Resistance To Change
Machiavelli, in his famous book The Prince, said:
There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain of success than to take a lead in the introduction of a new order of things, because the innovation has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under new.
This prophetic statement captures the essence of one major source of resistance.
Resistance to change within an organization is as common as the need for change. After managers decide on making some organizational change, they typically meet with employees resistance and preventing the change from occurring.
Employees resit change for several reasons. The resistance can occur at the individual or group level. Some of individualrelated reasons are:
- Lack of understanding and trust
- Fear of the unknown
- Different assessment of the change
- Time, effort, and psychic cost of change
- Low tolerance of change
- Need for security and desire for the statusquo
Some of the most group related reasons are as follows:
- Differing breaks up group or friendship cliques
- Political coalitions
- Parochial selfinterest
- Differing perception of the meaning and consequences of change
- Change counteract group values
Part of a manager's job is to diagnose the potential reasons why employees who must be involved in a change might resist it. This assessment helps managers choose a means of overcoming it.