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Causes of Resistance to Change

Discuss about the Overcoming Resistance To Change And Enhance.

In the current scenario, one of the major baffling problems that the business executives are facing currently is the employee’s resistance to change. Resistance to change is unavoidable and the management should be well prepared to respond the changes. People want stability and predictability in both their professional and personal lives (Hon, Bloom & Crant, 2014). Advance management strategies can sometimes leads the associated change to grow into a more intense problem. It is a natural tendency for humans to resists change in their organization even though the change can lead to higher productivity and efficiency. Change is mostly resistant in the organization due to the fear of unknown. Change is regarded as the cause of something different implying vagueness, which causes apprehension and discomfort. Lack of clarity and confusion often result in creating concern and worry. As an employee of the organization, security of job is the main concern of the organization.

 When the employees control or security is challenged, the existing risks lead to loss. Change usually appears to be more of threat and less inviting to the employees (Georgalis et al., 2015). Resistance of change occurs mostly due to the fear of failure of the employees. The new changed approach may demand knowledge and skills that could generally appear to be more than the employees reach. Employees want to be successful simply in doing their specified activities and can appear less comfortable while embracing innovative new skills. Major factors of manager’s resistance to changes are problem in understanding and getting along with the advanced change in the organization. Moreover, their behavior towards the new technological changes in the organization that affect the managing process, equipment and impact products. 

Change is a continuous challenge for the management in the recent times. The manager’s behaviors towards the organization result in frustration, bitterness and pessimism as change is considered as torturous (Klonek et al., 2014). This leads the manger to resist change consistently and opt to embrace status quo and constancy.  Lack of trust is another reason for the employees being resistant to change as in the past; if an employee is suspicious of manager’s action then the employee is less interested in embracing the new vision.  The organizational stakeholders on getting any rewards also resist change.

The employee does not see a benefit or very little benefit for themselves than they resist changes and does not see any point for making the changes. Employees in the organization at first see benefits for themselves for making the new change and taking risks (Burnes, 2015). Many of the organizational workers are afraid on leaving their comfort zone and pursue a new direction for them so they resist change as it poses more risks to them. The change efforts also often fail due to absence of clear plan and poor information provided to the employees. Organizational changes are often regarded as the alteration in hierarchy, technology or structure of the organization. The changes made have a tremendous impact on the individuals within the organization. Though many organization fails to accomplish the change initiatives due to underestimating the impact of changes on the employees (Cárdaba et al., 2014).

Role of Managers in Overcoming Resistance to Change

Manager considers this change management as significant part of the business that should be controlled to avoid resistance of change. It is the duty of the mangers for engaging and motivating their employees for the desired changes. Managers need to provide exact information to their employees about the change and reassure them about developing the skills required for the new changed task. The mangers should provide facilities to its workers like complete and adequate training (Lines et al., 2015). This provides the workers sufficient reassurance that they would not be punished in future if their performance level initially drops while learning the changed or new task. The manager can also lessen their employee’s resistance to change by encouraging them to get involved in the organizational changed process.

In an organization people belonging in the managerial position generally faces various challenges. Among them the most difficult challenge is the effective and smooth management of the change. Traditionally, the manager were more control dominated rather than participative; order and authority were valued the most (Gregori? et al., 2017).  Some employees resist change in the organization as their political strategy so that the manager making the decision is proved to be wrong. This becomes really frustrating for the manager to make the desired change. The resistance may lead various forms like, continuous reduction in outputs, growth in the rate of employee’s turnover, chronic quarrels, requests for transfer, sullen hostility, slowdown and strikes (Laumer et al., 2016). 

The role of power is significant in making any organizational change. The instrument diversity and change trend is continuously beginning to increase. The change occurring in an organization is an inevitable phenomenon (Cançado et al., 2017). It is managed and designed for improving the existing condition about the organization. In the era of globalization it is vital for an organization to change and adapt itself as per the environmental demands. It is further crucial for the mankind, organization and society to change them for surviving in the current business environment. Resistance to change leads to the decrease in the productivity rate and efficiency.  This further increases job turnover and increase in organizational and group conflicts. This leads to the decrease in employee’s satisfaction for the job as well as the organization. Power is generally related to the employee’s ability for getting the desirable results (Turgut et al., 2016). The method for dominating the avoidance to changes includes participation, communications and offering facilities to the employees.

