Reasons for Resistance to Change

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Change is the adoption of new idea or behavior by an organization (Daft, 1995). Change in an existing organization is meant to increase its effectiveness in achieving its corporate objectives; it is the bedrock of industrial and organizational effectiveness.

Change means to alter, replace, substitute, exchange etc. Whatever form it takes, differences could be spotted between former and the present when it occurs. It is ‘an activity of transformation or modification of something…with the main purpose to make improvements”. Change is unavoidable in our socio-economic, political and technological lives,

Davies (1983) defines “Work Change” as any alteration that occurs in the work environment. Work change can occur in men, machines, policies, methods, and even location.

Change could be from Internal or External source.

Internal Sources: This change could occur in structure, training, interpersonal and intrapersonal change (e.g. self growth and self development), leadership change etc.

External Sources:  These are changes occasioned by outside forces like government policies, consumer behavior, inflation, increase or decrease in people’s purchasing powers, religious upsurge, technology, war, natural disaster etc.

It should be noted that most times the external pressures are so powerful to the extent that they have great powers to ignite internal organizational changes.

Changes could be destructive or constructive.

Reasons for Resistance to Change:

As important as change is in organizations, some employees still resist it and hate it without pretence. Here are some reasons:

  1. Parochial self interest
  2. Lack of confidence in the changer
  3. Bad communication strategy
  4. Fear for Loss of job
  5. Disruption of social life
  6. Poor timing
  7. Fear of unknown
  8. Cost of Change
  9. Preparedness for Change
  10. Disruption of Known Relationships
  11. Lack of Trust
  12. Lack of Reward
  13. Loss of Support System
  14. Loss of Control
  15. Lack of Competence
  16. Experience from former change
  17. Lack of Human face in the aspect of change
  18. Poor Planning
  19. No clarity
  20. Out of comfort Zone
  21. Denial
  22. Resistance as Normal
  23. Loss of identity

Quide on How to Manage Resistance of Change:

  • Proper Educate/ Explanations to employees
  • Change agent(s) must be honest/ trustable persons
  • Change implementation should be sincere/ gradual
  • Right Timing
  • Effective communication necessary
  • Employees should be prepared psychologically
  • Change agents must be selfless and competent persons
  • Good knowledge of change objectives
  • Good reward system
  • Openness, Clarity and objectivity should be the watchword
  • All grey area should be addressed

These will assist in change management in your organizations.


Written by: Agolo Uzorka

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