Why is resistance to change frequently demonised as a problem that must be managed.What are the ethical implications of this and how else can resistance be understood.You may use examples from your own organisation to illustrate your essay.
Concept of Organizational Change Management (OCM)
Organizational change management (OCM) concept refers to a vivid framework to manage the impact of business processes, various organizational changes like that in structure or culture internally. So, this concept deals with the addressing of human resource about change management. Often, organizational higher authority or corporate employers take up the decision of incorporating changes within the organization aiming at positive outcomes (Park, 2013). A systematic method of implementing organizational change management benefits the entire organization when it requires members to learn new skills as well as behaviors. With formal set up of expectations, employment of effective tools for improving communication along with proactively reducing any sort of misinformation internally may enable implementation of organizational change management (Saksvik & Hetland, 2009). This systematic approach would also require stakeholders to coordinate in a mutual basis so as to lead to a successful implementation of desirable change without causing any sort of discomfort to the organizational members.
A successful organizational change management strategy involves agreement of all organizational members towards any common goals or visions without any competing initiatives, strong leadership style for communicating those visions with selling of business case to lead to change, changing strategy for educating employees regarding regular work, and a definite plan for measuring whether a desired change is beneficial or not, and also follow up plans to measure their success or failure (Simha & Cullen, 2012). Organizational change management also includes changes in the structure of social or monetary rewards which encourage members to adopt ownership of innovative roles and responsibilities.
Forces in Organizational Change
As per Lewin’s force-field analysis model, every organization is considered to be an open system. Changes can include basically two forces, one that pushes the organization towards a new direction, namely driving force, and another that prevents the organization from changes to occur, namely restraining force. When driving force is greater than restraining force, change is likely to occur. This leads to the organization to move towards a new direction. On the other hand, when restraining force is greater than the driving force, the organization is likely to stay at the location where it was initially. When the two forces are equal in strength, the organization will stay stable temporarily. When any organization is about to change, various forces prevent such change like that of restraining forces. These restraining forces may be categorized into three levels, organizational level, secondary level, and individual level. Some of the factors within the organizational level include structure of organization, system pressure, pressure from earlier reputation, and organizational culture. Factors from secondary level include interest conflict amidst departments or standpoint differences. Individual level factors include misunderstanding, personal benefit feeling, custom, lack of trust, uncertainty, etc.
The ways to manage all the factors which may prevent successful changes of organization are to be introduced by the organizational management. The most efficient way is to gain support and trust or organizational members by means of training, participation, encouragement, effective communication, and active involvement. Other ways may be eliminating resistance of members by means of negotiation control, assistance, or coercion. These factors would vary depending upon the situation (OÊ¼Donnell, 2007). It is an important aspect for management of almost all organizations of the current scenario to address and manage resistance towards organizational management. It is mainly because organizational changes are brought about for organizational gains and benefits in the long run. Management aims at introducing effective changes within organizational environment such as structure, culture, functions, behaviors, or the ways of business transactions. For this it is extremely important for the employees of the organization to understand this. Management can make the employees aware of its mission and goals by means of effective communication with the members (Simha & Cullen, 2012). Since it is a natural tendency of human beings to resist any sort of change, it is inevitable that such plans for organizational change would be resisted either by the employees. So, it is the responsibility of the higher authority of the organization to deal with such aspects in a cautious manner because it is often related to the sentiments of employees.
Resistance to Organizational Change
With respect to the given question as to why resistance to organizational change is deemed to be a problem and that must be managed, it is to be understood that organizational change is always for the betterment and improvement. Organizational heads or higher authority take up the decision of leading change within the organization when all situations and environment are feasible and that of favorable to lead to positive outcome (Oreg, 2006). Since management is always on the track to lead to something better and increasingly effective, this concept of organizational change is inevitable. On the other hand, organizational members who tend to resume their usual form of performing towards organizational production and stability are quite habituated and comfortable with the usual norm. Now, any sudden change or even the idea of organizational change leads to their mental commotion and gives them a feeling of insecurity. This feeling of insecurity results in the rise of resistance to organizational change (Mushtaq, n.d.). This resistance from organizational members towards any organizational change can prove to be a major problem or hindrance in the path of organizational success. Hence, resistance to organizational change is considered to be a problem or threat and that it needs to be effectively managed or counteracted (Lines *, 2004). It is not that easy for organizations to avoid changes, since innovative ideas encourage growth and progress for them as well as their members. Changers are brought about due to several reasons like new roles of staff members, increment or decline in funding, new visions, missions and goals, new target groups, or even technological advancements. Changes often create opportunities, but these are often associated with strong criticism by the organizational members, individuals or groups.