Strategies for Effective Change Management

It is important for the mangers to be more flexible in implementing the changes so that the employees are more adoptable to the desired changes in the work. Using coercion authority by the managers creates a negative impact on the employees and decreases their participation level. Prejudice or injustice in the organization is vital factors for employee resistance to change. If the existing manager of the organization has positive and favorable personality traits it results in increasing the confidence level of the employees. This further intensifies the participation level of the employees in the organization. The manager should utilize their power efficiently to improve the employee’s participation by accepting the desired change. Manager should increase employee’s confidence by promoting their positions and rewarding them. This affect the productivity of the organization due to employees increased salaries. The techniques of using manager reward authority could influence the participation level of the employees (Radzi & Othman, 2016).

The change managing process is affected by the political, ethical and cultural consideration within the organization. When the manager uses power for making decision to satisfy their personal interest, it is considered as unethical. Therefore to ensure that there would be no personal gain, the stakeholders involves in the organizational change is to be monitored. The key ethical issues related with power includes is to make sure that all the benefactors related with the change should be identified. The change management process should definitely ensure better and fair treatment for all the individuals involved. It should further be made sure that the business environment is also respected through their behaviors, ideas and values. The historical significance related to the change should be researched and properly evaluated before making the desired change. Since the change management process is initiated by the executive management, which can lead to misconstructed statements purposefully about the scope of change (Canning & Found, 2015). If the change in the organization is based on ascertaining result based performance metrics, it can scrutinize and suffocate employee activity. This creates unethical concerns as the employees are often in the dilemma of being terminated and forced conformity. 

Change is an established priority for the organization. This can be done through reengineering, right-sizing, culture change, downsizing and customer service initiatives (Podlesnik & Fleet, 2014). In the current scenario, technological, global environmental and financial problems, which have practically forced the business organization to transform and adapt the activities.  In an organization there will always be circumstances that will lead to resistance in change. Self-interest is one of the main reasons of employees resisting to change. As the employees generally focuses on their own best interest and not the total organization as a whole. Effective communication strategy results in avoiding the resistance for management changes.   There are various ethical issues that can be generated due to the changed management process (Andersén & Andersén, 2014). Generally, external change agents for making the relevant change in the organization are hired by executive management. They gather data or information and provide data analysis about the organizational issue.

Impact of Resistance to Change

Moreover, if the provided proposed solution and data analysis is not in alignment with the agenda of the executive management, then the data can be easily manipulated. Along with leading the organization effectively, it is vital for the organization to create code of ethics.  Efficient management of organization could promote initiatives for ethical change by developing adequate organizational changes. The culture of organization is based on the set of values, beliefs and principles on how the employee should act. Managers should promote ethical change processes in the organization to establish ethical culture in the organization. Managers have the ultimate power for the organization and they need to make the necessary changes requires and act accordingly to act ethically. This promotes ethical behavior to be considered as a norm throughput the organization. Ethical considerations include constructive criticism, department openness, and conformity to policies, clear communication and workplace respect (Heidenreich, Kraemer & Handrich, 2016). The code of ethics related to the organization is a policy statement. This bind the employee’s altogether to set of ethical standards and wide values.


It is crucial for the managers to control the transitions of employees in an efficient way for successful change initiatives. Change management in an organization can be done successfully through various ways. This includes effective communication, involvement, support, negotiation and co-optation. Individuals present in the organization should be educated about the need for change and informed before implementing the change. This allows the employees to contribute advices and ideas for the lead change through planning and designing. This approach is generally useful when the change maker in the organization does not have the relevant information needed to design the changes. Whereas, the other party has relevant information and considerable power that is required to resist the change (Bengat, Odenyo & Rotich, 2015). The manager should support the employees on encouraging and motivating them, when they are frustrated due to difficulties and work constraints.

