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Manager Can Positively And Actively Manage Resistance To Change

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What Manager Needs To Understand When Undertaking This?


Answer :


The causes of resistance to change and How to overcome it in our organizations are what gives leaders in organizations a lot of sleepless nights. In this paper we present  reasons why individuals reject organizational changes along with the  strategies to overcome difficulties and lead change (Curzon, 2006).If you are a manager or a HR professional managing a transition process, the following techniques help you understand the difficulties experienced by your team members, anticipate problems and give them an adequate solution. These are ways to lead a positive change.

Causes of resistance

Loss of control

Challenge: When you remove a person from a process they are familiar and move them to some place within the organization they know little about, they experience a sense of loss of control.

Strategy: Involve people in decision-making processes, letting them even decide for themselves. It is critical to inform them adequately of their options (even if they are limited).

Leaders must anticipate and predict which team members are most likely to oppose change and decide how to earn it: explain in detail the benefits of change and ROI will help raise awareness of the need to adopt it (Harvey and Broyles, 2010).


Excessive personal uncertainty

Challenge: The first question most people ask  is "What does this mean for me and my job?" If there is no clear answer, then people face the unknown and that causes  anxiety.

Strategy:  the leader should explain the change, its implications and benefits at both the organizational and personal levels. This includes the leader predicting the length of the transition in terms of time and relaying that to the employees.: in this case, honesty is the best policy.

Avoiding surprises

Challenge: People like to have the opportunity to think about the implications that change has for them. They make these assumptions based on what they know about the post-change situation.

Strategy: a manager should avoid introducing new ideas or modifying aspects once he has already explained how it will be, as surprises will create skepticism in the team members.

The impact of the difference

Challenge: People build their identity around many facets of their work: their role, their position, the building, the corporate name. gives them a sense of belonging, almost as tradition (Tidd and Bessant, 2016).

Strategy: Managers should only change what is indispensable, keeping the symbols familiar to the extent possible for individuals to "recognize" themselves in the new situation.


Loss of shame

Challenge: People do not like to leave a position where they are competent for another in which they are not, which can often happen when new processes, systems and ways of working are introduced.

Strategy: managers can alleviate this problem by recognizing people's competencies in the old regime and allowing them to actively participate in the change process. An example of participation is to define together with each member of the team their personal goals, which will generate in them a commitment to the process of transition to change. Our team building activities are directed to a great extent to generate confidence in the work environment (Thomas, Mills and Helms-Mills, 2004).

Fear of incompetence

Challenge: Some employees are made to believe that they will be unable to adopt the new work dynamics, believing that well-known expression that says "You cannot teach new tricks to an old dog!" They will doubt their abilities and competencies to perform their work in a new way.

Strategy: The solution is to train the employees and give them the necessary skills to implement the new system, allowing them to do rehearsals before the change is deployed so they can prove to themselves their own capacity, creating better levels of trust.In addition, this may additionally increase the employees desire to change, and enhance their personal responsibility towards developing their own career.


Challenge: In this context, we call a wave when an action taken in a particular area has unexpected effects in another area (Thomas, Mills and Helms-Mills, 2004). It would be very innocent for managers to think that planned change is free from problems, especially since sometimes it is impossible to accurately predict the effect that a change will have on another part of the organization.

Strategy: During the planning phase, team members should be encouraged to think broadly and divergently, to consider likely and also improbable possibilities when trying to predict outcomes. This way of planning catastrophes can help minimize the ripple effect.


Increase in workload

Challenge: Change often involves more work, and that's why the workers fear it.

Strategy: If this turns out to be true and In the  organization, it is important to give it public recognition and, if possible, reward it. When we are forced to make an extra effort, we all like to be rewarded, even with a pat on the back.

Last resentment Challenge: If the proposed change is associated with an individual or a particular organization with which the person (s) are involved, Has had some friction, will resist adopting it. Strategy: Communication! It is very important to let the person express his or her resentments in order to be able to repair or eliminate them (Thomas, Mills and Helms-Mills, 2004).

Actual threats Challenge: In certain cases, the change will certainly bring negative consequences to people, so it is justified that they resist it. Strategy: Pretending that everything is going to work out will not help: managers need to take the initiative and act quickly, talking to the people involved as soon as possible and involving them in the solution (Thomas, Mills and Helms-Mills, 2004). Whether the solution is successful or whether the negative effects are ultimately inescapable, they will be making it easier for our team members to accept the situation as it is. This listing was originally stated by Rosabeth Moss Kanter, a professor at the Harvard Business School globally recognized As an expert in management, innovation and leadership.

