How can Resistance to Change be Mitigated? Some Personal Thoughts!

By Rumaisa Shaukat and Jessica Backen.

Published by The Organization Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The issue that will be discussed in this paper is resistance to change. The specific questions that this paper proposes to answer are “Why do people resist change? And how can resistance to change be mitigated?” I chose this topic because I have been working as an administrator in educational institutions for many years and change management has been the most difficult part of my professional life. Knowing why people resist change and some ways to combat this resistance has been very valuable in my career. I looked at the selected literature to see what research has to offer practitioners.
The quote “Because change has become an everyday part of organizational dynamics, employees who resist change can actually cripple an organization” (Bolognese, 2002, p.1) summarizes why I feel that this issue is so important. The format of this paper will facilitate the discussion of different aspects of resistance to change. It will be separated into four sections. The first section will explore various definitions of the term resistance to change. The second and third sections will discuss reasons why change is resisted in organizations. The second section will discuss organizational factors that affect resistance to change. The third section will discuss individual factors that affect resistance to change. The final section will discuss ways that resistance to change can be mitigated.

Keywords: Change Theories, Resistance to Change, Organizational Dynamics, Individual Dynamics

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 10, Issue 8, pp.57-72. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 658.603KB).

Prof. Rumaisa Shaukat

Contract Professor, Doctoral Candidate, Telfer School of Management, Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Rumaisa Shaukat is a contract professor and a doctoral candidate at the University of Ottawa, Canada. Her research interests lie within the field of organizational studies, specifically related to the topics of organizational change, program implementation, and curriculum. Her doctoral research is centered on diverse institutional responses to government-initiated educational changes.

Jessica Backen

University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Jessica Backen is completing her Masters in Communication at the University of Ottawa. Jessica has contributed to other qualitative projects, including a pilot study examining students’ perceptions of the benefits of self-study collage exercises in a university setting. Jessica has developed a strong background in organizational communication as she acquired her undergraduate degree, including training in change management, negotiation and mediation, and public relations. She continues to work as a teaching and research assistant at the University of Ottawa while she completes her graduate studies.

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