The resistance to change and adherence to change management Resistance to change and models of analysis

From these forms of challenge to change is required to investigate the complex processuality of its development and the perspective of the resistance to change. The change as a negotiation process has, in fact, as object the changing of the type "a." The negotiation seeks to change the direction of a process of opposition to management decisions in another process of forming the committing to change. Seen from this angle, the negotiation acquires a dynamic appearance, a confrontation of two processes (the opposition and adhesion), with factors and different mechanisms, in view of challenge and promotion of a specific sense of change.

The need for change becomes a social construction in the true sense, as the resulting interaction of social groups. Generally, the change is achieved through a process that opposes a series of opposite forces (social action). Kurt Lewin has also developed an analytical model based on the argument of opposing forces. When they have relatively equal power the balance and stability is being established, and when the change occurs, the balance is broken (Scheme 5).

In this model, the change plays a secondary role, as a shift from a steady state (unchanged) to another equilibrium. Lewin's model was reconsidered by R. K. Reger,[1] who has emphasized the analysis of change and resistance to change on the people perceptions (Scheme 6).

Scheme 5 Lewin's model

Lewin's model

Scheme 6 Reger's model

Reger's model

When people's perceptions about the organization coincide with the vision of the meaning of the proposed change is a high degree of identification with this change and people accept change. In other cases, resistance to change is high. R. Burns believes that there is a model of individual responsiveness to change (known as "transition curve"), that it is possible to make a change, but the change process involves negative periods during the transition when people show a lack of confidence, disappointment, resentment, etc. (Scheme 7).

Scheme 7 Transition curve[2]

Transition curve

Resistance to change is not just a process that takes individual factors but strongly correlated with organizational ones (Table 1).

Table 1 Sources of personal and organizational of resistance to change[3]

Sources of personal and organizational of resistance to change_

An operational presence of resistance to change (the dimensions and variables) was given (with a good field research) by Koter and Schlesinger (Table 2).

Table 2 The dimensions of resistance to change[4]

1. Training and communication

To provide facts and information through enhanced communication about change. This may take the form of discussions between man and man, group presentations, memos and reports to individuals on the necessity and rationality of change

2.Participation and involvement

Enable all those affected by change to a say on how to spend the change, allowing them (and encourage them) to participate in project change and implementation.

Ad-hoc committees and "task forces" can be used successful.

3. Providing help and support

To offer socio-emotional training and support for change. This can be realized through training sessions, consultations, assistance in performance that would result from changing

4. Negotiation and leisure

To offer incentives to people (real or potential) that would oppose the changes. This involves negotiation of some of the various aspects of the change and generates interest of those affected.

5. Manipulation and co-option

To make hidden efforts to influence people and to provide selected information so that the desired change has maximum support. Pay attention to the potential for future problems if people feel they have been manipulated

6. Explicit and implicit correction

to use the power and threat to the undesirable consequences caused by those who resist change if they do not adhere to change. Although this can be successful in overcoming resistance, is very risky and can generate undesirable attitudes and dysfunctional behaviors from those which have been exercised coercion.

You should consider an essential element: sometimes, the resistance to change is present even in the managerial group. If strategic management advocating change but mid-level or operational managers reject it (or are reluctant), that is explained either by fear that they will not (do not know) meet the new requirements and requests (e.g. those generated by passing from the standardized management to the custom), or by fear that they will be replaced by other managers trained in light of these new requirements. Winning group adherence to change management is a crucial condition for successful change. To avoid resistance, it is necessary that those managers who are not prepared to change to follow a course in this respect, to be told explicitly that they will be maintained or, at worst, to be changed, before preparing their actual change. There is a justified resistance to change in case in which the new state of affairs promoted would bring a worsening of the situation of individuals or social groups.

Generally, any social change involves "winners," individuals or social groups who benefit from replacement of structures by others (in which they will have access to power and resources). Besides them, the social change also generates "losers," people or groups who had access to power and resources in the old structures. Some of the losers are necessarily generated by the change, but others fall into this category because of their inability to adapt to new conditions of change (at least in mood).

  • [1] Reger, R. K et al., Reframing the Organization, (see Pimington, Anshleu, Tony Edwards (2000), Introduction to Human Resource Management. New York: Oxford University Press, 226. 331 Haich, Mary J. (1997), Organization Theory. New York: Oxford University Press Inc., 354.
  • [2] Burns R. (1993), Managing People in Changing Times. (see Pimington, Ashlex; Tony Edwards, op. cit., 228)
  • [3] Steers, Richard M. (1994), Introduction to Organizational Behavior. New York: Harper Collins, 18.
  • [4] Koter, John, and Lenaub Schlesinger (1970), "Choosing Strategic for Change," Harvard Business Review March-April, 102-121.
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