Nowadays, change is everywhere but almost everyone seems to sway away from this concept because only a few are ready to embrace it. Observations show that people are creatures that follow their daily habits and routines. It is, however, obvious that in times when change takes place, people tend to disrupt their thought and activities (Corazon, 2009). For many years, researchers have viewed resistance to change as opined organization transformations, but as these findings show, resistance to change is an issue that includes everything that surrounds people, ranging from their origins to an individual. This paper seeks to summarize the internal and external factors that contribute to an individual’s resistance to change. The paper will achieve its objectives by applying Kotter’s theory that explains the change.
Individuals’ resistance to change is explained by the influence of internal and external factors. Among the most common internal factors are low tolerance for change, lack of understanding, and self-interest; some of the most common external factors are lack of trust in management, and differing assessments of the need for change. Archival evidence reveals that people end up resisting change mainly because they either take too much time to recognize it or ignore the idea of recognizing it. Referenced details from researched evidence assert that the idea of continued business as a common factor attributes to this growing resistance to change. Indeed, there are facts behind this argument because people are used to their daily routines and habits of doing business as usual (Griffin & Moorhead, 2011). Kotter maintains that people’s failure to adopt and see the essence of changes in life leads to their continued resistance to it. The absence of understanding of change itself and how it works is yet another problem that leads to an unwillingness to accept it.
To see the mechanism of change resistance in action, an illustration from real life will be addressed. Some of my acquaintances used to have a fixed amount of payment for his work despite the volume of the fulfilled tasks, but later he along with his colleagues were informed about the new concept of their payment transaction. The new mechanism was in paying for the particular tasks they fulfilled. Thus, those who did more could receive more. Initially, my acquaintance was resistant toward such change as he was afraid that his payment would become smaller, and feared that the company’s management wanted to take advantage from such decision. However, as he received his first payment calculated according to the new system, he became satisfied because the new payment was better. Eventually, the new system of payment stimulated the young man to be a better specialist that allowed him to receive a better salary, and become more valued by the company’s management. Analyzing this situation, it becomes evident that the young man was affected by the combination of internal and external factors when he demonstrated resistance toward changes. His fear to experience changes can be qualified as an internal factor, and his distrust to the company’s mangers can be seen as an external factor.
To overcome a resistance to changes in business situations, Kotter’s theory may be implemented. In particular, a few steps that are directed to helping employees avoid the influence of internal and external resistance factors will become of great value for any business (Agboola & Salawu, 2011). Step 1 is to create urgency in the personnel’s eyes; employees should understand how dynamic the situation in the market is, and how vital it is to keep up with it. Step 2 is to form a strong coalition; if the company’s management gained trust of respected workers, the rest of the team will follow the leaders (Podlesnik, Jimenez-Gomez, Thrailkill & Shahan, 2011). Step 3 is to create a clear vision for the future changes. Employees will be more willing to undergo changes in their work when they understand why such changes are happening, and how they might benefit from the changes. Step 4 is to have an open communication regarding the future changes. Employees should have an opportunity to express their concerns and fears, and receive sufficient explanations from the company’s leadership. Step 5 is to remove obstacles. The company’s management should identify all the potential barriers including employees who are negative about changes. If the barrier can not be overcome, it should be replaced. For example, an employee opposing changes should be fired if he or she does not respond positively to the efforts by leaders to explain the value of the changes.
In conclusion, in organizations, change sometimes faces immense resistance from workers. This follows the fact that some of them have no trust in the management system of the organization. For those who find it hard to put their faith in the organizational management staff, it is indeed a hard time understanding the need for change, thus posing a serious challenge. Presence of differing assessments within an individual or an organization sets in place a high level of resistance to change.
Agboola, A., & Salawu, R. (2011). Managing Deviant Behavior and Resistance to Change. International Journal Of Business & Management, 6(1), 235-242.
Corazon, D. (2009). Educational Strategies for Advancing Evidence Based Practice: Providing Best Patient Care. London: ProQuest.
Griffin, R. & Moorhead, G. (2011). Organizational Behavior: Managing People and Organizations. New York: Cengage Learning.
Podlesnik, C. A., Jimenez-Gomez, C., Thrailkill, E. A., & Shahan, T. A. (2011). Temporal Context, Preference, and Resistance to Change. Journal Of The Experimental Analysis Of Behavior, 96(2), 191-213.