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Why resistance to change is frequently demonized as a problem that must be managed

Discuss about the Organizational Change Management for Global Environment.

With the current competitive local and global environment, constant change has become an integral part of all business strategies (Medina, 2013). Organizations that do not embrace changes based on the changing market environment are at high risks of losing their market share and customer loyalty.

Understanding the importance of a change and implementing effective plans is not always enough for an organization that would like to succeed because many barriers may impact implementation of changes. One of the main obstacles that may affect successful implementation of change is individual resistance (Jennifer, 2014). For this reasons, organizations should come up with proper strategies aimed at organizational growth to manage change resistance.

Change is important because it drives an organization towards achieving its goals and objectives (Rittik, 2012). If not well managed, it may end up receiving opposition from various stakeholders. There are different strategies which a change leader can use to prevent change resistance in an organization. Before choosing the best approach, the change manager should identify who are likely to resist the change and main reasons for the resistance.

Why resistance to change is frequently demonized as a problem that must be managed

With the current changes in technology and competition in various industries, organizations need to undertake changes and transformations to succeed (Carey, 2013). With improper management of change resistance, companies may end up doing wrong things or using bad strategies which may negatively impact their success.


One of the primary reasons why resistance to change is frequently demonized as a problem that must be managed is because some people fail to know why they resist the change (Carey, 2013). Some people always feel that the risks associated with a change outweigh its benefits and therefore should not be undertaken. Others have a perception that they do not have the ability to initiate the change and hence end up resisting it because they believe it cannot benefit them.

Thinking about the importance of change is one of the most important things for a person who aims to succeed in managing resistance (Medina, 2013). Proper management towards change resistance leads to a smooth transition from the old to the new ways of doing things. It also leads to organizational growth through improving productivity and customer satisfaction.

Resistance to change must be managed because it is a common aspect which makes many organizations to embrace strategies which can assist them in realizing a continuous success (Ik, 2014). In some cases, people fail to have proper reasons why they resist change. Some tend to feel that the outcomes of change are always negative while others fail to trust those who are responsible for the modification.

Proper management of change resistance

In most cases, the purpose for a change in an organization is mostly to bring positive results. For example, real change in an organization leads customer satisfaction, loyalty, expand market share and so forth (Medina, 2013). At times, employees fail to understand this and end up resisting the change because they believe what exists is better than what they don’t know. To avoid resistance, it is advisable for the management to ensure its staff is informed concerning the reason for the change before it is implemented.

Proper management of change resistance enables the management to create room for innovation which leads to new products or new ways of doing things (Medina, 2013). An organization that implements changes without facing unreasonable resistance is always able to operate based on consumer expectations.

For organizations which operate in competitive industries, it becomes hard to thrive especially when resistance towards change is not well managed (Mathew, 2013). This is because for an organization to attain a competitive advantage it needs to come up with unique strategies that can enable it to maintain customer loyalty and acquire significant market share. Without room for a change, it becomes hard for such organizations to adapt new strategies and may end up collapsing because of competition.

People fail to understand that it is not in all circumstances that change is aimed to bring negative results (Haas &Lesch 2012). In most cases, a change in an organization is aimed to assist an organization to achieve its goals and objectives. For example, implementation of a new system or a plant may increase productivity, but some employees may resist this change because of the perception that it will make them lose their jobs.

Resistance to change should be managed primarily for an organization that wants to attain a continuous customer satisfaction (Mattone, 2013). This is because consumers will always like to experience new things and if the change is not undertaken, it might be challenging to achieve this. People who resist changes should be informed that change is aimed to establish positive results rather than negative ones. One of the best ways of managing change resistance is allowing those who resist it to play a role in its implementations.

Proper management of change resistance should be taken because it may make employees develop a negative attitude towards the organization. For example, layoff related changes can bring up some confusion, anger, paranoia, and other discomforts among the employees (Medina, 2013). This may make employees to perform poorly hence impacting the success of the organization. Before initiating change, it is important to consider how people are likely to react after the change is implemented and make decisions from there.

Implications of managing resistance to change

Resistance to change should be well managed because it may make an organization to fail in in its operations (Meghana, 2014). Change leaders should first alert employees about the change and inform them about the likely impacts of the change. If a change is going to affect the employees negatively, the management should tell them why the decision was taken and what the organization plans to do to assist them from the situation.

Although change leaders try their best to ensure staff members accept changes for the purpose of organizational success, they at times fail to succeed because most people have the perception that things should remain the way they are (Bart, 2015). Instead of considering the positive side of change, most people especially employees think changes are associated with risks or negative impacts in their career.


The reason why resistance to change is frequently demonized as a problem that must be managed is that resistance towards change has become a common factor that makes organizations not to meet their dynamic needs of their clients (Baldon, 2010). It also considered as among the factors that make companies not to utilize the available growth opportunities which can make them upgrade to the next level.

The fear of the unknown is among the major factors which make people develop resistance for a change (Jennifer, 2014). When people resist change because of what they don’t know, it is advisable for the person responsible for the change to inform them that they should not fear for what they don’t know. Instead, they should take the change positively because it is always aimed to benefit them and the organization at large.

For organizations to continue realizing succeed in the competitive environment, managers should teach their staff the importance of change and how resistance is likely to impact an organization that seeks to attain a competitive advantage (Haas &Lesch 2012). Employees should be taught how to approach a change in the right manner to reduce the chances of resistance.

What are the implications of this and how else can resistance be understood

One of the significant implications for change resistance is that people believe much on the downside of the change than its positive side (Earnest & Karinch, 2011). One of the primary reasons for change resistance is habit. When an organization decides to do new things, individual habits may act as a substantial obstruction toward the change because some people tend to feel what exists should not be changed.

