Organizations face substantial change on a regular basis. Technology, outsourcing, and restructuring through downsizing or rightsizing are some of the key reasons for change.
Assume you are receiving news that you are the point person within your department/division for one of the change factors listed above. What are the barriers you must address that could challenge the change initiative? What steps will you use to facilitate a successful change process?
Week Three Lecture
Anderson and Anderson (2009), authors of The Change Leaders Roadmap, recognize that there are specific steps to take in the implementation of change. Assessing the situation and analyzing the impact are two primary stepping stones for communication within the organization. This week takes us on the journey of understanding resistance to change and the multitude of reasons behind the resistance. It could be a simple “just because I do not want to do it” resistance to an outright mutiny within the ranks because of the manner in which the change was disseminated. It is important that the change manager understands the impact of change upon those within the dynamic. While the change might be imperative to the organization or in the mind of the leader, without the proper application it has no meaning to the participants or employees.
Please watch the following video: The “X” model of employee engagement: Maximum Satisfaction meets Maximum Contribution (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Our text tells us that change often meets with resistant behaviors that are a challenge to the initiative. While each person has their own reasoning for the resistance, the core of the resistance often has the same context. Palmer, Dunford, and Akin (2009) propose that a dislike to the impending change is a reason to resist an initiative, or that a perceived negative impact on a personal interest or role within the organization could also be the concern. No matter what the reason behind the resistant behavior, it is clear for the action to move forward the behavior must be addressed.
There are certain considerations that the change leader should be mindful of when promoting the change. Variations include: how the person feels about change, or perhaps what they think about the change, and finally how they may act in face of change. Resistance comes in all shapes and forms and we have each experienced resistance to change at one time or another. Some resistance may come in a very active form such as being critical, finding fault appealing, imparting fear, or only using facts that are selected to defeat the change. The more passive format for resisting change may appear as being noncompliant, dragging one’s feet, not helping or supporting the process, withholding information or suggestions, or just allowing the process to fail.
Is it possible for the organization itself to resist change? Think about a time when it was apparent that technology needed to be upgraded within the organization. Technology is changing rapidly within our world and many see the expense of upgrade or change as unnecessary because as soon as one change can be implemented another will follow. By putting off the change in essence, is the organization resisting the needed change?
If the leader is able to propose change that is strategy driven and solicits employee involvement with an understanding of why the change needs to take place, it is more likely that the change process will be successful. The employee requires the basic understanding of how the change will impact their work life in the implication of future growth and development before they are able to process their behaviors and reception to the change. If the leader is able to meet the challenges of participative change and employee involvement the trust level during the change process will increase.
Forbes School of Business Faculty
Anderson, D., & Anderson, L. L. (2009) The change leader’s roadmap: How to navigate the complexities of your organizations transition. Retrieved from Beingfirst.com/resources/pdf/AR_PDF_CLRhowtonavigate_091124.pdf
BlessingWhite, a division of GP Strategies. (2012, March 6). The “X” model of employee engagement: Maximum satisfaction meets maximum contribution [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZ3wxgog4nc
Palmer, I., Dunford, R., & Akin, G. (2009) Managing organizational change: A multiple perspectives approach (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw Hill.
Palmer, I., Dunford, R., & Buchanan, D. (2017). Managing organizational change: A multiple perspectives approach (3rd ed.). Retrieved from https://www.vitalsource.com
Quast, L. (2012, November 26). Overcome the 5 main reasons people resist change (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/lisaquast/2012/11/26/overcome-the-5-main-reasons-people-resist-change/
Grenny, J., Maxfield, D., & Shimberg, A. (2008). How to have influence. MIT Sloan Management Review, 50(1), 47-52. Retrieved from the ProQuest database. This article briefly reviews the techniques of influence and the skills of the leader to drive change.
BlessingWhite. (2012, March 6). The “X” model of employee engagement (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. [Video file]. Retrieved from
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