Organizational Change and Resistance Intervention

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Organizational Change and Resistance Intervention
Honor Student
University of Somewhere

Organizational Change and Resistance Intervention
Growth within any organization brings about a certain amount of change, and this can be unsettling to some individuals who have grown accustomed to a certain way of doing things, as well as a feeling of being overwhelmed with new functionalities and a sense that their once close nit family oriented business has exploded into an organization where they are now just a number on a spreadsheet. This can be the springboard towards resistance to change, but numerous varieties exist, and it is those that might originate from our organization’s structure and culture towards our planned changes that I have been asked by my director to research. In order to better comprehend the notion of employee resistance; however, I think it is best if we first try to define it. An early researcher on the topic, Alvin Zander (1950) defined resistance to change as “behavior which is intended to protect an individual from the effects of real or imagined change”, as cited in an article from the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science (Dent & Goldberg, 1999, p. 34). Individuals can begin to sense that their security or position might be threatened by change, and will naturally rush to defend the status quo. Organizational change has the potential to breed uncertainty and confrontation in employees, which can make it difficult or even impossible to put organizational improvements into practice, and any management’s capacity for achieving maximum benefits from change will depend in part on how successful they are in constructing and sustaining a climate that diminishes resistance behavior and promotes acceptance and support (Folger & Skarlicki, 1999, p. 25). There are six major sources of organizational resistance to change that have been identified. The first of which is structural inertia. As outlined by Michael Hannan and John...
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