Change resistance may imply that the person responsible for the change did not follow the right procedure or did not consider the impacts of the change before implementing it (Bart, 2015). When planning for the change, it is good to follow the right channel to minimize the chances for resistance. For example, it is advisable to alert the stakeholders about the change, why you feel the change should be undertaken, who will undertake it, the likely results for the change and so forth.

Before establishing changes in organizations, it is advisable to ensure proper planning is undertaken to ensure the change process is initiated and managed by the right person at the right time (Anderson, 2011). It is also important to understand the reasons for the resistance and find out if they are reasonable.

Because no one would like his or her career to be negatively impacted by a change, it is advisable to view change resistance from a broader perspective (Celine, 2013). It is not right to judge employees who resist change as people who want to cripple the growth of the organization. Instead, the management should take these employees as individuals who like to be part of the organization and use proper strategies to implement changes.


Resistance to change should not be taken as an offense within an organization. This is because at times people may have good reasons for the resistance (Carol, 2012). If for example the person responsible for the change does not understand and communicate the causes of the change, the stakeholders should resist the change because there are no clear reasons why it should be implemented.

Because the individual sources for change resistance are rooted from basic human characteristics like needs and perceptions, people who are responsible for change should know how to deal with these characteristics in the right manner (Even, 2013). It is not advisable to force a change to happen where it has been approached with full resistance because it may make an organization to experience a lot of problems

The management should not punish people who resist change because in some cases change resistance may also play a role in organizational growth (Bart, 2015). For example, if the individual responsible for the change does not analyze how the change will impact the organization, it may end up making the organization experience some problems. In such cases, change resistance may play a role because it can prevent the change from being implemented.

In times where employees resist a proposed change, it is advisable for the person responsible for the change to analyze why the change is facing resistance and come up with proper decisions (Celine, 2013). In cases where employees do not have clear reasons for the opposition, the person responsible should inform them what the change is meant for and why they should accept it.

Managers are the key drivers of change in every organization. They should play a role in informing the people about the importance of change (Ik, 2014). Among the roles which managers should play in embracing change in an organization should include identifying the purpose for a change and how it is likely to affect the organization. 

Conclusion

Having seen that change is important especially for organizations that would like to thrive in today’s competitive environment, it is advisable for the management to incorporate it in its growth strategies and come up with proper ways of managing resistance (Haas &Lesch 2012). Informing the stakeholders concerning the importance of a change and letting them to play a role in implementing the change can assist organizations to minimize the chances for resistance.

It is advisable to understand the resistance to a change in the right way because at times it may prevent an organization from making wrong decisions. Organizations should understand that not all changes bring a positive result to an organization (Even, 2013). At times, they may end up bringing revocations and therefore resistance may play a role. Therefore, utilizing the resistance to judge the likely results for a proposed change is advisable.

Before judging a change resistance, it is wise to find out the reason for the resistance (Celine, 2013). Although sometimes people may fail to have good grounds for resistance, at times they may have good reasons which can be used for decision making.

 Before implementing change, the person responsible should take the necessary steps which can make other people participate in implementing the change rather than resisting it (Katherina, 2013). One of the best ways of achieving this is through informing the stakeholders concerning the benefits of the change before implementing it. 

References

Agada, J & Grover, R (2010). Assessing Information Needs: Managing Transformative Library Services. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited

Anderson, A (2011), Engaging Resistance: How Ordinary People Successfully Champion Change: Stanford, CA. Stanford Business Books.

Baldon, J (2010), Lead Your Boss: The Subtle Art of Managing Up, New York: AMACOM

Bart, Z (2015), On Inertia: Resistance to Change in Individuals, Institutions and the Development of Knowledge, Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, 11(1), 79-86.

Carey, S (2013), Resistance to Change in the Nursing Profession: Creative Transdisciplinary Solutions, Creative Nursing, 19(2), 89-102.

Carol, M (2012), Curriculum Change and Teacher Resistance, Curriculum Matters, 8, 58-60.

Celine, B (2013), Two Paradigms about Resistance to Change, Organization Development Journal, 31(3), 56-90.

Earnest, P & Karinch, M (2011). Business Confidential: Lessons for Corporate Success from Inside the CIA. New York, Amacom.

Even, L (2014), Emotional Intelligence or Personality in Resistance to Change? Empirical Results in an Italian Health Care Context, Journal of Employment Counseling, 51(4), 89-100.

Haas, m & Lesch, D (2012). the Arab Spring: Change and Resistance in the Middle East. Boulder, CO: Westview Press

Ik, M (2014), the Other Side of Change Resistance, International Review of Management and Business Research, 3(1), 25-50.

Jennifer, W (2014), Managing Change Successfully: Overcome Resistance through Strategy, Communications, and Patience, Journal of Accountancy, 217(4), 36-50.

Katherina, N (2013) the Effect of Affective Commitment, Communication and Participation on Resistance to Change: The Role of Change Readiness, New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 42, (2), 36-70.

Mathew, C (2013), Effect of Psychological Capital and Resistance to Change on Organizational Citizenship Behavior, SA Journal of Industrial Psychology, 39 (2), 34-65.

Mattone, J (2013). Powerful Performance Management. New York: American Management Association.

Medina, J (2013). The Epistemology of Resistance: Gender and Racial Oppression, Epistemic Injustice, and Resistant Imaginations. New York: Oxford University Press.

Meghana, R (2014), Cultivating Openness to Change in Multicultural Organizations: Assessing the Value of Appreciative Discourse, Organization Development Journal, 32, (3), 79-86.

Rittik, G (2012), A Comprehensive Study on ERP Failures Stressing on Reluctance to Change as a Cause of Failure, Journal of Marketing and Management, 3(1), 568-580.

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