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    Resistance To Change Management

    Resistance To Change Management


    Resistance to change refers to an action, which is taken by the individuals when they understand that the change in their organization is occurring as a threat to them. As argued by Oreg (2018), managing resistance to change is a great challenge for the managers in an organization as it includes many barriers. However, a change can be positive for business but often it brings the threat for the employees. Most of the employees become resistant to change if they are poorly introduced to change. In order to manage the resistance to change successfully, the managers need to involve the employees in the decision-making process. This study deals with the different viewpoints of managing resistance to change and the role of managers in reducing employee resistance while managing a change.
    A brief overview of the three viewpoints 
    According to Ford and Ford (2009), there are three major viewpoints that provide a clear understanding of how to manage the resistance to change. The viewpoints include mechanistic view, social view, and conversational view.
    Mechanistic viewpoint
    According to this view, resistance is considered as a natural and everyday phenomenon. In order to move some form of resistance is required. However, the resistance provides clear evidence that something is moving in every day’s life and it is not an exceptional phenomenon (Valladares 2017). The resistance has some specific characters in an organizational context like being late for meetings, damaging equipment, delaying, complaining, forgotten the task, declining the request and hampering in achieving the everyday goals. 
    Social viewpoint
    According to this viewpoint, resistance is an exceptional and extraordinary phenomenon that only occurs when the change takes place. As argued by Burnes (2015), resistance is detrimental that means it is a harmful process, which may create a barrier for organizational success. From this view, it has been received that resistance is negative in the context of organizational change. In order to deal with the resistance, the change should be undertaken and implied in a planned manner.
    Conversational viewpoint
    According to this view, the business organizations are made up of simultaneous, recursive and sequential conversation (Georgalis et al. 2015). This conversation is delivered through different networks within an organization. However, in an organization, there are different cultures, religions, and a community each has a different language. A change agent does not understand the assumption he or she must be communicated in a language, which is accessible to all. The change can be introduced in a way, which is easy to understand for the recipient. From this view, it has been received that individuals create barriers and develop dissimilarities. This concept recognizes that each individual has its own language, which leads them to create different meanings of resistance. For this purpose, resistance can be positive or negative based on the individual's perception.
    Compare and contrast the three different views to managing resistance to change
    Resistance only occurs when any motion or movement occurs in an organizational context and it is a regular phenomenon. Based on this concept comparison between the mechanistic and social view can be made. From the mechanistic view, it has been clearly identified that resistance is a regular process and occurs in the everyday process of an organization. On the other hand, according to the social view of resistance, it is an exceptional phenomenon and only occurs when any change takes place. As commented by George et al. (2018), resistance is neutral as it neither leaves a positive nor negative impact on individuals and object. Generally, it can be considered as the product of interaction. However, the social viewpoint of resistance proves the interactive nature of resistance is wrong. This view creates a conflict about is the resistance always present in the staffs or the staffs are not adjustable in a different organizational environment. This social view does not support that resistance is a form of motion. It is not created by any pressure else created by making a change in an individual. Hence, it can be said that there is a big difference between the social and mechanistic view of resistance as the social view does support the interactive as well as the moving nature of resistance, which is supported by mechanistic theory.
    From the mechanistic view it has been achieved that if the resistance is higher, it can be assumed that the change is bigger. Application of this view is effective to make a fresh perspective and allows the individuals to understand the organizational resistance to change (You et al. 2017). From this view it has been observed that employee resistance in an organization should be managed properly otherwise it will damage the productivity and affect the organizational process. This view provides a clear indication to the managers that resistance focuses on movement in the everyday organizational process. From the social view, it has been found that in the context of an organization an individual as well as an employee can be considered as the resistant that responses only when change occurs. Application of this view is suitable to understand how resistance is created by the individuals during a change (Pourrajab, et al. 2015). For a manager it is important to understand the causes that lead an employee to become resistant toward a change otherwise it will hamper the entire productivity of a business. Such understanding will help the managers to manage the employee resistance successfully. The social view of resistance allows the managers to identify the causes and occurrence of resistance in an organization. From this analysis, it has been identified that both social and mechanistic view of resistance reveals that resistance can damage the productivity of an organization if the causes of resistance cannot be identified on time. Based on the concept of damage the two views are similar and both views allow the managers to understand the concept of resistance in an organizational context. 
    The conversational view is totally different from mechanistic and social view. This view reveals that resistance occurs through assertion and declaration (Fadzil et al. 2017). It can be said the presence of resistance is confirmed only when the change agent declares it. Application of this view allows the managers and groups to understand the framing of resistance and its impact on the organization change management. From the mechanistic view, it has been received that resistance is an everyday phenomenon while the social view shows that resistance is a rare phenomenon and only created by the employees during the change. However, the conversational view shows a completely different statement with respect to the occurrence of resistance in an organization. It highlights that resistance is introduced by a change agent. Therefore, the conversational view reveals that resistance can be negative or positive based on the perception of individuals while the mechanistic theory considers resistance as a neutral phenomenon.
    The conversational view highlights that language is a big factor that changes the meaning of resistance from person to person (Nedelcu and Buşu 2016). This concept is absent in both social and mechanistic views. The meaning of resistance varies from person to person based on their language. This concept of conversational view adds value to managing resistance to any change. However, the mechanistic view and the conversational view of resistance have no similarities while there is a resemblance between the social view of and conversational view of resistance. 
    Ways through which managers actively and positively manage resistance to change 
    As stated by Petrou et al. (2018), managers are the constituent part of an organization that should take the necessary strategy for managing the resistance to change in an organization. However, before taking an initiative to reduce employee resistance it is crucial for the managers to identify the causes of resistance. Application of the social view of resistance would be effective for the managers to identify the framework of resistance and its impact on the organization. Lack of job security is a major reason for employee resistance that occurs when a change occurs in an organization. In order to manage this type of resistance, the managers should be empathetic and supportive. This will allow the managers to evaluate how individuals in an organization experience the change. As a result, the managers will identify the people those are facing challenges regarding their job during change management. This will be effective for the managers to understand other perspectives and make a judgment based on it.
    Lacks of trust, communication and employee engagement are the major causes that hamper the success of a change (Fadzil et al. 2017).  Poor communication is a big reason why employees become opposed to change. In order to reduce employee resistance toward a change, the managers need to communicate the change by telling the employees what is the significance of a change in an organization. Effective communication between the employees and the managers will help the employees to regain their trust and understand the importance of a particular change in their organization. After building effective communication the managers need to maximize employee engagement. As commented by Nedelcu and Buşu (2016), employee engagement is one of the most effective and traditional strategies of reducing employee resistance. Such involvement of employees will help the managers to take employee feedback while taking any decision regarding the change. This strategy maximizes the values of employees and influences them to accept the change. Apart from this, the managers require to implement the change in several phases. This will help the employees to make them flexible with the changes. Therefore, the employees will be able to prepare them for accepting a new system in their organization, which will minimize their resistance power. Moreover, reduction of the gap between the management and employees is crucial to reduce the employee resistance during a change (Maheshwari and Vohra 2015). This will make the managers familiar to their employees and allow them to start collaborative work while implementing a change.
    The entire piece of work highlights a comparison between the mechanistic, social and conversational view of resistance. Based on this comparison it has been received that social and mechanistic view highlights that resistance is a big barrier to organizational success. On the other hand, the mechanistic view considers that resistance is a regular activity while social view considers that resistance is an exceptional incident. However, the conversational view is totally different from these two views as it explains how the meaning of resistance varies from one person to another. Moreover, the establishment of good communication, employee involvement, and empathic activity are crucial for managers to reduce employee resistance.
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