Change, in general, indicates any act of making something different. The factors that necessitate change in organizations are broadly categorized into people, technology, information processing and communication, and competition. Some changes in the organization occur suddenly without the conscious efforts of the people. These are called unplanned changes. On the other hand, some changes are initiated by the management to accomplish certain goals and objectives. These are called planned changes. More often, change is met with resistance.
The resistance can be implicit (or covert) or explicit (or overt). Resistance to change can be classified into individual resistance and organizational resistance. Individuals resist change because they consider it as a threat to their habits, security and economic conditions. Organizational resistance occurs mainly because of structural inertia, group inertia, and fear of losing power, expertise or control over resources.
To overcome resistance to change, management can educate employees, involve employees in change decisions, go for negotiation, manipulation, co-optation and coercion. Lewin 's three-step model is one approach to manage planned change. The model suggests that organizations can bring permanent changes in employee behavior by making them unlearn old behaviors and work procedures.
Modern organizations emphasize on innovation and learning to cope with changes in the business environment and stay ahead of competition. The different sources of innovation include change in awareness due to acquisition of new knowledge, changing perceptions of people, demographic changes, rapid changes in industry and market structure, imperfect processes, incongruity between reality and expectation and unexpected happenings. Organizations need to be committed to change and innovation and change their structure and culture to facilitate continuous learning of employees.
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