Resistance to Change HR587-Managing Organizational Change Course Project Instructor: Kathleen Milburn Keller Graduate School of Management 06/16/2010 Nga Le Table of Contents Executive Summary2 Literature Review3 Force-Field Analysis Diagram4 Decoding Resistance to Change6 Working with Resistance7 Key Elements to Effective Organizational Training7 Successful Project Management9 Managers as Resistors10 Managing Resistance12 Default Option Approach12 Change Management Models13 Start Model Approach13
Start Model Incorporation with Congruence Model16 Compare and Contrast Different Management Models16 Discussion and Conclusion18 Works Cited19 Appendix20 Executive Summary Every organization at some point in its left cycle needs to change due to external pressure, internal pressure, or to become more competitive among its league. When organization initiate and plan for new strategic, many organizations does not take into account resistance to change as a factor in determine their success or failure.
This is a costly mistake that will take years to re-cooperate from as we can see from Apples and IBM track history. In order to understand change within any organization, we need to identify the implementation process of change and its key players. As we look closely in the implementation process, we will see the flaw and success of the initiative change, thus will take us one step closer to finding out why employees resist change within an organization. Perhaps then we can find different solutions as to how to manage resistance to change within an organization.
The main area of concern is to understand why employees resist change and how to manage or handle this resistance to change so that new strategic change will have long lasting effects. The first step to managing resistance to change is to find a formula or a diagnose model that best fit the organization or the new strategic change. Each model address different needs and solution, it is the job of the stakeholders and project manager to appropriately diagnose the resistance of change. Once resistance of change has been diagnose, there should be a contingency plan to address and properly manage these resistances to change.
In accordance with the findings in this research paper, some of the resistances to change were due to poor leadership and management skills that most organizations are unaware of these situations, which caused increased in turn-over rate and decrease in morale within the organization. When we say poor leadership and management skills—we specifically meant poor skills in managing progression of new strategic change and managing resistances to change as they are relating to those changes.
The other part of why people resist changes is due to certain fear factors such as job security, unclear directions of organization, fear of decrease in salary or authority, etc. We will discuss all of the stated reasons of why employees resist change within organization and how to prevent or manage these factors so that practicing manager can have better perspectives. Literature Review For hundreds of thousands of years, men had survived on the basis of survival instincts, the ability to adapt, and conditioned learning when faced with danger.
As we modernized and become technology oriented—we no longer need to hunt and kill for food, but make no mistakes those instinctual senses are not forever gone. As with anything on earth striving to survive, our survival instincts revolutionized to adapt to our surrounding civilization. When we feel fear, we still produce the same type of adrenaline that help us cope with the situation and our “fight or flight” response still kicked in the same way it did during the ice age. The situations that we face on a daily basis that triggers those responses might have change, but those same chemicals and reaction are still the same.
For example: when we try to dodge an incoming car to prevent collision, our body will trigger similar chemical responses as when we try to flee from a hungry lion. The point that I’m trying to make is that men will adapt to our ever changing environments if they sense that those changes are crucial, urgent, and does not threaten their current position (which they feel are safe and secure). People don’t resist changes because they dislike those changes. People resist changes because they’ve encountered previous experiences of change that are unpleasant or have negative effects on their interests.
People resist changes, because they are unsure of the outcome that those changes will bring. People resist changes because they are comfortable with the current organizational culture and feel that the new changes would jeopardize their job security. Now that we know why people resist changes—we need to find a way to diagnose certain signs and how we can manage these resistance. Every Organization will have different groups that will react differently to change. By learning proper ways to diagnose we can handle the situation with care and ease.
Essentially, when we talk about resisting changes, we need to start from the very beginning, when those changes first started to have a clearer diagnose. Force-Field Analysis Diagram The transition starts at the implementation process of change because that is where we can find restraining forces that can hinder implementation of change. In chapter 5 (Diagnosis for Change) in our text, there’s an analysis diagram called Force-Field Analysis that shows different driving forces in the making and progression of changes.
Most importantly, the Force-Field Analysis diagram showed the restraining forces, which can be helpful visual in letting one see different restraining factors that are effecting the progression of changes. Fig. 1: Force-Field Analysis Diagram. As a practicing manager, it would be helpful to visually see the driving forces arrows going forward and the restraining force arrows going against them so he can determine if there are more or less restraining forces working against the change. The next step would be to come up with a plan-of-attack to address those restraining forces.
