Viewpoints: Resistance to Change

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Resistance to change
The phrase “resistance to change” is quite often used in the organizational change research as a justification for explaining why efforts to introduce new technology, procedures or management practices fall short of expectations or fail altogether (Oreg, 2006). Zaltman & Duncan define resistance as "any conduct that serves to maintain the status quo in the face of pressure to alter the status quo” and in the view of Folger & Skarlicki resistance is defined as "employee behaviour that seeks to challenge, disrupt, or invert prevailing assumptions, discourses, and power relations” (Fiedler, 2010). Along with other conceptions Pedirit (2000) highlights the three dimetional aspect of resistance and according to her Resistance is a response to change which is negative in all three dimensions i.e. cogitive, emotional and behavioural dimentions. Theories and Models

There are four major view pints regarding resistance to change. First The Psychological Model which regards individual behaviour as the force behind resisting change .Second The Systems Model states that people do not resist change but they fear of losing something very important to them. Third The Institutional Model suggests that resistance becomes a part of all the critical functions in the organization such as the organization hierarchy, the way decisions are made and the way resources are allocated among the organization members. Fourth The Organizational culture approach states that causes of resistance are due to the culture of the organization i-e the values, beliefs and assumptions of employees (Hughes, 2006). Another typology to develop the understanding of resistance to change is given by King and Anderson (2002) who explained resistance in terms of four viewpoints: • An Unavoidable Behavioural Response

• A Politically Motivated Insurrection and Class Struggle • A Constructive Counterbalance
• Cognitive and Cultural Restructuring
The above viewpoints to explaining resistance to change possess both homogeneity and heterogeneity .The result is that there is no universal description of resistance to change at present. Due to the diversity of the nature of the organizational changes and the external and internal operating environments of the organizations it would not be adequate to have an agreement on a unified explanation of the term “resistance to change”. Resistance Indicators

Resistance has however been categorised more specifically. Resistance can be either covert or overt or a combination of both (Straker, 2009). Covert Resistance
This is the hidden form of resistance and by its practice the individuals may have lack of motivation and may exhibit low productivity due to lack of interest (Hughes, 2006). Overt Resistance
When resistance is open and immediate, management can handle it easily. For instance when employees are informed about a change initiative they react to it by voicing complaints, reducing their output and may even warn management that they would go on strike if the change is implemented (Straker, 2009). Forms of Resistance

Resistance can take the following two forms.
Active resistance
In Active Resistance individuals openly reject the change initiatives. Here people take specific action to resist the change. It may be overt, such as public statements, and it may be covert, such as mobilizing others to create an underground resistance movement (Straker, 2009). Passive resistance

In Passive Resistance individuals indirectly exhibit behaviours that are against the change. At meetings, they will not participate and may appear to agree with the change. They mainly refuse to work in association with the change. For example, they may agree and then do nothing to fulfil their commitments (Straker, 2009). Antecedents of Resistance

The causes of Resistance can be traced in the individual sources, organizational sources and change contexts and processes (Self and Schraeder, 2009). Some...
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