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Managing Change in Organizations - Addressing Resistance

Understanding Resistance

Instructions Managing change is the process of planning, implementing, and sustaining change in organizations. Individuals have unique ideas of what a specific change will represent. This viewpoint is often very different from their colleagues, who will experience the same change, but see it differently.

It is from these ideas or perceptions that you formulate our attitudes and reactions to upcoming change. Some people actively resist change. Many use passive resistance, which is often the most difficult to identify and manage.

This passive resistance is not obvious to managers, which makes it difficult to address. Change offers an organization new realities, and it offers managers new challenges—change that is deemed successful only if employees accept it and try to meaningfully interpret change as a positive phenomenon.

Imagine that as a manager you are announcing an organizational change to your team. Your team is the same one used in Week 3, Assignment 2 (please review that assignment for team member characteristics).

None of the team members has openly expressed feelings about the change. However, they have shared a number of positive and negative thoughts related to the impending change.

These thoughts include: Da'Jour: Has anyone thought about what this will cost and if the payoff makes it worth doing?

Gabriela: Everything is going so smoothly. Do you really need another change? I am still tired from the last round of changes.

Arthur: We tried something like this about ten years ago and it didn't work. What's different about today that they think it will?

Spotlight on Skills: Developing a PowerPoint Presentation To view the Spotlight on Skills, go to the Course Resources module in the table of contents and click on Spotlight on Skills.

Consider these three thoughts that represent the team's primary concerns. Then develop a PowerPoint presentation that identifies what the complaint is a symptom of by addressing the following:

Determine if each thought is a form of resistance or simply a question related to the coming change.

Describe how you will address these team members' concerns and get them on board and in support of the coming change.

Develop a plan that explains what approaches, methodologies, or tools you might use to address resistant team members.

Determine which areas team members are targeting regarding their resistance to the change: the planning and implementation; the proposed change, or the individuals leading the change efforts.

Incorporate appropriate animations, transitions, and graphics as well as speaker notes for each slide. The speaker notes may be comprised of brief paragraphs or bulleted lists.

Support your presentation with at least three scholarly resources. In addition to these specified resources, other appropriate scholarly resources may be included. Length: 8-10 slides (with a separate cover slide, agenda slide, and reference slide)

Notes Length: 100-150 words for each slide References: Include at least three scholarly resources.

• Da’Jour is 24 years old and is relatively new to your company and the team. Team members consider him to be an asset to both. Da’Jour is very talented, works hard, and shows great potential. Managers believe he will have great opportunities and doesn’t want to lose him.

He completes his work on time and at a high level of quality. He also contributes to team goals. He is somewhat of a free spirit because he performs some of his work from off-site; therefore, he arrives at the office late and often leaves early.

This behavior has caused complaint among other team members who see Da’Jour’s behavior as a lack of commitment to the company and disregard for the understood working hours.

• Gabriela, who is 30, has worked in the company for 7 years. She prefers to complete projects on her own even when the assignment calls for her to work with others.

Her work meets team deadlines and is completed as expected. She seldom participates in discussions in team meetings, but does not claim credit for completing the assignment alone.

• Arthur, a veteran employee with 25 years on the job, makes no secret of his opinion that Da’Jour is a slacker and Gabriela is not a “team player,” and Da’Jour and Gabriela think that Arthur micromanages.

They often refuse to work on team projects that Arthur is a part of, or with each other. What strategies might you use to help these three workers understand each other and to work together as a team?

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