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Resistance To Change Essay

3325 words - 14 pages

Overcoming Resistance to Organizational Change Initiatives

By: Aric Hall Completed in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements of OM 5216 – Conflict Management and Dispute Resolution Capella University Winter, 2008 Address: City, State, & Zip: Phone: E-Mail: Instructor:

Abstract Title Overcoming Resistance to Organizational Change Initiatives Abstract Employees have many reasons to fear change initiatives, including the survival of their job or their ability to adapt to whatever is new. However, the failure for an organization and its members to continuously change and improve will spell the end of the organization as a whole. It is essential for managers to understand the problems of ...view middle of the document...

The change process must be presented in a way that incremental steps could be taken and incremental steps recognized. There has to be constant support, so that workers can overcome the fear associated with the change. Why Companies Fail to Overcome Resistance to Organizational Change Organizations may suffer from an ignorance of how to properly design and implement change initiatives. Another problem is management’s reluctance to cede power or otherwise involve the collective workforce in planning change. Many traditional managers may still live in the past, in the era of scientific management, believing that workers have no skills or intelligence that would allow them to contribute substantively to improving their organization. Ultimately, the organization needs a new vision and culture in how to effectively implement change. Resistance to change begins as a personal resistance or unwillingness to change, followed by the collective organizational resistance (Quinn, 1996). Individuals are comfortable with what is, living in a comfort zone (Agocs, 1997). There is a fear of the unknown, fear of failure, or a general lack of desire to learn a new system or procedure. Neck (1996) recommends individuals to teach themselves how to be comfortable with change. This is a personal development of tolerance for the unknown. Individual resistance may stem from a fear of losing a job,

Hall, p. 2

insecurity, past failures, mistrust, or lack of influence in the decision-making process (Oreg, 2006). Often times, managers fail to see the value in resistance to change. Individuals resist change because of some reason, such as a personal experience, observation, or knowledge of fact that eludes management (Oreg, 2006). Managers fail to see the value in those personal experiences. How much expense, waste, or grief would it save the organization, if managers sought to learn from the experiences of its employees and managers? Barriers to change can come from managers, organizational culture, embedded conflict, or pressures of conformity (Quinn, 1996). Particularly in large and old organizations, there is a cultural and systemic resistance to all change. The organization is expected to make the same widgets, in the same manner, for years to come. Employees who have been there for a generation would easily say “we’ve always done it this way”. Managers who see themselves as the savior, without which the organization could not survive, ensure that change never succeeds. Their change paradigm is still limited to the single-leader, hero model of leadership (Axelrod, 2002). Managers may see a democratic or collaborative leadership process as surrendering productivity to the self-interest of employees (Axelrod, 2002), as if managers would never act out of self-interest. Organizational Impact in Failing to Overcome Resistance to Change Failing to overcome resistance to change may result in the change not being attempted, or failing in the attempt. There is a lack of...

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