Resistance to change can be considered as a valuable feedback tool that cannot be easily ignored. Changing an organization is highly significant for the company to remain effective in today’s time. Failure to change could further influence the ability for an organization to survive. On listening to the views of the individual in the organization, it would be possible for the managers to make more effective changes. An effective change management program is entirely dependent on better communication practices. The change management process should be identified, planned and then only be executed. This approach helps in providing transparency in the organization. As it facilitates in changing the techniques that does not work and provide avenues to mangers vent their frustration. It can be analyzed that resistance is quiet normal for change management. Resistance to change can threaten the organizational success, if not managed efficiently.  Mostly resistance occurs due to fear of uncertainty or unknown. I anticipating and preparing beforehand for the risk through armed leadership will provide in smooth change lifecycle in the organization. Change is necessary for profitability and growth of the organization and is constant in nature. Consistent and efficient change management program would help in minimizing its impact on their staff and organization. Furthermore the change made within the organization should be implemented only if it is ethical in nature. 

Power and Resistance to Change

References:

Andersén, J., & Andersén, A. (2014). Deconstructing resistance to organizational change: a social representation theory approach. International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 22(3), 342-355.

Bengat, J., Odenyo, M., & Rotich, J. (2015). Organizational change and resistance dilemmas resolution approaches and mechanisms. International Journal of Economics, Commerce and Management, 3(2), 1-16.

Burnes, B. (2015). Understanding resistance to change–building on Coch and French. Journal of Change Management, 15(2), 92-116.

Cançado, C. R., Abreu?Rodrigues, J., Aló, R. M., Hauck, F., & Doughty, A. H. (2017). Response–reinforcer dependency and resistance to change. Journal of the experimental analysis of behavior.

Canning, J., & Found, P. A. (2015). The effect of resistance in organizational change programmes: A study of a lean transformation. International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, 7(2/3), 274-295.

Cárdaba, M. A., Briñol, P., Horcajo, J., & Petty, R. E. (2014). Changing prejudiced attitudes by thinking about persuasive messages: Implications for resistance. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 44(5), 343-353.

Georgalis, J., Samaratunge, R., Kimberley, N., & Lu, Y. (2015). Change process characteristics and resistance to organisational change: The role of employee perceptions of justice. Australian journal of management, 40(1), 89-113.

Gregori?, A., Oxelheim, L., Randøy, T., & Thomsen, S. (2017). Resistance to change in the corporate elite: female directors’ appointments onto Nordic boards. Journal of Business Ethics, 141(2), 267-287.

Heidenreich, S., Kraemer, T., & Handrich, M. (2016). Satisfied and unwilling: Exploring cognitive and situational resistance to innovations. Journal of Business Research, 69(7), 2440-2447.

Hon, A. H., Bloom, M., & Crant, J. M. (2014). Overcoming resistance to change and enhancing creative performance. Journal of Management, 40(3), 919-941.

Klonek, F. E., Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., & Kauffeld, S. (2014). Dynamics of resistance to change: a sequential analysis of change agents in action. Journal of Change Management, 14(3), 334-360.

Laumer, S., Maier, C., Eckhardt, A., & Weitzel, T. (2016). User personality and resistance to mandatory information systems in organizations: a theoretical model and empirical test of dispositional resistance to change. Journal of Information Technology, 31(1), 67-82.

Lines, B. C., Sullivan, K. T., Smithwick, J. B., & Mischung, J. (2015). Overcoming resistance to change in engineering and construction: Change management factors for owner organizations. International Journal of Project Management, 33(5), 1170-1179.

Podlesnik, C. A., & Fleet, J. D. (2014). Signaling added response?independent reinforcement to assess Pavlovian processes in resistance to change and relapse. Journal of the experimental analysis of behavior, 102(2), 179-197.

Radzi, N. I. M., & Othman, R. (2016). Resistance to change: The moderating effects of leader-member exchange and role breadth self-efficacy. Journal of Advanced Management Science Vol, 4(1).

Turgut, S., Michel, A., Rothenhöfer, L. M., & Sonntag, K. (2016). Dispositional resistance to change and emotional exhaustion: moderating effects at the work-unit level. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 25(5), 735-750.

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