The Affects of Workplace Change and Stress

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Growth and organizational evolution causes change, resistance to that inevitability and stress as a byproduct. The tactics individuals and leaders adopt can cause harmful consequences if not managed with sensitivity and awareness. Change can be threatening for those experiencing job insecurity (Robbins & Judge, 2007) or develop teams and co-workers that act at cross-purposes (Huy & Mintzbereg, 2003). Change can be a source of stress, but so can workload, leadership styles, and the shuffling of roles and responsibilities (Cooper, 2006). Management of resistance and stress is largely dependent on the organizations leadership to be the bulwark of these human traits by perceiving their sources and proactively attending to them. According to Robbins and Judge (2007), resistance to change is derived from two sources: individuality and organizational. Resistance resulting from an individual is due to the perceptions and personalities of people in the workplace. For example, change may cause insecurity in people and resistance because change threatens and alters their perception of job security (Robbins & Judge, 2007). Organizational resistance is linked to the formulation of the organizational structure. Structural inertia (e.g. formalized regulations) would be an example of an organizational source of resistance. These sources of resistance to organizational changes can be difficult to detect because of the way in which they present themselves. Robbins and Judge (2007) noted that, “resistance can be overt, implicit, immediate, or deferred” (p. 647). Burnes (2003) asserted that most organizations, management development, and organizational change, are seen as separate activities and carried out by different groups. According to Burnes (2003), whenever management development and organizational change are divided and passed on to different groups, it is a recipe for change management failure. Burnes (2003) argued that organizations need to embrace organizational change and organizational development tactically and operationally to increase their competitiveness. Burnes (2003) suggested that organizations must create a synergistic link between organizational development programs and change management programs. Burnes (2003) noted that, appropriate managerial skills and competencies must be taken into consideration when dealing with organizational change. Although it may not be apparent, a synergistic link will produce managers that are mutually supportive in there efforts to overcome resistance to change and reduce the likelihood of change management failure. In contrast, Beaudan (2006) stressed that organizational change reaches a point where synergy and energy collide. Managers working mutually together in organizational development and change management programs will become fatigued as energy, time, and resources begin to diminish. Beaudan (2006) called this a “stall point” (p. 2) and the beginning phase of resistance to change. Organizations reach a stall point no matter how much time and energy is focused toward bringing together organizational development programs and change management programs. Beaudan (2006) introduced a typical change curve to illustrate the phases of organizational change implementation and how these phases contributed to resistance, stall, success, partial success, and failure to organizational changes. As Beaudan (2006) pointed out, in the beginning phases of organizational change, people are enthusiastic and often supportive while others reserve their judgment. It is at this point, where the stall point begins and change becomes pivotal. According to Beaudan (2006), organizational change will move toward the path of success or failure. Beaudan (2006) defined successful organizational change occurring when “change is implemented and brings about expected results” (p. 2). Whereas, change management failure occurs when change is not put into organizational operation and the organization goes...
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