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Reasons behind Managers Considering Resistance as a Problem

Write an essay on Resistance to change.

The essay provides an overview about the causes behind resistance to change demonized by the managers as problem that should be managed in the organization. Administering resistance to change has been a vital part of success of each organization’s change efforts. One of the vital reasons behind the employees resisting to change in their work is mainly because of worst change management. Change in organization refers to various activities of transformation in the system of an organization. The efficiency as well as effectiveness of this change procedure has direct relationship with successful management of resistance to change. The relationship between power and resistance with respect to organizational change is also discussed in this study. Resistance is mainly stated as the adaptive response to the power. Moreover, resistance as well as power operates together at which power is no way complete and the potential for resistance forever exists (Abrão & Torelly, 2012). Some of the key ethical issues of the managerial positions associated with resistance and power are also analyzed in this essay. The last section of the essay reflects on the implications of resistant as well as managerial positions for attaining effective change in management program is also assessed in this study.

Reasons behind managers considering resistance as problem that has to be managed

Resistance signifies the resultant employee’s opposition reaction to the company’s change.  The resistance to company’s change has been rarely irrational (Bareil, 2013). Employees usually resist variation in the organization because of several reasons that includes-

  • Bad strategy in communication- This is one of the important reason behind the employees resistance change. The method in which change procedure is communicated to the employees within their workplace is basically the vital factor to determine their reactions.
  • Loss of control- Familiar routines facilitate the workers develop proper control over the workplace environment. If the management of the company asked the employees to change their way of operation, they might feel confused (Craig, Nevin & Odum, 2014).  However, proper communication within the company also helps them to know their contributions.
  • Poor timing-Undue resistance might occur owing to variation in insensitive way or occurring at poor time. In addition, in order to make the firms change effort to be effective, they should prepare proper change strategy for addressing the barriers.
  • Lack of support as well as trust- Successful change in organization doesn’t occur in environment of mistrust. The company in which there is higher extent of trust and the employees are treated with dignity as well as respect, there is low resistance to variation.
  • Company’s politics- Every company has their own in- house politics. However, some of the employees usually resist change as political strategy for proving that change decision has been wrong. They might even resists highlighting that workers leading this variation is not according to task.

Resistance usually represents reaction from employees regardless of effect from this change. Managers of the respective organization consider resistance as problem because at times they face several problems in anticipating their workers reluctance and thereby respond to it accordingly (Cummings & Worley, 2014). There are some evidences that reflect resistance frequently leads to failure of this attempt to change. According to data provided by “The Centre for creative leadership”, it can be seen that near about 66% to 75% of some of the initiatives in change failed. This highlights miserable statistics for the people who try to change the company. In fact, the managers face huge difficulty in improving the performance of the entity owing to adverse impact from this resistance to change. As the managers do not like to fail while implementing new project, it might attract decline in employee’s confidence. Therefore, if any mistakes occur in the business environment, it might contribute to these managers job. In addition, the managers those who encounters huge difficulties during this change procedure are expected to assign hindrance in the workers resistance along with other impact of external factors.

Power Dynamics in Resistance to Change

It has been argued by Gobble (2013) that, the power has been productive. It usually produces reality that involves “domain of objects” and the individual’s subject. The power is mainly rooted in structure as well as systems of the company. Sheth & Sisodia (2015) opines that the path for change leads to restructuring the company as well as redistributing structural foundation of power. In addition, the resistance to modifying the present power distribution results to complex adoption process. Some recent study reflects that change agents usually attain influence in the change procedure owing to six vital power bases.  The first power is professional capability, competence and effectivity, which corresponds to expert power. The second and third bases of power are mainly associated to the coalition power. The change agents usually enhance their power through development of several relationships within the company along with vital power figures. This in turn provides these agents to know the things that are occurring within the company. Fifth power base is the group support, which means that the group is highly powerful when their employees agree on the target and strategies of the entity. The last power base refers to the control over knowledge as well as resources in the change procedure. Furthermore, information power base permits the change agents to impact employees by providing them with information. Additionally, the power base becomes highly valuable if it becomes relatively scarce. It has been opined by Burke (2017) that, the resistance to modification has been seen owing to this power and hence is understood from the struggle to attain power. In fact, resistance is that which opposes power only transversally. Hence, it can be seen from the above analysis that power as well as resistance operates together in order to bring over change in the organization.

Ethics in business refers to the moral values system or company’s culture, which reflects acceptable behavior that is to be applied in the company. In the procedure of resistance to change, ethics is usually ignored by company’s management although there have been many provisions in their code of ethics. Griffin (2013) opines that ethics should come along with huge change in business environment and culture in order to improve their financial performance.