While one may not eliminate all of these restraining forces, but it does help in identifying those forces and trying to depict the main source. Also, the diagram can be used as a visual presentation tool for communication of resistance to change across the organization. In addition to the Force-Field Diagram, each organization needs to assess different signs of Resistance to Change. As with any mystery illness, there are always visible symptoms and smokescreens that lead to the main source. In Chapter 6 (Resistance of Change) Hultman in our text portrays resistance to change as “tridimensional”—affective, behavioral, and cognitive.
The affective part of this tridimensional has to do with how people feel about the change. The behavioral component has to do with how people think about the change. Lastly, the cognitive component portrays what people do in the face of a change. A great manager will need to understand these three different dimensions of resistance and be able to separate the smokescreen signs from the real symptoms. Additionally, practicing managers must recognize the obvious/active signs of resistance to change and the passive signs.
Passive resistance to change is when a person verbally agrees to change, but does not follow-through or failing to implement the change, procrastinating, and withholding information. Active resistance to change is when a person verbally finding faults with the change, ridiculing the change, blaming/accusing, and sabotaging the change project. In the active resistances cases, they are easier to resolve and screen for because those resistances are more predictable. The passive resistances are the unknown illness that could jeopardize the progression of the strategic change.
Organizations and managers need to recognize the passive signs of resistance and learn how to deal with it properly to maintain positive morale. Decoding Resistance to Change Passive or not–some managers and organizations feel the need to embrace resistance and think of resistance an insight or feedback. In a recent article written in 2009 by Ford in Harvard Business Review called “Decoding Resistance to Change,” addresses the importance of communication between resisters and organization. Ford stated, “Blaming resisters not only is pointless but can actually lead to destructive managerial behaviors.
When managers perceive resistance as a threat, they may become competitive, defensive, and uncommunicative. ” The point that Ford was trying to make is rather than arguing and using oppressive power to force resisters into the new change mentality, managers need to listen to their concerns and help them adjust to the changes. Additionally, management needs to be more aware of different responsibilities within organizational hierarchy and how these changes will affect those individuals. It might not affect management as drastically and harshly as it will for someone working directly with those changes.
Ford brought up another valid point about how “people who aren’t involved in the planning need to understand not only what is about to change but also why their jobs are being upended. ” Similarly to what I’ve mentioned from the beginning of why people resist change—people fear uncertainty. Organizations must explain the vision, mission, and how the change will affect the organization and individuals in certain departments. Also, asking for feedback and participation will help ease employees toward implementation of change.
When employees feel, belief, and take ownership of the change; there will be less likely for resistance and more likely for positive outcome. Working with Resistance Ford is not the only author who promotes working with resistance instead of against resistance will be the key to successful change implementation. Another article written in the same year by Bullickson in Strategic Finance called, “Working with Resistance,” stated that resistance is natural and we should trying to avoid resistance or push it aside. According to Bullickson, “resistance really does represent an opportunity rather than a problem. She seems to portray resistance as warning signs that organization should proceed with caution and not to take resistance personally, but to question its motive. Resistance is the roadmap to successful management. Also she mentioned that resistance is just a form of energy, it is the leader’s job to identify, allocate, and direct this energy in a productive manner. If the leaders do not know how to guide that energy well, the energy will turn negative and transform into office politics, sabotage, and other problems associated with the new change.
Key Elements to Effective Organizational Training Relatively, top executives must provide adequate training prior to implementation of strategic change, during the change, and after the change to ensure productive long-term of effects of change. Lenzner written an article in 2009 called “the key elements to Effective Organizational Training,” on Education & Training section of Central New York Business Review, addresses several ways top executives can use to foster positive change in an organization. The first element states, “Top executives must lead the initiative in word and deed. The implication behind this statement is when delivering or fostering new changes, organization must have the support of chief executive and leadership. The CEO must clearly define the directions and goals of the strategic change and how will this help the organization in its vision and mission to success. Chief executive must find ways to follow-up with the project and give maximum support toward that project. There’s nothing worse than a CEO not following through with what he preaches and not take measures to follow-up to ensure successful implementation.
Secondly, “management must overcome employee’s resistance to change. To overcome employee resistance, a training initiative must be accompanied by a sense of urgency. ” If employees sense that change is needed for survival of the organization, thus security of their job; they are more likely to accept and embrace the change project. In recollection at the beginning of Literature Review section where we address the “tridimensional” components of why people resist change—Lenzner’s made a valid point.
