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Change and Resistance, Research Paper Example

Pages: 3

Words: 724

Research Paper

Resistance to change is a natural condition. What would you want to learn from an analysis of resistance that might be applied to a successful change product?

According to Holland & Skarke (2003), change is something that requires a certain commitment and dedication. It also requires perseverance and the allocation of resources. Without these components, failure is a certainty. A major struggle during the process of change is resistance. Resistance is not usually associated to the change itself but to a sense of loss and fear. Resistance to the change being implemented may present in a variety of ways. Some types of resistance may be more palpable as others wherein workers simply refuse to cooperate. Other forms of resistance to change can be observed in decreasing work performance. However, resistance also signifies that progress is being made. At this stage, employees are able to raise their concerns and objections to the change being implemented and key leaders have the opportunity to address these. Furthermore, workers can offer valuable insights regarding the change process. Equally, despite differences in opinion, workers will appreciate being involved in the process of decision making and can foster a positive attitude.

Several steps can be utilized in order to manage change resistance. Planning for the change is one such measure, and is crucial in attaining successful implementation of the change. Planning ahead allows identification of potential obstacles, prioritization of tasks, engage key employees or workers and implement the change according to schedule. Organizations should foster an environment that encourage and promote change. Organizations that promote change are often characterized by strong social constructions and have firm systems in place that allows sharing and communication of information (Tiong, 2005). Key individuals should be placed at the helm of the change process, particularly highly respected people within the organization or someone that workers are able to relate to.

Which do you feel would be the most difficult stage to accomplish in Kurt Lewin’s theory?

Kurt Lewin proposed a change theory comprising of three stages: Unfreeze, Change and Freeze or Refreeze. Unfreezing is characterized by letting go of old patterns or knowledge. The unfreezing stage involves getting ready for the change process and motivating the organization towards the change. Change involves the actual process of the undertaken change. Change is not merely an event, but a process of transition. Finally, the Freeze or Refreeze stage is characterized by fully embracing and adopting the change and it now becomes the norm or becomes part of the standard operating procedures. Each of the three stages in Kurt Lewin’s model undeniably has some difficult components. However, in my opinion, the most difficult stage to accomplish would be the second stage which is Change. This stage requires the concentrated efforts of the majority and requires a great deal of time to be able to achieve and sustain the change. As stated by Lewin, this stage is not just simply an event, but rather it is a process wherein an organization transitions or transforms itself. As with any new process, this stage can be marked with uncertainty and fear. The stage is made doubly difficult because some people within the organization can resist the change and thereby influence those who may be uncertain. Two important ingredients for achieving success at this stage is time and constant communication. Individuals often need adequate time to understand and grasp the importance of the required change and this may vary for each person. Similarly, constant communication is essential in order to allow people to learn the new processes associated with the change. Furthermore, two-way communication allows individuals to feel valued and would allow them opportunities to express their thoughts and insights on the change being implemented. Of particular importance within this stage is the delegation of role models or key personnel that is aimed at promoting at the change, thereby making the transition process flow smoothly.

References:

Holland, D. & Skarke, G. (2003). Change management for big systems. Retrieved from University of Phoenix EBSCO Publishing

Koch, C. (2006). The New Science of Change. CIO Magazine, pp 54-56

Kritsonis, A. (2005) Comparison of Change Theories. International Journal of Scholarly Academic Intellectual Diversity; 8:1,

Lewin, Mirian (1973). Kurt Lewin and his contributions to modern management theory. Academy of management proceedings: p 317

Tiong, Tang-Ngo (2005). Maximizing Human Resource Potential in the Midst of Organizational Change. Singapore Management Review: vol 27 issue 2 p.25.

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