Resistance To Change A Critical Analysis Management Essay

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Now a days organizations are required to make changes for their survive. It is very important to response quickly to the modern technological advancement and competition to internal and external levels (Edmonds, 2011). So change is a everyday experience in private and governmental organization for its development. The purpose of this study is to analyse the issue of managing organizational change by various approaches.

The paper will argue concisely on the factors of resistance to change and how the resistance is handled for successful implementation of a change plan through reviewing relevant literature on the topic. It will further examine the scope of effective management of organisational change process. In this paper, the analysis into effective management of resistance to organisational change is achieved through three main sections. Firstly, change is defined in the light of organisational development. Secondly, factors influencing change and resistance to change are discussed analytically in two consecutive sections. Finally, it discusses management of resistance to change elaborately before concluding the motion.

What is change

Change is defined as any alteration of the status quo (Bartol and Martin, 1994;199). Organizational change may be defined as "new ways of organizing and working….." (Dawson, 2003: 11 ). Breu and Benwell (1999), Ragsdell (2000) as well as Bamford and Forrester (2003), define organisational change as the process of moving an organisation from some present status to new status whether it is planned or unplanned. Organizational change is a form of difference from its long term old position to introduce a new idea and action for better performance and adjustment of new environment (Schalk et al.,1998).

From different perspectives , we can observe different types of changes but in generally organisational changes can be classifieds into two types- incremental and radical (Ragsdell, 2000; McAdam, 2003; Milling & Zimmermann, 2010). Literature argues that the incremental change is a small scale change on its present structure and functions which is continuous, on the other hand radical change involves a large-scale basic change (McAdam, 2003; Cunha, et al, 2003; Romanelli & Tushman, 1994). Furthermore, Beugelsdijk et al (2002) argue that, organisational change process initially begins with radical change and follow the incremental change that creates a prospect or a threat. In contrast, Del Val and Fuentes (2003) state that change is a general procedure of response to organisational settings because real changes are not only incremental or transformational but also a mixture of both.

However Bamford and Forrester (2003) have further classified organisational change as planned and emergents.The planned approach organisational

change highlights the different status which an organisation will have to shift from an unacceptable position to recognized

desired position (Eldrod II and Tippett, 2002).

The emergent approach change suggests that it is an unpredictable and undesirable continuous process of adjustment to changing circumstances (Burnes, 1996, 2004; Dawson, 1994). But uncertainty of circumstances create emergent approach more significant than the planned approach (Bamford and Forrester,


So, it is import to any organisation to identify the requirements for its prospects, and how to deal with the required changes and it is the unseparable strategy of an organization (Burnes, 2004; Rieley and Clarkson, 2001).Managerial proficiency is very much needed for successful change (Senior, 2002). Although for the existence and effective competition successful management of change is highly required (Luecke, 2003; Okumus and Hemmington, 1998).

Factors Influencing Change:

Hughes (2006) argues that, different factors can influence organisational changes, from the effect of internal control, to external rolls in consumer behaviour, or changing the business settings. The most common reasons are: Legislation, incorporation or attainment, competitive market, world economy, Structural change, technological advancement and Strategic re-organisation. Moreover, Haikonen et al (2004) argue that

different important internal and external factors which influence change as policy, structure, control system, organisational culture, and power distribution. Moreover, Saka (2003) state that the external factors as national or international rules and regulations influence the organization to accept new strategies to survive in changed situation.

Furthermore, many other factors related to market competition, economic growth, and living standard also oblige organisation to commence change programmes for update and manage the external forces (Beugelsdijk, et al, 2002; Breu & Benwell, 1999; Carr & Hancock, 2006). Consequently, the technological advancement create internal and external demands to generate the capabilities of organizations and assess their strategies regularly (Harris & Wegg-Prosser, 2007; Ragsdell, 2000; Shaft, et al, 2008). Finally, Eisenbach et al (1999) also recognized different factors that compel change such as innovation, new technology, workforce, productivity and working quality.