People feel and think about the change do reflect how they act toward the change; hence, if they feel that there’s urgency for a change then they will do whatever measures possible to ensure positive outcome of the change. Lastly, “there must be positive and negative consequences to those following or not following the new training direction. ” Organizations need to ensure progression of the change by giving incentives for those who follow-through with the change such as promotion, recognition, or compensation.
For individuals who chose not to follow through with the new change there will consequences such as termination, decrease in job responsibilities thus decrease in pay, or provide meetings to help adapt and forewarn. Generally, the negative consequences method should be the last resort and only used in situation where organizations and managers had explored every choices to allow employees time to make sense of the change and adapt. Successful Project Management
A Successful strategic change implementation within an organization is not just the responsibilities of top executives as stated above, but project managers play a huge part in the success of the strategic change as well. In Accordance with Gido and Clements in “Successful Project Management” book; there are about 5 phases within a progression of a project —Initiating, Planning, Controlling, Implementing, and Terminating. All of these phases make up a project as a whole, but most of the managers time will be spent in perform the project phase, which is planning, implementing, and controlling.
Project managers need to keep in mind of the resistors of change all throughout the performing phase of the project, so he can be better prepared when dealing with contingency planning. Perhaps, he can find alternative solutions to accommodate certain individuals, use different change images to help employees cope with change, and spare some time for feedback to understand his employees’ perspectives. Project Managers need to understand the risks involve within the execution process of project and report back to top executives—is this project has more risks than benefits or risks level is mild?
Consequently, having a Communication Plan will be helpful in communicating his plans with subordinates and top executives. Communication Plan is essential in ensuring that every phase went according to protocol, every risk is being accounted (provide a contingency plan for each risk factor), and document every part of the project. Communication Plan need to identify the key stakeholders, ask the key stakeholders what type of information they want to receive, document the communication strategies, and obtain sign off signatures from key stakeholders for approval.
Every part and any changes made to the project need to be update in the communication plan and sent to people involve in the project such as employees, stakeholders, and supervisor (successful management book). Managers as Resistors So far we’ve been talking about how managers and organizations deal with change and what tools are needed to make a seamless execution. What if the managers are the resistors? In certain cases, intentionally or not, managers and CEO stand in their own way of successfully implanting a project. Liz Claiborne is a great example of how managers can become resistors in our text book Table 6. 0: “Founded in 1976, Liz Claiborne went public in 1981 and five years later was on the Fortune 500 list. Lize Claiborne approach was to design clothes that provided an option between the classic dark-blue suit and haute couture. The collection was very competitive in price, which is part of its attraction. In early 1990’s, a trend toward casualization in the workplace had caused an unexpected decrease in sales because Liz Claiborne was not prepared for the new trend in its production line and department store also demanded larger discounts from their suppliers.
Management teams were unwilling to compromise with the new trend and cutting prices, Liz Claiborne net income declined by $2 billion from 1992 to 1994. ” According to the author in Table 6. 10, Liz Claiborne is just one of many organizations suffered from “The Icarus Paradox” syndrome. Icarus is a Greek mythology inventor who made a pair of wax wings to fly, but he flew too close to the sun and melted his wings which caused his death.
On the same note, Management Services magazine posted an article in 2009 called, “Business Process Reengineering,” the article stated: “Two sector/local government organizations attempted to implement change through Business Process Reengineering (BPR). BPR senior managers did not really understand the concept or its implications, and that cultural inertia, resistance to change and lack of effective leadership at senior levels were all contributory factors. Paper et al (2001) say that top management has to ‘live the new paradigm by being active participants in the change process.
Top management endorsement is not enough. ” Based on the article, the Business Process Reengineering plan or models is a concept that management did not understand, thus did not follow-up and caused a haut or failure to implement of the project. In this perspective, the managers are the resistors, which caused a cultural inertia within the organization. This is exactly the reason why having a Strategy Wing is crucial in the making of the change, so that everyone within the organization is on the same page as to what is expected of the change and how the change will be implemented.
So how do managers deal with resistance, when it’s self-manifested? Managing Resistance Kotter and Schlesinger provides a great “Situational” Approach in Harvard Business Review article which our text reference to for managing resistance to change. The steps are education and communication; participation and involvement; facilitation and support; negotiation and agreement; manipulation and cooptation; explicit and implicit coercion. Since the approach is situational, meaning that managers need to take into account of their internal and external environments when making decision to change so they are not the resistors.
