Research Proposal

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Research Proposal and Work Plan
Applied Management Project

Managing Resistance to Change

Course Leader:

Submission Date: 9th December 2008

“This assignment is my own original work and has not been submitted elsewhere in fulfilment of the requirements of this or any other reward”



Contents: Page:
1.0 Introduction 4
2.0 Definition of topic to be examined 5
3.0 Proposals aim and key research questions 6
3.1 What effect has change had on employees within the organisation? 6 3.2 What is the prevailing attitude to change in the organisation? 7 3.3 What are the Causes of Resistance to Change? 8 3.4 How can we minimize resistance to change? 9 4.0 The research perspectives and methods to be used 10 5.0 A research design for collecting primary data 12 6.0 The potential limitations of the research 14 7.0 The illustrative work plan. 16

8.0 Conclusion 17 8.0 References 19 Appendices 20

1.0 Introduction
This research proposal focuses upon the management problem of the implementation of change and specifically why staff resist change in XXX, the employer of the writer of this proposal. It provides the theoretical underpinning of this topic and presents the academic rationale for investigating the problem. The proposal then identifies the aim of the research and highlights the key research questions to be considered as part of the research, again discussing the academic debate relating to the topic. The proposal will then discuss the research perspective and method to be used in obtaining primary data for the study of the problem and will describe the research design. This proposal also identifies limitations to the research and will explain why the writer considers them to be limitations. Finally as an appendice the writer has produced a work plan for the completion of the Applied Management Project, which will investigate and report on why staff resist change in XXX.

2.0 Definition of topic and its relevance to scholarly debate This project aims to understand more clearly attitudes to change in xxx and the causes of resistance to change.

Frank Basler (1994, p17) defined resistance to change by stating “resistance is the way people protect themselves from uncomfortable, painful, or embarrassing feelings that come with change, loss, self-assertion, learning, and creativity”. O’Connor (1993, p14) however, looks at this problem from an organisational context and defined resistance to change as, “opposition or withholding of support for specific plans or ideas. It can either be intentional or unintentional, covert or overt”.

Initial research into why groups resist change suggests various reasons for this, Leigh (2002, p138), stated that resistance can occur when “programs designed to satisfy one group reduce the satisfaction of other groups, because the survival of one set of values and visions may be at the expense of another” This view is supported by Lindblom, quoted by Leigh, (2002, p138), who says “change ordinarily benefits some people by injuring others” (2).

When examining the mental model of organisational behaviour Dent and Golberg, (1999, p35), argue that “people do not resist change per se”, but their concerns may be more about loss; “loss of status, loss of comfort or loss of pay”, this is not the...
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