Similarly, McAdam (2003) and Mukherji and Mukherji (1998) emphasize that availability of skilled employees, changing customer behavior, free flow of information and cultural change make very impact on organization for modification on their activities and compel it to readjust or large scale change for transforming from deadlock to effectiveness.

Finally, internal change factors like leadership, organizational culture, employee relationship, workload, reward system, internal politics, and communication system compel the organization to take up change strategy (Bhatnagar, et al, 2010; Potter, 2001; Van Marrewijk, et al, 2010; Young, 1999).On the whole, Breu and Benwell (1999) as well as Rees and Hassard (2010) emphasized the development of capabilities of managers to evaluate the situation exactly from different

factors to effective management of resistance to change program.

Resistance to Change

Resistance is a phenomenon which affect the change process by slowing down its starting, obstructing its accomplishment and rising its costs(Ansoff, 1990; Del Val & Fuentes, 2003; Young, 1999). In contrast, resistance is a manner that tries to maintain the status quo, so it is comparable to inertia which tries to avoid change (Maurer, 1996; Rumelt, 1995). Similarly, Jansen (1996), Potter (2001) as well as Romanelli and Tushman (1994) argue that organisational change permeates resistance from the persons as their calm sector are influenced by creating stress, insecurity and uncertainty. Moreover, Ford et al (2002) as well as Reissner (2010) support that resistance comes about since a change program threatens existing status, or causes fear of supposed consequences like trouble in personal security and apprehension about new capability and skills to perform in the changed surroundings.On the other hand, resistance by workforce may be seen as a general part of any change process and in this manner a valuable source of knowledge and useful in learning how to manage successful change process (Antonacopoulou & Gabriel, 2001; Bhatnagar, et al, 2010; Bovey & Hede, 2001). Furthermore, Antonacopoulou and Gabriel (2001) and Lamb and Cox (1999) argue that unusual community will resist any change program for various reasons including misunderstanding, inconvenience, negative rumor, economic proposition, low tolerance for change and fear of the unknown. However, the observation of annoyance in long standing custom associated with change initiatives finally contribute in the appearance of resistance, mainly from middle managers who resist for the reason that of the fear of threat to their current position and supremacy (Marjanovic, 2000; Ragsdell, 2000; Saka, 2000).

Moreover, in manipulative business environment, where major focus is on productivity and centralisation, occurrences higher rate of resistance than manipulative business units having a more open culture, giving freedom to explore new capacities and technologies (Mirow, et al, 2008; Valle, 2002).Accordingly, Lamb and Cox (1999) and Trader-Leigh (2002) indicate that dispute of resistance in public sector is much higher than that of private sector.However, Bovey and Hede (2001) as well as Del Val and Fuentes (2003) discover that when change principles and organizational principles are usually different then the workers show resistance to change while individual anxiety, ineffective management, failure precedent, little inspiration, insufficient tactical vision and pessimism are several sources of resistant. So, if the ground of change is not well planned and competently managed then the employees may prevent the change initiatives and they will apply protection policy to resist because of apprehension that they will be oppressed by others (Bovey & Hede, 2001; Perren & Megginson, 1996).

Nevertheless, Jones et al (2008) argue that employees do not generally resist the change, but rather theoretical undesirable results of change or the process of execution the change.For that reason, all managers are necessary to give appropriate concentration on human and socio-cultural issues to obtain a distinct policy for successful implementation of change.(Diefenbach, 2007; Lamb & Cox, 1999).