Education and Communication method should be used when resistors is lacking information and misinformed. Participation and Involvement method should be used when resistors feels a sense of exclusion from the process. Facilitation and Support method should be used when resistors feels anxiety and uncertainty. Negotiation and Agreement should be used when resistors are in a strong position to undermine the change project. Manipulation and Cooptation should be used when participation, facilitation, or negotiation is too time-consuming or resource-demanding.
Lastly, explicit and Implicit Coercion should be used when resistors have little effect on the organization and survival of the organization is at risk (Reference Table 6. 11 in the text will provide greater details and explanation). Also, the authors point out that manager should use a combination of the methods above to appropriately fit their organization and not just stringently stick with one approach. Default Option Approach Another approach to managing resistance to change is the Default Option from Maurer in 1996 that our text reference to in Table 6. 5. The default options are to use power, manipulate those who oppose, apply force of reason, ignore resistance, and play off relationships. The use of power can be subtle or blatant depending on the situation; managers can subtly remind subordinate of who’s in charge or invoke fear in the heart of the resistors. Manipulation of those who oppose method is when managers selectively release “part of the story” to the resistors in an attempt to manipulate. Applying force of reasons is when managers try to bury resistors with mountains of facts.
Alternatively, managers can choose to ignore the resistance and assume that it will be short-lived and disappeared. Lastly, the play off relationship method is when managers use the “tit for tat” approach of a previous support that they gave the resistors and now resistors must reciprocate. Change Management Models Based on the research and what I’ve mentioned so far about resistance to change and how to manage resistance to change; my personal change model is a corporation of Star Model and Congruence Model stated in our text.
I feel that the star model would provide the basic foundation or bone structure required, while the Congruence Model would provide the meat of my change model. I agreed with Kotter and Schlesinger when they said that organization must incorporate different approaches and models to their own style for a successful delivery. Start Model Approach The Star Model has five wings—strategy, structure, processes and lateral capability, reward system, and people practices. The strategy wing is the “captain” of the five components, because without a strategy organizations will not have the proper structure and guidance to make strategic change.
Within the strategy wing there are sub-components that make up that strategy. The sub-components of strategy are the vision, direction, and competitive advantage. Organization need to understand their vision and how that vision will align with the strategic change. The direction component is the organization’s mission; where is the organization plan to head and what is the plan of attack. Also, competitive advantage is what sets the organization apart of its competitor and how can organizations use that advantage to create new changes that will increase growth and potential within the market.
The Structure wing doesn’t have concrete sub-components. Structure wing refers to the organization roles, reporting relationship, and hierarchy in power and authority. The structure wing is to address who will be in charge of the change and who has the author to supervise and change processes. In the structure wing, team members can be clear as to who is reporting managers for certain activities. The structure wing provides a sense of strength and clarity as to who are the people in power and authority.
The processes and lateral capability refer to the strategic change processes, teams, integrative roles and different matrixes within the process. This portion of the Star Model addresses the details of the project, such as the work break-down structures. Additionally, processes and lateral capability addresses the tasks assignment and who are in control of which team. Without the processes and lateral capability portion, the project will not be seamless and causes confusion between managers, executives, and team members.
I like to think of this portion as the glue that kept every aspect and wings together as a whole. As with any change, there need to be some sort of positive reinforcement; this is where the Reward Systems wing come into play. Positive reinforcements or Reward systems keep team member motivated and feeling a sense of accomplishment, which is an important portion of the implementation process. Examples of Reward Systems would be allowing members with difficult circumstances (sick kids, carpooling, and disability) to have a flexible schedule provided that those members meet or exceed expectations of the project.
Also, for those individuals who are exceptionally excellent in their responsibilities and delivery of the strategic change; organization should publicly recognize, promote, or compensation for their hard work. The last wing of the Star Model is People Practices, which refers to the staffing/selections, performance feedback, and learn/development. This wing needs the help of Human Resource Department, Project Managers, and feedback of Supervisors. The Human Resource will assist with staffing and selection, but the selection will be filter through by Project Managers with the assistant of Supervisors of each team.
Project Managers will need to consult Supervisors to gain performance feedback, so those managers can see which portion of the project needs hiring and what skills-set to hire for the project. The Learning and Development portion refers to everyone within the project. As the project progress, there will be trial and errors. Strategic change is a constantly “Learning and Development” process. Each of the wing in the Start Model will have its off-set effects that’s called “Effect of Misalignment,” this is when organizations or managers misaligned or ncorrectly use the Star components, which caused confusion, friction, gridlock, internal competition, low performance, and etc. These Misalignment Effects could be due to missing strategy statement or unclear vision statement. Moreover, the Structure isn’t aligned to the strategy or the Process and Lateral Capability is not coordinating as should with weak monitoring. Additionally, there could be a lack of reward systems with the project or team members are not taking ownership of the tasks. Start Model Incorporation with Congruence Model All of the change management models presented—there will be strengths and weaknesses.
