Management Essays - Change Resistance Culture

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Business Management

Change Management

Table of Content

Executive Summary3

Understanding Change4

Causes of Change4

The governments prohibited the sale or the purchase of the clothing made by fur, as a result a business may go bankrupt and employee could be laid off or the business could diversify.4

Defining Resistance5

Kurt Lewin's theory5

Resistance coming into action6

The role of Leadership in managing the change6

An Evaluation of Change theory8

Hypothetical example of resistance8

Here the idea is to work with resistance9



Executive Summary

In world of today of the economy always changing, the change is omnipresent in the organizations. It occurs in a nonstop way, and often swiftly. Since the change turns out to be the part of dynamics of a business, the employees that resist the change can handicap an organization. Resistance is an apparent answer to all the material changes. The individual members of the work force rationally seek to defend the status quo if they sense that their wellbeing or the statute is in jeopardy.

If management does not comprehend, acknowledge and make an attempt to work with resistance, it can even mine quite disposed and can well-conceive efforts of the change.

Understanding Change

The pace of cultural change and external environment changes should reflect in the same speed as organizations are adopting the new technology, employing the capital and doing the consolidation in business (Marrewijk, 2004).

Employees' acceptance of organizational change increases with organizational commitment, a harmonious industrial relations climate, education, job motivation, satisfaction and security and decreases when such elements are missing. (Iverson,1996)

Corporate culture can have a significant impact on a firm's long-term economic performance. (Kotler, 1992).

Corporate culture has been increasingly central to company change and revitalization (Burack,1999).

Organizational goals are realized in the long run by first facilitating growth, development and general wellbeing of the followers (Winston,1994).

Causes of Change

  • Amendments in the legal system

The governments prohibited the sale or the purchase of the clothing made by fur, as a result a business may go bankrupt and employee could be laid off or the business could diversify.

  • A change of the ideology

Russia transforming of the Socialist to capitalist mentality meant that there was no more job security for anyone. Survival of the fittest.

  • Economic boom or bubble burst

Example of India and China are most suitable here. Since the are the emerging marketing, the have to face problems like child labour.

  • Technological advances

Jobs of clerks being taken over the computers.

  • Increase or decrease in competition

As competition comes inn, it drags the profits down, when profits go down, organization reformulate their business strategy. When this happens, it brings about a change.  

Defining Resistance

In order to understand the concept of the resistance of the employees, it is critical to define and comprehend what is meant by the resistance. Resistance is defined as "employee behavior that seeks to challenge, disrupt, or invert prevailing assumptions, discourses, and power relations" (Folger & Skarlicki 1999)

According to Dent & Goldberg (1999), individuals aren't really resisting the change, but rather they may be resisting the loss of status, loss of pay, or loss of comfort. They claim that, "it is time that we dispense with the phrase resistance to change and find a more useful and appropriate models for describing what the phrase has come to mean - employees are not wholeheartedly embracing a change that management wants to implement" (Dent & Goldberg 1999).

Kurt Lewin's theory

In the Forties, the social psychologist Kurt Lewin presented, the first time, the idea to control and remove “resistance” to the change occurring in organizations.

Sander, who was a close colleague of Kurt Lewin and relied heavily on his work, offered six primary reasons for resistance to surface. (1). If the nature of the change is not made clear to the people who are going to be influenced by the change. (2). If the change is open to a wide variety of interpretations. (3). If those influenced feel strong forces deterring them from changing. (4). If the people influenced by the change have pressure put on them to make it instead of having a say in the nature or the direction of the change. (5). If the change is made on personal grounds. (6). If the change ignores the already established institutions in the group (Dent & Goldberg, 1999).

Resistance coming into action

The employees resist the change because it forcefully makes them to gain knowledge of something new. The stumpy patience is a result of change because the employees are afraid of the change because they fear that they cannot develop the new skills which are prerequisite in a new arrangement of the work.

According to Kotter & Schlesinger (1999), if an employee has a low tolerance for change, the increased ambiguousness that results as having to execute their work differently would cause a resistance presumably to the new way to make some things. An employee can understand that a change is required, but can be with emotion incapable to make the transition and to resist for the reasons that they cannot understand consciously

The role of Leadership in managing the change

Leadership of the organization play a vital role in managing change and its consequences that is resistant. When undergoing a process of change the leader should, in exchange, agree to provide the resources for the employees necessary to carry out their work. The psychological aspect should be addressed properly. These aspects incorporates the elements of confidence, fidelity, environments and emotions. A great deal of time and resources should be devoted towards organization culture, declaration of mission, values, ethical and practices of the business.

The leader must manage and direct, using his or her personal vision, skills, and reputation to bring others along. (Gardner,1990).

For the competitive success, fundamental changes in the way leadership think and behave should take place with respect to both people and customers (Nicholls,1994).

Strategic leadership of the organization also helps to bridge this gap by putting an equal emphasis on path finding and culture-building (Hamel & Prahlad,1994). Positive resistance

The critics distinguish resistance often negatively, and the employees that resist are seen like disobeying and that troubles the business as they have to come about to achieve the new goals. Nevertheless, in some cases, the resistance of the employees can play a positive role and useful in the change of the organization. A insightful and well-intended, serious debate or discrepancy does not necessarily totals to oppose the resistance, but can be used rather to manufacture the understanding as well as supplementary options and better solutions.

