informatics, nursing, 21(2), Pp.80-85
Burnes B. (2004) Managing change: a strategic approach to organizational dynamics, 4th Edition. Prentice Hall
Donaldson L. (1996). ‘The Normal Science of structural Contingency Theory’. Handbook of organization Studies, S.R. Clegg C. Herdy and W.R. Nord (editors), saga publications, London, United Kingdom, 57-76
Schein, E.H (1996) Kurt Lewin’s Change Theory in the field and in the classroom: note towards a model of management learning. System Practice, 9(1), 27-47
Perren Lew (1996) “Resistance to change as a positive force: its dynamics and issues for management development”, Career Development International, Vol. 1 Pp. 24-28
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