Various scholars have been developed to describe the reasons behind resistance to change. According to Austin and Ciaassen (2008), while analyzing the impact of evidence-based practice on organizational culture and culture, some of the reasons put forward for change resistance include readiness, receptivity, technical knowledge, and efficacy. While readiness describes aspects related to both the company and the workers, it can be further defined by the issues of knowledge and resources. Receptivity refers to how the workers will embrace the change. In receptivity, there is fear of losing one’s job thus the need to have employment security. In most cases, the aged employees characterize this group as they fear their jobs being taken by the younger employees (Matos & Espositi, 2014). Most of these individuals are noted to have little knowledge regarding the current technological trends. On the other hand, the current educational systems aim at equipping the students with skills that apply to the current technologically advanced systems. Similarly, there is an issue of critical thinking where the young minds have the ability to develop new and improved strategies that will improve not only the quality of products and services but also the ability to market the various goods and services (Tudor, 2014). Therefore most of the changes as would be proposed by organizations would be rejected to ensure the employees do not lose their jobs.
Still, on the issue of receptivity, most of the employees would feel challenged to adjust to the new operations as proposed by the management. Most importantly to note is that most workers prefer using the conventional methods which they are used to and are comfortable with (Burke, 2013). As a result, any proposed strategies that would jeopardize this will be faced with utmost resistance. It is also important to identify some of the strategies used by the employees to manifest resistance. These include go slow and doing all it takes to show that the change being introduced in not applicable (Cameron & Green, 2015). While addressing the issue of readiness to change as a reason behind the change, it is described by the lack of technical knowledge and skills to implement the proposed change. As identified previously, most of the changes being introduced in the modern world are based on technology thus the need for knowledge in the field. Therefore, if the workers do not possess the necessary skills, it will be impossible to implement the change (Austin & Ciaassen, 2008). Another reason behind resistance to change includes miscommunication between the management and the workers. Communication is identified as a core factor in the business operations. Therefore, if the change is not communicated effectively to the employees most of them may opt to reject it (Matos & Esposito, 2014). Also, the employees may desire being involved in the decision-making process and change implementation. This makes them feel more appreciated and involved in the operations of the organization. The manner also in which the change is communicated to the workers, and the organization stakeholders may also determine the receptivity of the message (Tummers, 2013). The use of formal language and verbal and nonverbal cues has also been noted to play a part in the acceptability or rejection of the change
Trends influencing change resistance
One of the major trends facing the current business sector is technology. Notably, the technical capacity in the oil industry is continuously changing with the introduction of new and improved systems (Silva & Frazao, 2014). Some of the objectives being addressed by the advanced technological systems include responding to the Angola environment protection act which identifies weakness in the pollution control of the oil industry. With the introduction of the new system, some of the challenges that may be experienced by the workers include losing their jobs. This is likely to face the aged and the illiterate workers. It is important to note that education abilities of most workers in the oil industry are minimal. Equally, there are fresh graduates in the industry across the world. Technical capacity also applies to the management in aspects such as information systems (Umble, 2014). Therefore with the fear of losing their jobs, most of the employees may resolve to resist the changes proposed in the industry. Considering another trend which is environment sustainability, most of the organizations have been tasked with ensuring minimal emissions to the environment. It is also essential to consider the role of the government policies and regulatory frameworks in mitigating this issue related to environment sustainability (Lindmark & Acar, 2015). While laws and policies are being developed every day, the corporate sector is expected to contribute amicably in the fight against greenhouse gasses emissions and climate change. With this regard, the implementation of new and efficient systems may not be taken lightly by most workers as it is likely to impact their operations while most of them facing a possible risk of losing their jobs
Strategies used to avert resistance to change
Mitigating resistance to change takes effort by both the management and the employees. In consideration also is the effective analysis of the possible situations and addressing them singly. Matos & Esposito (2014) are of the opinion that the most vital element in any business operation is communication which is the foundation of various factors in the business. Although the research by Matos & Esposito claims that less has been done in this field to evaluate the effectiveness of communication in controlling resistance to change, it is found that dialogue is an effective strategy to avert change resistance. It is, therefore, important for a profound communication management to be included in the business operations. According to Cameron and Green (2015) on change management, the attributes, values, and characteristics of the employees play an important in ensuring change is implemented effectively while avoiding possible resistance. Three of the key aspects identified in this article that is vital in change management and avoiding possible cases of resistance include leadership, interests of the employee and organization goals and objectives. Notably, leadership entails both personal and management (Lundy & Morin, 2013). Considering the employee behavior in change implementations is essential. Additionally, a cognitive approach towards change will suffice mitigating possible resistance.
Another proposed strategy in the literature is training, research, and development which are used to improve the technical knowledge of the employees. As noted earlier, in the reasons behind resistance to change, fear to lose jobs and use the new and advanced machines is one of the core reasons behind change resistance. With this regard, training improves the confidence and receptivity by the employees to the proposed changes. Also, most employees will consider advancing their skills to match the current trends in technology, creativity, and innovativeness. Austin and Ciaassen (2008) suggest that the use of evidence-based practice integrates the individual practitioner’s expertise in the corporate sector. With the help of the evidence-based practice, it is possible to change various aspects in an organization including cultural and ideological changes, technical changes and adjusting the organizational management. On the other hand, it is important that the implementation of change be done in a simple manner and phases. This entails first introducing the intended changes and observing the workers response and concerns. In line with this, the oil industry needs to effectively utilize the information systems to access the employee's concerns and issues. Online surveys have been identified as the most effective ways to interact with the employees and gauge their concerns and issues. Additionally, efficient management should not be top down based. It should involve the entire team of staff to ensure better and ready acceptability (Austin & Ciaassen, 2008). The leadership is therefore tasked with ensuring all staff concerns are recognized and that employees are involved in the organizational planning (Hanif, Khan & Zaheer, 2014). For instance, if there will be adjustments in work schedule, it is essential that the company considers increasing the salary of the workers to act as motivation.
Gap in the existing literature
Presently, there are several defects in the reasons behind the change resistance in organizations. As Matos & Esposito (2014) suggest, communication has not yet been researched effectively and its contribution to the issue of change management. Being one among many aspects, most of the current literature has focused on change management and mitigating resistance to change among the workers while ignoring the role of the managers in the issue. Another aspect I consider omitted is the issue of current global trends and their roles in change management. Some of these trends have included technological aspects, environment sustainability, and dynamics involved in competition and marketing strategies. The issue of leadership also comes to play when we consider multinational organizations. On business analysis tools such as PESTEL and SWOT, I believe that there are reasons related to political, economic, environment and the regulatory affairs. This is based on the fact that there are some employees or workers who may be affiliated with the political and social factors in the organization. Similarly, SWOT analysis also provides some of the possible weakness and threats to a company that would influence change resistance.
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