How to manage Resistance

Resistance to change is an important matter in change management and participatory approach is the best way to manage resistance for successful change(Pardo-del-Val et al., 2o12). Potter (2001) and Ragsdell (2000) support that resistance to organisational change have to be observed as a prospect and preparing people for change as well as permitting them to vigorously participate in the change process. Furthermore, Conner (1998) affirms that the negative effects of resistance occurred from major changes can be minimize by open discution. Moreover Judson (1991) asserts that effective change can be committed and resistance can be reduce by commitment and participation of employees. In addition, contemporary managers required to examine and categorize all the stakeholders as change worker, impartial, conservatives or resistor as per their function in resistance to change so as to apply obligatory approach upon the definite form of people so that they feel like accommodating the change program willingly (Chrusciel & Field, 2006; Lamb & Cox, 1999). Moreover, it is essential to engage people in all stages of the procedure for successful completion of change where effective communication of change objectives can play one of the most important roles (Becker, 2010; Beugelsdijk, et al, 2002; Frahm & Brown, 2007; Lamb & Cox, 1999). Accordingly, Potter (2001) as well as Van Hoek et al (2010) suggests that for managing resistance to change successfully, organisations must build up the capability to predict changes and working approaches to the changes and thereby engage the employees to face the challenges sincerely with complete preparation. Similarly, Caldwell (2003) and Macadam (1996) propose that smooth running of organization managers should be open for involvement of employees at every steps of decision making process and productivity.

Moreover, usually resistance happens as a result of misinterpretation among peoples and hence, in each change program it is essential that everyone concerned realizes the reason following the change from upper level to the lower level where training and cooperation may speed up the procedure (Beugelsdijk, et al, 2002; Bovey & Hede, 2001; Johnson, 2004; Taylor, 1999). In addition, at the moment of crisis and ambiguity people require results, accomplishments and successful communication which will assist reduce anxiety and eventually produce enthusiasm for change amongst the employees (Hill & Collins, 2000a; Potter, 2001). Consequently, the new public management emphasizes new type of policies which presume a flexible, open and more creative structure and therefore proactively illustrative targets, setting superior examples and creating exciting position might be regarded as a number of core leadership capabilities essential for routing change (Beugelsdijk, et al, 2002; Chrusciel & Field, 2006; Harris & Wegg-Prosser, 2007).

Moreover, Aladwani (2001) rationalizes that opening human abilities of the workers by permitting them to use their intelligence being innovative at work takes place to be important where the function of managers have to be renamed from manager to trainer as to donate continuously on self-confidence building all over the business. Furthermore, alongside the background of rapidly growing technological improvement and deregulation since the early 1990s, ritual approach can no longer arrange the modern perception of shocking ambiguity and insistent change relatively dispersed organisations are probable to authorize the employees (Caldwell (2003; Harris & Wegg-Prosser, 2007). In addition, Andrews et al (2008) and Caldwell (2003) have the same opinion with Frahm and Brown (2007) that not like the conventional top-down bureaucratic systems; the present managers must receive bottom-up participatory strategy by discussing with stakeholders.

Caldwell (2003) more recommends that change managers should uphold possession of the change approach along with the stakeholders by connecting them in the process, who distinguish the authenticity of the business and it is usually they who grasp answer key to the problems. Lastly, as contextualization is the main element of any societal and organisational change, in the twenty-first century circumstance, the status quo is not a suitable preference and organisations must get slant and vigorous for the modern world of digital convergence (Carr & Hancock, 2006; Harris & Wegg-Prosser, 2007; Milling & Zimmermann, 2010).

Moreover, Bamford and Forrester (2003), Diefenbach (2007) and Eisenbach et al (1999) consent that in the growing approach to managing change, elder managers transform themselves from administrator to facilitator and the major accountability of execution vest on the middle managers. Also, Diefenbach (2007) more highlights that middle managers should cooperate with peers, divisions, consumers, dealers and also with the senior managements as if they are the key player of organisational change programs. Furthermore, Bamford and Forrester (2003) as well as Diefenbach (2007) consider Lewin‟s (1958) three step model of freezing, unfreezing and refreezing, have supported that prior to effective implementation of any new manners, the old one has to be untrained.