Folger and Skarlicki (1999) request “that all the interventions are not adapted as effective not turned over - the organization can change the pain of thing or can hurt it. Just as the conflict can sometimes be employed in a constructive way for the change, legitimate resistance can almost bring the additional change of organization (Folger and Skarlicki 1999).”

The resistance on part of the employee to the change is a intricate question posed to management, in the complex and evolving the organizations of today. The process of the change is omnipresent, and the resistance of the employees was identified as contributing factor to the failure of well-project and well-conceived to begin the change of the organization.

An Evaluation of Change theory

A model early of change formulated by Kurt Lewin explains the change like a process of on three floors. It implied the inaction of the success and dismantled “existing mentality.” The mechanisms of defense must be extinct circuit. Upon entering the second stage the actual “change” occurs. It is typically a period of confusion and transition. At this stage the employees are informed that the old procedures are challenged but there is no clear procedure to replace them. The third and final stage is explained by term "refreeze." The fresh frame of mind crystallizes and the intensity of relieve comes back to the prior levels.

Hypothetical example of resistance

With a decision of the company to close an existing unit that could be a case of investment withdrawal or liquidating non-profitable investment. From the companies point of view it is important to attain efficiency. The decision to close down the unit could to support the business strategy, by doing this the company would restructure its output capacity as a result attain efficiency and productivity. The destruction of jobs that leaves a trail due to this decision, is considered while the organization takes the decision of the divestiture of the unit. The shock of this change concerns some individuals in a different way that the organization in its whole.

While an immense change as a concluding of the unit can be seen like a compulsory cost working by the business, it is probable that the employees concerned by this change resist this choice of the company. Every time, the change is conveyed about, the organizations should wait and expect the resistance. It is a usual propensity for people to resist what they detect like a hazard to their life. The aggressive the change, as to close a whole unit, the most concentrated resistance should be expected from those who are influenced the most. A company's monetary decree will drive most probably the decision to shut a unit. The company can take this as positive step to lessen the level of debt of the business to permit them to improve total stability and health of the organization. The employees can also see these same fiscal restraints of the company but they are being affected directly as they are losing jobs, thus a losing the source of income. In this situation the resistance is inevitable.

Here the idea is to work with resistance

To engage the employees enthusiastically in the procedure of the change from the beginning can implore some commitment of the employees to recognize the change. The company should converse incessantly and should train the employees regarding the statute of the change. The company should also acknowledge that the employees will require a enormous deal of advice and support, thus the organization should be ready to offer a little pacification to the employees. The business should endeavor to assist the support in opposition to resistance of the employees whereas showing that they pondered the swindles and professionals of their decision, the company also acknowledge the examination their employees have to meet and they are equipped to lend a hand to make the changeover as even as possible.


In much of case, the vast quantities of resources are devoted by the organizations to adapt the employees to a new manner of achieving the desired goals. . The innate tendency for the employees to "defend the status quo" entails a deposit of challenges that the management have to conquer to aggravate the sought change. Management ought to take into account psychological aspect, as seriously as possible, while considering the heap of problems which can amount if they are not responsive to the questions of resistance in the work place.

To facilitate an easy transition from present to new, the organizations must be qualified in the management of the effective change. Here experienced leadership comes into play.

Environment, Leadership knowledge and skill sets are essential for sensing the needs of the organization (Trent,2004).

The determinants of an organizational culture are strategies, structures and support mechanisms (Martins,2003).

Leadership is both a dynamic competence and a relational process, which require specific skills and capabilities for envisioning, for setting aspirations, and motivating others(March,2004)

Leadership is not simply a rational or technical activity, but it involves the management of people and the development of sense of community within the organization. (Block,2003).

This document draws attention to fact that the change implies usually the psyche of an individual, there is no concrete response and solution of handbook, for the problem of resistance. Since each individual is different, their perceptions and reasons to resist are also different. Consequently, the researchers and the scientists can theorize on the way in which to decrease or remove the resistance of the employees to the change, but the fact of the matter remain that ‘Resistance is not something to fight against, it is something to be worked with (Goldstein, 1988)' thus managers must be vigilant and stamp out any resistance to change immediately.


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Folger, R. & Skarlicki, D. (1999). Unfairness and resistance to change: hardship as mistreatment, Journal of Organizational Change Management, 35-50

Kotter, J. P., & Schlesinger, L.A. (1979). Choosing strategies for change. Harvard Business Review 106-114.

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Burack, E.(1999)., “Changing the Company Culture: the Role of Human Resource Development”, Long Range Planning, Vol. 24 No. 1,1999, pp. 88-95

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Nicholls, J (1994), “The Strategic Leadership Star: A Guiding Light in Delivering Value to the Customer”, Management Decision, Vol. 32 No. 8, 1994, pp. 21-26

Hamel, G. and Pralahad, C.K., (1994) Competing for the Future, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA.

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Martins, R (2003), “From Ideal to Real: A Longitudinal Study of the Role of Implicit Leadership Theories on Leader-Member Exchanges and Employee Outcomes”, Journal of Applied Psychology , American Psychological Association 2003, Vol. 90, No. 4, 659-676

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