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Managing Resistance in Organizational Change

The Management of Resistance to Organizational Change by Faye Loretta Smith, Clemson University

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Managing Resistance in Organizational Change

  1. 1. The management of resistance to organizational change<br />Faye Loretta Smith<br />Clemson University <br />
  2. 2. Agenda<br />Introduction<br />Kurt Lewin<br />Reasons for Resistance<br />Ten Causes for Resistance<br />Overcoming Resistance<br />Summary<br />.<br />
  3. 3. introduction<br />Resistance -“Employee behavior that seeks to challenge, disrupt, or invert prevailing assumptions, discourses, and power relations.” <br />Most business leaders are intimidated by change and the resistance it brings within the organization because they do not understand how to gain information from and overcome resistance. <br />
  4. 4. Albert einstein<br />“The significant problems <br />we face <br />cannot be solved <br />at the same level of thinking we were at<br /> when we created them.”<br />
  5. 5. Organizational Development<br />Many a chief executive officer has discouraged change because they do not understand the dynamics and need guidance to counteract resistance in their organizations. <br />
  6. 6. Kurt lewin<br />Developed one of the first models of change which is characterized as a three-stage process.<br />1st Stage “Unfreezing" -This stage involved overcoming apathy and disassembling the existing "mind set". Employee security systems must be evaded. <br />2nd Stage Change occurs. During this period there is generally a time of bewilderment and evolution. During this period the early customs are being challenged but there is not a clear understanding of what they will be replacing with up till now.<br />3rd Stage “Freezing". The pristine mindset is developing and the resister’s comfort level is restored to the prior echelon.<br />
  7. 7. Reasons for resistance<br />Inertia due to apathy because they are comfortable with the present systems. They have no incentive to change or consider it a big threat not to change. <br />Mistrust for the people facilitating change, which is an obstruction to the “unfreezing” process. <br />Lack of information due to inadequate communication about the need for change as well as what the effects of the change will be like. This factor will be a very powerful force. <br />Lack of clarity because the employees don’t have a clear understanding of the organizational goal with the change. <br />Lack of capabilities which is due to employees doubting their ability to contribute to the needed change. They may resist the change even if they agree that the change is actually needed because they don’t feel they will have a contribution. <br />Lack of sufficient incentive because the employee perception is that there will be more negative consequences than positive with the impending change. (Hitt, Black, & Porter 2005).<br />
  8. 8. 10 causes of resistance<br />Although emotion is a huge part of resistance, it is also a result from logical thinking. A.J. Shuler points out the following top ten reasons why employees resist change<br />The risk of change is seen as greater than the risk of standing still.<br />People feel connected to other people who are identified with the old way.<br />People have no role models for the new activity.<br />People fear they lack the competencies to change.<br />People feel overloaded and overwhelmed.<br />People have a healthy skepticism and want to be sure new ideas are sound.<br />People fear hidden agendas among would be reformers.<br />People feel the proposed change threatens their notions of themselves<br />People anticipate the loss of status or quality of life.<br />People genuinely believe that the proposed change is a bad idea.<br />
  9. 9. Overcoming resistance<br />Facilitation -Through working with employees and assisting them to achieve their goals which are also aligned with organizational goals.<br />Education - Help employees realize the reason the change is needed and what is required from them. Provide them with development in cases where new skills are required.<br />Involvement - Get employees involved so they can get their hands muddy and then they will realize the mud is not as bad as they thought. This is self-justification that the organizational change is actually a positive direction.<br />Negotiation -When an employee is not easily persuaded, have a discussion and find out what they are looking for and what they will not consider. Negotiate a mutual solution for the employee as well as yourself, the practitioner.<br />Manipulation -Control employee environment to the point where they are influenced by their surroundings. Only use this when change is needed quickly and there are no other alternatives<br /> Coercion - This is extreme manipulation and should be considered only when time is of the essence and they have exhibited damaging actions in public which may be damaging to the organizational goals.<br />
  10. 10. Summary<br />Change is nothing new, but the pace and the enormity of change that businesses face today can make it difficult to keep everyone and everything moving ahead together. <br />Resistance is a powerful tool. <br />By utilizing these approaches, the appreciation employees give to the former ways of operation diminish. <br />By demonstrating their glitches and providing a comprehensive description of the new plans that will replace the outdated ones, the practitioner gains the employee confidence <br />People hate being controlled, which is why 70 percent of all corporate change efforts fail. <br />By surfacing disagreement, it allows employees the opportunity to make changes and be held accountable. <br />
  11. 11. questions<br />Thank You!!!<br />