Resistance to Change: A Case Study in the Food and Beverage Department
Change is common in an organization and is initiated due to the need to survive and adapt to the changing market. As change is a disruption of routines and what people
are used to, resistance to change is a common reaction of the change recipients. People resist changes because changes are uncomfortable and require them to adapt to a new way of thinking and doing things. Also, people have trouble envisioning how
life will be like after changed; hence, they tend to stick to the unknown rather than embracing the unknown. This essay is going to demonstrate why employees resist
change in the hospitality and gaming organization with around 6000 employees and how the change agent can turn their resistance to advantages.
The Food and Beverage department (F&B) is undergoing a change in the food safety management initiated by the new F&B director. The director attempts to introduce a
new food safety audit scheme with the objective to raise the food safety standard of the dining outlets. The change recipients, the F&B Kitchen, Service and Stewarding
teams, are resisting the change by ignoring the director’s requests and refusing to cooperate with him. The change of food safety management creates disruption in the daily operations of the change recipients. As a result, rather than providing
improved services, the number of guests’ complaints and the turnover rate of F&B staff increase drastically one month after the change has started. The process of
change is now stuck at its beginning because of the conflicts between the director and the F&B teams. The employees’ reactions and resistance are so great that the change The proposed change, which is
now appears to be impossible to implement.
originally of a good intention to upgrade the F&B outlets, is doomed to failure because the change agent – the F&B director – is so engrossed in his plan that he never tries to understand the reasons of resistance to his proposed change.
When the change was initiated, the change agent employed a consultant to assist in the process of change. The consultant works out a plan of the new food safety
practices on what has to be changed and to what extent these things have to be changed. The use of outsider to teach and give comments to the F&B teams on how things should be done gives them an impression that their experience is not valued and their ways of work are not respected. The assumption in the change recipients’
minds is that their new boss thinks they have not been delivering a satisfactory performance in food safety so the director has employed an outsider to look for their wrongdoings.
Other than the daily operation of the outlets, the change affects the social relationship among the three F&B teams and the food safety audit team. The use of a stricter
audit system means that they have to work harder to comply with the standards. Moreover, failing the food safety audit will result in disciplinary actions, such as issue of warning letters or temporary suspension of work. Therefore, the social
relationship among the three teams changes from cooperating with one another into shuffling the blame of food safety standard non-conformance off to one another. In
addition, in the past, the F&B teams worked closely with the food safety audit team in upholding the agreed standard. However, because of the fear for failing the higher food safety standard, the F&B teams have become hostile to the audit team and are always trying to argue with the audit team on the result of audit.
Another reason of resistance to change is that the director has put too much pressure on his teams in upholding the high standards and meeting the targets of continuous increase in restaurants’ income and reduction in operating cost. These unrealistic
objectives lead to a huge workload and pressure and cause the teams overload.