Managing Resistance to Change
In the present business situations like that of today, it has become a normal matter to experience resistance every time an organization engages into change. In having a proper understanding of the existence or probable chances of resistance to any change would enable anticipating resistance, identifying the main sources and causes, and modifying individual and group efforts for managing the issues related to change for ensuring success of efforts (Downs, 2012). Resistance, if viewed effectively, is healthy to a great extent. Since the concept of organizational change is something that makes employees insecure about their current positions, they tend to resist the idea of organizational change (Downs, 2012). Thus, this resistance to organizational must be well-managed and controlled by the managerial heads or higher authority of an organization so that it does not affect the organization or the desired change to occur. Here, it demands a proper and effective management of such organizational changes.
Resistance in the organizational context is quite a common phenomenon. This resistance needs proper management in effective manner so that organizational effectiveness is not hampered. The higher authority of management must be alert as well as careful towards introduction of change within the organization, since it involves a matter of lifetime, and that success of organizations depend greatly on the involvement of higher authority ('Special issue on Resistance to change: redefining and resituating its role in change management', 2010). It needs to introduce a strategic plan and once implemented successfully, it needs o be properly monitored so that change can be beneficial to organization. Resistance to organizational change occur due to various reasons like loss of job security, non-reinforcing reward system, fear of unknown, peer pressure, an organizational politics (DanÄ±ÅŸman, 2010). These resistances act as driving forces for the organizational members. Also, employees are required to be provided of adequate learning and training about the henceforth changes. This would keep them well-informed and aware of the overall organizational change process.
Ethical Implications of Managing Change
Innovation as well as change is quite inevitable process within the business world. Organizations are at constant strive to continue evolving as well as changing in response to the market trends. Ethical implications suggest that within an organizational dimension, employees, disruption, communication, and teamwork all are intricately related to the organizational change management (OÊ¼Donnell, 2007). One of the most significant roles of incorporating change is to keep the employees in consideration while implementing changes. It is important to assess the relative impacts organizational change upon the employees every time a change is planned. Organizational change as well as innovation is quite disruptive in nature, not only for employees but every individual related to the business. The disruption needs that all business owners consider every individual engaged into the change process (Bergström, Styhre & Thilander, 2014). Any disruption caused by innovation as well as change will have results which require adequate planning, and so the corporate owners must do every bit possible for preserving the rights as well s interests of members, instead of trampling to attain goals. Ethics play crucial role within the change and innovation process in context to the need for an effective communication system amidst employees and employers, and that amidst company and society (Szabla, 2007). The process of communication needs to be transparent in nature especially during the change process so as to continue the trust factor in the organization. Firms that are not inspired about change may lose trust of employees, and thus the entire community as well. Ethical behavior towards employees as well as the entire community enables the business to strengthen more. The sense of pride which employees take away from getting engaged into the change process imparts increased sense of ownership to the employees. The business owners have responsibilities to bring about innovation as well as change to benefit every individual and the entire organization (Battilana & Casciaro, 2013). So, it is inferred that ethics play a crucial role in bringing about organizational change. When the stakeholders are bound together in an ethical manner, it becomes easier to achieve the desired goals of the organizations. When organizational authorities strive to bring about and attain significant positive changes within the organization, it is their responsibilities to consider the ethical aspects as well (van Dijk & van Dick, 2009). Ethical behavior and practice within organizations enable successful change in the organizational environment as employees feel highly motivated to participate in the change process.
Employee resistance towards organizational change is quite a complex issue that management of present organization faces. The change process is ubiquitous, and so employee resistance has been identified as quite a critically significant contributor towards the failure of several well-planned efforts for initiating change in organizational environment. Often, huge amount of resources are being expended by organizations for adjusting employees to improved way of attaining desired goals (Battilana & Casciaro, 2013). The very natural tendency of individuals to maintain the status quo imparts a set of challenges which management should overcome for bringing about a desired change. It is the responsibility of the management to take serious account as well as consideration of the problems which may occur if employees are not adequately responsive towards issues of resistance within the workplace. For enabling a smooth transition from old to newer approaches, firms should be competent enough in leading to effective management of change. This process of leading to change management includes involvement of all those individuals and their acceptance of relevant changes in a positive manner without much resistance (van Dijk & van Dick, 2009). The process of communication needs to be transparent in nature especially during the change process so as to continue the trust factor in the organization. Firms that are not inspired about change may lose trust of employees, and thus the entire community as well. Ethical behavior towards employees as well as the entire community enables the business to strengthen more. The sense of pride which employees take away from getting engaged into the change process imparts increased sense of ownership to the employees.
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