One of the most controversial issues which organisations can face is user resistance to changes. Re-organisation is frequently alongside fear and anxiety, because employee would usually encounter the unknown issues. Usually resistance occurs due to some blind spots in approaches as a result of newly introduced ideas. Nowadays, many managers must be involved with new products, new information system, new government rules, growth and industrial and scientific improvements. Therefore, the value of substantial alterations in an organization is inevitable. As a result, many companies or organisations decide that it is good for theirs organization to undertake moderate organisational changes rather than revolutionized changes. So, the management should find ways to help them overcome the user’s resistance to changes. “The failure of many large-scale corporate change programs can be traced directly to employee resistance” (H.Bovery and Hede, 2001). The key point to face the problem is to find out the nature causes of resistance accurately.
The purpose of the present essay is to demonstrate various types of reasons for resistance to change, and after that analyzing the different ways to choose strategies for implementing an organizational changes attempt to achieve the aim which is what can be done to overcome this resistance?
Sources of user resistance:
There are many types of causes which would lead to the user’s resistance to any organizational changes efforts. To identify ways to manage the situation, user resistance to changes created, successfully, it is logical to firstly identify and estimate the attitudes of users in general. To help recognize and estimate the possible reasons for user’s resistance to changes in an organization, it is wise:
To identify type of users who would resist changes, which means if the resistance occurs in individual users or group users.
To identify users needs.
To identify users attitude and values which they have.
To identify users interests. (2)
Here, we discuss on some fundamental reasons of resistance to the shifts.
Users feel they may lose something which can be a value to them, as a result of organizational changes, therefore they resist the shifts. This is generally known as one of the main forms of resistance within the users. Generally users first preference would be to consider their own interests over those which are in favor of the whole organization. In such a case, resistance usually leads into a “political behavior”.
This reaction sometimes occurs through and before organizational changes, this is due to the fact that something may be in the best interests for somebody or some groups and instead that exact thing is not in the best interests of the whole organization.(1)
Misunderstanding and lack of trust
Sometimes resistance can occure because of lack of trust between the person who governs the change and the employee in the organization who will become the user of the change. In this case users often resist when they do not have a clear understanding of the situation and therefore they may believe that these new implicated alterations might charge them more than they will gain out of these changes.
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Substantially, in many organization level of trust between employees and managers are low and therefore it is not unexpected for the misunderstanding to exist, when changes are being introduced. In effect in this kind of situations the initiators can manage the situation with clarifying the changes and the gains due to the changes to the employees quickly to eliminate misunderstanding. (1)
The third fundamental reason that may cause the user to resist organisational change is that people asses the implication and recent condition in a different ways to their initiators or managers. As a result they may think this change may introduce additional charges which can be more than their benefits, not only the immediate charge to themselves but also to their company and organisation as a whole.
Managers who set off changes usually guess that, they have all the appropriate information which is necessary to accomplish organisation analysis whereas their assumption may not be correct. In this case the difference in information with regards to the groups involved with may lead to diverse analysis. As a result of this issue many managers think resistance is always bad so they always treat the resistance in a bad way, whereas in a number of cases the analysis of someone who is not initiating the change is more beneficial than the initiators themselves, so in such case the resistance is clearly good for the organisation and company.(1)
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Low tolerance for change
Users also resist the change because they assume they do not have enough ability to develop the necessary skills and behaviour which is required for new implications. As a psychology aspect generally human beings have limited capability to change and the scope of the limits in someone is much lower than the others. This mentioned discussion can go for managers as well. The managers’ inability to change their behaviour as fast as the organisation’s needs can lead to inhabit the development of an organisation. In other words, if a manager with inability to change, understand the need for changes in their company, usually they cannot acquit to make a transition as a result of an emotional backlog.
All of the previous behaviour occurs due to lack of tolerance for change in personality. Sometimes users understand new situation which emerge because of changes, and they even understand the gains in implementing the changes however they still resist the changes. For instance, new position for an employee in an organisation requires new relationships, new knowledge, and different manners; even though the new position is better than the previous one, many employees still feel uneasy with the whole transition to the new job.
Dealing with resistance to change
Managers can set up various strategies to overcome user’s resistance to organisational changes by using the information which can be gathered from analysing the source of their employee’s resistance. The goal of employing these strategies is to convince the users with the logic behind the change so the user can accept the shift. There are three levels of adaption which are think-feel-do; these types of adaption process present a fine outline which are to be introduced in this stage. (2)
Education and communication
The very first step that can help the manager to overcome user’s resistance to change is to educate the employee in the organisation. Communication of ideas about the new situation helps users to understand the logic behind the change. Management can inform users of the benefits of implementing the changes. Often implementation of new information system in an organisation fails because of lack of communication. Since user in many cases assumes that use of the new system is reluctant, top management should provide training which introduce the new system to the users and explain how the new system works and familiarise the users with the other aspects of the new system. For instance in the case of ERP system (enterprise resource planning system is made available support for organisation activities by incorporating set of programs), management should supply awareness for the user that how the ERP system is going to work. For example, management should describe obviouse inputs and outputs of the system and characterize the departments which will supply the data. (2)
Participation and involvement
Management and initiators of change can usually prevent resistance by involving potential users in some parts of implication of change effort. On the other hand participation resistors has advantage, initiators can use user advice who involves the implication of change.
The research found managers have different feeling about participation, first group have a positive perspective and the latter one have negative. Their perspectives lead to different reaction. Some initiators believe that the user should always participate during the change effort, while others have converse idea. Both approaches can create problem in management area.
To clarify the effects of the user’s participation it is wise to illustrate the study which was carried out by Laster Coch and John R.P.French, Jr., in a clothing factory. It is the most systematic study in relation to resistance to the change.
The research has been carried out with four different groups who were being paid on an improved piece-rate. Each groups were allocated with different kinds of changes which were implied during work and use different technique to apply them. During the experimental study, researchers considered on all the finding carefully and recorded them to understand what problem creates the resistance to the change.
The first group was known as a “no-participation” method by the researchers. This small group of operators met the staffs in a room where they have described the changes to the operators in details, the reason of the change and explained to the staff that there was a necessity for change in their work. Then, the operators sent back to their work in new situation and with the new techniques.
The second group of operators was familiarised with the changes by a “participation-through-representation” technique. The work change was introduced to third and fourth group by a “total-participation” method.
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