Effective organizational change requires an alteration in patterns of employee behavior (Spector, 2010). There are many reasons why stakeholders can be resistant to change including but not limited to; misunderstanding, self-interest, inability to adapt and disagreement with the change. It is management’s job to understand this resistance and effectively combat it. There are several tools that can be used to combat resistance to organizational change to increase the chances of effective organizational implementation. This paper will look at some of the essential tools and elements I would use to combat resistance to organizational change. In addition, I will discuss what elements I feel are essential in most situations and why.
One of the most basic but sometimes underutilized tools is communication and education through mutual engagement. It is up to organizational leaders to help create and maintain a context that allows, encourages, and enables an open and candid dialogue (Spector, 2010). The goal of mutual engagement in a process of shared diagnosis is to unfreeze “social habits” and create a sense of dissatisfaction with the status quo (Spector, 2010). At its most fundamental level, diagnosis is about learning: learning what needs to be changed and why. The notion of shared diagnosis goes one step further. For change implementation to occur effectively many employees at multiple hierarchical levels and in varied units need to change in the same direction (Spector, 2010). It takes more than one person can facilitate change, diagnosis has to be shared by multiple individuals to effectively move toward implementation.
One tool that can be used to improve mutual engagement is the force field analysis. This tool helps to visually show all of the stakeholders the pros and cons of implementing the decision. Tools such as a force field analysis which diagrams visually the forces that act for and against an impending change may help the employees understand and accept the changes being implemented. The force field analysis presents the company’s current situation and the situation as it will be once the change is implemented. It shows both the pros and the cons of implementing the decision (Tucker, 2007). This tool will help to reduce resistance by showing employees how change will impact them as well as involving them in the process.
Involving employees from the beginning of the change process will help to increase the commitment levels of those employees as well increasing the acceptance of change. Through continual communication and education, organizations can help employees understand the need for change as well as informing them of the status of change implementation. Organizations will also need to recognize that stakeholders will need continued support and feedback and be willing to accept feedback from them as well. The company should strive to facilitate support versus resistance...