Change Management Resistance To Change Essay

2125 words - 9 pages

‘We may like change and regard it as an essential feature of living; it does not mean that we always welcome it’ ( Hughes, 2006).
1.0 Introduction

In response to environmental changes, the current organizational change has reached an irreversible trend. As Mr. M Beer ( 2003) stated, ‘Change is part of organisational life and essential for progress. Those who know how to anticipate it, catalyse it, and manage it will find their careers, and their companies, more satisfying and successful’

More than half of organizational change, however, has ended in failure. The primary reason is not a lack of capacity of the staff or the resource shortage of the enterprise , but the resistance to ...view middle of the document...

2.0 Literature Review

Change is inevitable in business life, those who can manage it well will be beneficial from the change, as Mr. M Beer (2003) stated. However, resistance, as an obstacle of the process of change, can hold back the development of managerial change (David Foote, 2001). Bhutan(1995) claimed that it is important to understand one’s state of mind in order to make them accept the change. To figure out the possible reasons why people tend to resist when it comes to make some changes. According to De Jag er (2001) , most people are reluctant to change resulting from their suspicions and fear to the new challenges. Resistance can also occur when change goes against their habits or values ( Robbins & Sanghai, 2006). Kotellnikov (2001) stated that employees could resist because they have an inadequate understanding of the purpose and meaning of change. To achieve maximum benefits from change, managers must try to minimise resistance behavior first ( Coetsee ,1999).

3.0 Resistance Defined

As an early researcher on this subject, Alvin Zander (1950) defined resistance to change as ‘behavior which is intended to protect an individual from the effects of real or imagined change’. Zaltman & Duncan (1977) define resistance as ‘any conduct that serves to maintainthe status quo in the face of pressure to alter the status quo’. According to Folger & Skarlicki (1999), resistance is ‘employee behavior that seeks to challenge, disrupt, orinvert prevailing assumptions, discourses, and power relations’.

4.0 Signs of Resistance

Resistance may be overt and covert. Overt resistance is out in the open. Rather than a hidden way, it is a noticeable refusal reaction, such as obvious disagreement, arguing, debating, outright refusal and attack etc.. Here I will pay more attention to explain how people can resist change without desplaying overt opposition, that is, covert resistance.

Covert resistance, on the other hand, comes in an underhand manner. It takes two forms: conscious and unconscious. Conscious covert resistance refers to that employees agree to a change on the surface while avoiding or postponing its implementation. Unconscious covert resistance appears when people are not even aware of their resistance or to resist the process of change for no apparent reason.Either way, covert resistance just destroys the process of change underground with no obvious conflicts. Covert resistance can be especially dangerous since it is invisible. Here I listed some symbols of covert resistance:
• Asking for or giving too much information or detail .
• Keeping asking the same question or objection.
• Not responding to calls, requests or inquiries.
• Agreeing to change verbally but barely have time to be involved in the effort
• Absense from meetings or arriving late and leaving early.
• Silence or withdrawal. Do not react or respond.
• Over compliance: totally agree with you no matter what you say.
• Being disruptive in...

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