In any country approximately 50% of the companies are suffering from the crisis and in response to that, they have made adjustments of personnel. Such situations are common in times of crisis, and the ability to address them is a topic that must be on the agenda of managers, who must take into account three points: change needs to respond to the central concerns of the organization, must be led by the top leadership and, most important, must be communicated in detail to the staff.It is well known that "95% of the staff could obstruct the process but understanding the why and the how of this new provision is key to facing this challenge. Although transformations  in organizations do not guarantee that they are carried out correctly (Senior, 2016). 70% of the relevant changes fail because of resistance. Although this may represent an opportunity, most staff can see it as a danger, for fear of not giving results to a new scenario, and that causes a decrease in productivity of the People.A software can be good, details, but if the company does not consider in its incorporation rules that are important for people to convince themselves and 'buy' that tool, then it is doomed to be unsuccessful.

A human resources specialist defines staffing levels as follows: 35% of people are skeptical of new measures, 20% are blockers of any transformation, and only a small number are 'doers' That is, those who have a positive attitude. In the country, "the most important changes that companies face are: rethinking their business model, reengineering to adjust their structures of costs and expenses, and even training topics to respond to the current market reality," they agree respondents.

If your organization needs to take some steps to increase its effectiveness or restructure its scheme, the first step is to be aware of the implications that this movement will have on the lives of its staff; Otherwise failure is imminent.

The manager should do the following in order to ensure that he effectively deals with resistance Diagnosis. To make a modification the manager has to start by evaluating the current situation of the company; What are the variables that affect it; What innovative rules there are in the market, and how competitors act (Noumair, 2016). After having this external panorama, it is necessary to analyze how to be able to align new measures with the system that has and the competences of the personnel.

 Involvement: People resist a change when it is imposed without being informed about its causes, benefits or the cost that will have in its dynamics. By our nature when receiving this news comes to our mind the uncertainty (Mills, 2003). The reason? They get people out of their control zone. That is why one of the key actions is to indicate what the process will consist of, the reason for the decision and what role each will play.

Planned action. Management consultants propose to create a more flexible hierarchical structure to respond quickly to staff and client doubts. It is also necessary to design a process to identify a sequence of activities that will integrate that transformation, and to understand how it will be supported to realize the new competencies.

Hard work. "You can not change for change,. The manager must make constant meetings where they speak in depth of the causes and effects of that movement. And it is necessary that the new action is in tune with the central concerns of the company, but no one will be interested in getting involved.

Leadership first and foremost. The movement must be headed by the director of the company or the manager. People do not align themselves to a project 'because yes' they need to see that support and motivation come from above and 'contemplates concrete goals' (Managing change to reduce resistance, 2005). Leaving this task to the head of human resources would be to put an "X in the chest to throw himself to kill on that personnel, is a matter to which all must enter, starting with the incumbent."


Several work. Consultants recommend creating a team with 'change agents', in other words, people who know the company in detail and understand the importance of the project (Krause and Meier, 2009). It is important to meet once a week with them to update them on the process and that, at the same time, transmit the information to the rest of the staff and work on the respective training. Subsequently, you have to have monthly meetings and set standards that all members of the organization must meet.

Maximum attention. It is important to monitor the points generated by the change and share them. The first 90 days, after implementing a measure, must have certain results and that helps to motivate people. Although it is the so-called "crazy time, where as a company "we are not what we were but still not 100% of what is desirable (Lopez, 2005).

Maintenance. Once the process is established, it is necessary to give monthly maintenance to that strategy and to quantify the results (Karas, 2005). If people fail to be informed about the details, challenges, new tasks, etc., they will think that the "leader did not care so much about this and lost. These are strategies that make a manager effectively deal with resistance to change.



Curzon, S. (2006). Managing change. London: Facet.

Harvey, T. and Broyles, E. (2010). Resistance to change. Lanham [u.a.]: Rowman et Littlefield Education.

Karas, G. (2005). On earth. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.

Krause, G. and Meier, K. (2009). Politics, Policy, and Organizations. University of Michigan Press.

Lopez, B. (2005). Resistance. New York: Vintage Books.

Managing change to reduce resistance. (2005). Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press.

Mills, J. (2003). Making sense of organizational change. London: Routledge.

Noumair, D. (2016). Research in organizational change and development. [Place of publication not identified]: Emerald Group Publishing.

Senior, B. (2016). Organizational Change. Pearson Education Limited.

Thomas, R., Mills, A. and Helms-Mills, J. (2004). Identity politics at work. London: Routledge.

Tidd, J. and Bessant, J. (2016). Managing innovation. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley.


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