While organizations cannot prevent these weaknesses; they can manage it and incorporate other approaches to original models to off-set the weaknesses. In my personal management model, Congruence Model will serve as the off-setter. For example: the Transformation Process in the Congruence Model can be incorporated with the Process and Lateral Capability wing of our Star Model. I feel that the Transformation Process portion in Congruence gives more depth and clarity in which parts is needed in order for the project to proceed to the next wing/portion/steps.
Also, the context portion in Congruence blends well with the Strategy portion in Star Model. The Context portion refers to how organizations need to be sensitive to their environment (what currently in trend, competitive advantages, market audience), resources (organization tangible, intangible, and assets), and history (organization own history) when making a Strategic Plan. Compare and Contrast Different Management Models When one compare and contrast different management models, we can better understand the flaw and strength of our own management models.
An interesting change management model I recently encountered written by Kakonsson, Klass, and Carroll called “Organizational Adaption, Continuous change, and The Positive Role of Inertia. ” The article is very analytical and complex in its way to address change management. The article states: “Continuous change models focus on dynamic change and how the tension between stability and change is managed via structures and process. Three structures and processes essential to achieve continuous adaptation—links in time, semi-structures, and time pacing.
Punctuated Change and Structural Inertia Models view change as being severely constrained by inertia (resistance for an object to change). This model describes long periods of convergence punctuated by relatively short period of disruptive, transformative change. In other words, to gain reliability, organizations need low variance in performance. This, in turn makes change risky, and thereby inertial a necessary consequences for firm survival. ” As one can see, these two models—Punctuated and Continuous Change Models comprised of opposing views of change and resistance of change.
Continuous Change Model uses resistance of change as resource, while Punctuated Model is more structural and feels that resistance of change is a constrain in the progression of the project. Both models encourage the organization to do further research to find out what areas will pose most resistance to the project, but one model seeks to overcome, while the others seek to manage and garnish the resistance. I feel that my personal management model aligns well with the Continuous Change Model in Strategy and Punctuated Model processes.
Although, these two models is very conceptual and does not provide me with the details and structure I need as the Star and Congruence in our text. However, the models do provide me with an insight to how much details a change management model needs to have in order for it to be user-friendly. Discussion and Conclusion Essentially, Resistance to Change Management Models and Change Management Models are two of the most importantly tools for managers and organizations to have when dealing with strategic change successfully.
How or which models to incorporate with one another is dependent upon the situation and the organization. How or which models the organizations and managers use will determine the outcome of those managers and organizations. Keep in mind that there will always be certain limitations to all of the models and approach we’ve discussed, but it is up to the managers and organizations to determine if those limitations posed as hindrances to the progression of the change project or as resources to.
A great practicing manager must be fully aware of his approach and understand the consequences that come with each decision he makes. As we’ve talked about what it takes to make or break organizations and managers, we also find different managing techniques to counteract those resistances. There no one concrete formula in being a successful managers—it’s all trial and errors. One way that we can prevent major disaster is to do our research, keep an open mind to every possible outcome, listen to subordinates for feedback, and document every part of the project along the way for easier trace-back.
All of the tools presented in this paper is to encourage managers and organization to utilize Resistance to Change as a resource and keep a positive perspective when one face with resistance as it can be our worst nemesis or our best ally. Works Cited Chamberlin, J. (2009). Business Process Reengineering. Management Services , 53 (4), pp. 1-6. Ford, J. , & Ford, L. (2009). Decoding Resistance to Change. Harvard Business Review , 87 (4), 99-103. Gullickson, R. B. (2009, February). Working with Resistant. Strategic Finance , pp. -10. Hakonsson, D. , Klass, P. , & Carroll, T. (2009). ORGANIZATIONAL ADAPTATION, CONTINUOUS CHANGE, AND THE POSITIVE ROLE OF INERTIA. Academy of Management Proceedings , 1-6. Lenzner, M. (2009). The key elements to effective organizational training. The Central New York Business Journal , 7-12. Milburn, K. (2010, June). Project Life Cycle, Communication, Risk, and Termination. Lecture . Palmer, I. , Dunford, R. , & Akin, G. (2009). Managing Organizational Change (2nd ed. ). New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin. Appendix