Resistance to modification should not be avoided mainly during initial phases of change. The resistance usually includes front line workers as well as the company’s management. One of the vital causes of resistance to modification is basically the conflict between company’s values and its ethics. It has been stayed by Henriksen (2014) that, few apparent threats of security as well as career advancement might cause the management to disregard existing ethical considerations. Therefore, it is necessary for every organization to adopt proper strategy in order to resolve ethical issues while adopting resistance to change in the organization.  There are several companies that avoid ethical confrontations as well as discussions.  It is mainly exhibited from different forms of evidences, which is mainly classified into four main company’s ethical  issues. These problems are illustrated as under-

  • Internet utilization-Confidentiality, security and reliability are the main stake at the present era where the world is highly dependent on the internet utilization. As ethical issues occur owing to illegal utilization of internet, my organization focuses on the reinvention of internet (Kerman et al., 2012). This helps them to mitigate any type of risk that occurs due to hacking of data.
  • Globalization- It signifies the integration of various societies, cultures and economies along with its respective ethical as well as moral values through world networking in terms of trade. Owing to globalization, several issues occurred especially on security of data, financial wages, CSR (corporate social responsibilities) and so on. One of the strategies adopted by our organization is that they keep on changing their form of principles, morals and ethics in order to sustain with globalization.
  • Financial crisis of company- Both ethical as well as moral issues occur when the organization faces financial crisis. This in turn adversely impacts on the financial performance of the entity. In order to face this kind of challenge, our organization mainly focused on leadership strategy that requires proper involvement of leaders.

Ethics and Resistance to Change

Therefore, it is necessary for every firm to take into account the ethical as well as moral aspects during resistance to change. It is however necessary for every management of the company to take some actions, which will be valuable as well as helpful for them. If the company ascertains this facet, then the resistance to change will be much easier for them (Pieterse, Caniëls & Homan, 2012). Thus, the success of resistance to change simply depends on the business ethics.

Managerial positions have huge implications in achieving effective change management program. Both the managers as well as supervisors plays vital role in bringing about success of any change initiative.  As the managers are the closest to their workers, they influence the workers in adopting with the new processes that is implemented through change management program (Madhavan, 2012). In our organization, there are near about 570 change leaders and 80% of the participants have agreed with the view that involvement of managers is crucial for achieving effective change management program. Managers as well as supervisors should play five roles at times of change, which includes-

  • Communicator- the managers should communicate with their employees by providing them proper information and reports about this change management program.
  • Advocate- The employees of the company generally looks at their managers not only to communicate messages about this modification, but also to assess their support level for change effort. However, they should demonstrate their extent of support in different ways in order to attain effective change management program.
  • Trainer- They should also provide training their employees so that they can adopt wit this change management program.
  • Liaison-Managerial positions are vital for providing design input and attain workers feedback on this aspect of adopting change management program. Managerial positions has high implications as they helps in identifying as well as raising functionality requirements during implementation of this change management program.
  • Resistance-Managerial positions are vital as it is best suited for managing the resistance to change. However, for achieving effectual change management program, the managers helps in identifying the source of resistance.


There are several organizations that are conservative by structure and hence apt in resisting change. The mangers of the organization considers resistance as problem as they creates conflicts in the workplace owing to difference in their opinions. This in turn also leads to no- cooperation movement within the company and thus creates obstruction in organizational plan.  But if resistance to modification is ignored, it might have adverse effect on business operations. In fact, the company’s management must keep in mind the ethics while dealing with resistance to change. Moreover, the managers must also adopt proper strategy for achieving change management program and improve the company’s performance.


Abrão, P., & Torelly, M. D. (2012). Resistance to Change. Amnesty in the age of human rights accountability: comparative and international perspectives, 152.

Bareil, C. (2013). Two Paradigms about Resistance to Change. Organization Development Journal, 31(3).

Burke, W. W. (2017). Organization change: Theory and practice. Sage Publications.

Craig, A. R., Nevin, J. A., & Odum, A. L. (2014). Resistance to Change. The Wiley Blackwell handbook of operant and classical conditioning, 249.

Cummings, T. G., & Worley, C. G. (2014). Organization development and change. Cengage learning.

Decker, P., Durand, R., Mayfield, C. O., McCormack, C., Skinner, D., & Perdue, G. (2012). Predicting implementation failure in organization change. Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict, 16(2), 29.

García?Cabrera, A. M., & García?Barba Hernández, F. (2014). Differentiating the three components of resistance to change: The moderating effect of organization?based self?esteem on the employee involvement?resistance relation. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 25(4), 441-469.

Gobble, M. M. (2013). Creating change. Research-Technology Management, 56(5), 62-66.

Griffin, R. W. (2013). Fundamentals of management. Cengage Learning.

Henriksen, T. D. (2014). Challenges to designing game-based business. In Frontiers in Gaming Simulation (pp. 247-252). Springer, Cham.

Kerman, B., Freundlich, M., Lee, J. M., & Brenner, E. (2012). Learning while doing in the human services: Becoming a learning organization through organizational change. Administration in Social Work, 36(3), 234-257.

Langley, A. N. N., Smallman, C., Tsoukas, H., & Van de Ven, A. H. (2013). Process studies of change in organization and management: Unveiling temporality, activity, and flow. Academy of Management Journal, 56(1), 1-13.

Madhavan, D. (2012). Role of HRM in Creating Sustainable HR Practices for Organizational Development. Today’s HR for a Sustainable Tomorrow, 1, 15.

Pieterse, J. H., Caniëls, M. C., & Homan, T. (2012). Professional discourses and resistance to change. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 25(6), 798-818.

Sheth, J. N., & Sisodia, R. S. (2015). Does marketing need reform?: Fresh perspectives on the future. Routledge.

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