Efforts by top executives and managers to initiate significant changes in their organizations do not succeed. This is due to resistance from other employees and stakeholders who fear change. Change means modifying the way organization carries out its activities. It is to overhaul the organizational structure in it design of decision-making and accountability thus providing the organization with an entirely new vision. In the dynamic world of mergers and acquisitions, most organizations fail to implement the required changes to have a competitive edge. For long-term survival, it is imperative for organizations to change and adapt to the changing economic circumstances in their areas of operation. This essay discusses the strategies that we can use to minimize resistance to organizational changes and situation in which each can be apply.
According to Rothwell & Sullivan (2005), the best way to ensure acceptability of organizational change is to plan it stepwise. First, there is a need to inform the organization members the reasons why change is crucial. Then, start implementing the initial phases of the project that should eventually progress to form the larger program in the organizational change. The organization leaders need first to change the mindset of the employees involved. In this case, the leaders focus on the attitude change by trying incorporating behavior change that eventually brings a shift in belief and attitudes thereby resulting in changed values.
Burke (2002) informs that participation is one strategy that the organization can use to avoid resistance to change. Allowing participation of employees both in planning and implementation of the change process, help make them identify with and understand the goals of the proposed strategy. Participation of the employees in the change implementation helps counter misinformation (Rothwell & Sullivan, 2005). Educating the employees on the new strategy makes them understand the need for change and thus make the receptive to the proposed changes (Burke, 2002).
The management can use group pressure taking into consideration that people they interact with such as coworkers influence individual attitudes. According to Cummings & Worley (2008), the pressure groups can be able to influence reluctant colleagues to support the new strategy. Group members are likely to support each other incase of change implementation problem. The group can only be of use when they are supportive to the proposed changes (Burke, 2002). The management can involve itself in steps supportive to employees during the implementation thus make them receptive to the new strategy. This gives the employees chance to learn new skills, alter theirs behaviors, and gradually accept the new concept of change (Miner, 2007).
Negotiation approach is also useful in that the management identifies few influential employees who are resisting the new idea and offering them incentives to support the new strategy (Burke, 2002). If those opposing the new strategy are almost retirement age, they can be convinced with generous early retirement packages. Co-optation is a strategy in which management gives one of the main resistors substantial roles to play in the implementation process with a promise to support the changing idea (Cummings & Worley, 2008).
The management can use information and events selectively to manipulate the employees into supporting the change process (Miner, 2007). Management can use Coercion implicitly or explicitly in that resistors can earn either a promotion, or punishment in the form of a transfer in the process of opposing change. Coercion works well with rapid change implementation. It can be concluded that implementation of a new strategy is never as linear as the planning process and thereby involve a number of strategies to accomplish successfully (Cummings & Worley, 2008).
Burke, W. (2002). Organization change: theory and practice. California: sage publications, Inc.
Cummings, T. & Worley, C. (2008). Organization development & change. Ohio: Cengage Learning.
Miner, J. (2007). Organizational behavior: From theory to practice. New York: M.E. Sharpe, Inc.
Rothwell, W & Sullivan, R. (2005). Practicing organization development: a guide for consultants. San Francisco: John Wiley and Sons.