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Resistance to Change

Various reasons for resistance to change are categorized as follows:

1.    Individual Resistance to Change:

Individuals prefer to maintain status quo rather than accept new ways of doing things. They resist change because of the following reasons:

(a)    Insecurity:

There is a sense of insecurity amongst individual as they move from one post or location to the other. They are uncertain about new job requirements, new environment and new work groups and, therefore, resist change.

(b)    Social factors:

When people move to new work environment, they suffer from a psychological set back as they do not want to leave their friends in the existing social environment. They find it difficult to cope with new environment. Strong influence of informal groups at ether present set up becomes a source of resistance to change.

Other actors include loss of power, status, security, unfamiliarity with new work procedures and lack of confidence.

(c)    Economic factors:

Change from labor intensive to capital intensive techniques of production creates fear of loss of jobs amongst employees. People, therefore, do not welcome such jobs even if employers assure them of job security.

(d)    Lack of knowledge about causes of change:

If managers announce a change without any reasons, how and to what extent such changes will affect employees’ lives and behavior is not known. Employees resist changes the reasons for which are unknown to them.

(e)    Lack of faith in managers:

Lack of trust and faith in managers often creates a feeling amongst subordinates the change is being initiated, it is done at he cost of their interest. This invites resistance on their part to accept change.

(f)    Threat to power and influence:

Change which re-allocates authority-responsibility relationships may take away power from some members and give it to others. The power of status and position is a strong influence that keeps a person attached to his job. Change with threat to people’s power and status is not welcomed by them.

(g)    Low level of tolerance:

Change requires new ways of learning by employees. New behavior sand skills have to be developed. If people do not want to learn new procedures and techniques, it results in resistance to change.

(h)    Different perceptions:

Managers may introduce change because they perceive ti necessary for improving organizational efficiency. Others may resist change because they perceive the situation diffusely. Because of defect perceptions he existing state of equilibrium is not disturbed and change is not enforced in the organization.
(i)    Peer pressure:
People may resist change because their fellow worker opposes it. They obey the group norms for their fear of social boycott.

2.    Organizational Resistance to Change:

Change is resisted at eh organizational level also. Some of the reasons why organizations resist change are:

(a)    Organization structure:

An autocratic or bureaucratic organization structure where authority-responsibility relationships and work are divided into well-defined units, where employees’ participation in decision making is minimum and information follows a vertical path is not responsive to change.

(b)    Economic costs:

Huge investment may be required in plant and machinery, building and other equipments to conform to changed operation. Scarcity of resources may inhibit desire of the organization to change its standards of working.

(c)    Organizational commitments:

If organization enters into long-term agreements with their parties, say 7-10 years, they are restrained from introducing change, even  if desirable, unless agreed by the parties concerned.

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