Research Paper Review

1003 words - 5 pages

1.1 Research Paper Selected
The paper selected is:
Van Dijk, R. & Van Dick R. (2009): 'Navigating Organizational Change: Change Leaders, Employee Resistance and Work-based Identities', Journal of Change Management, 9(2): 143 - 63.
The study on change resistance parallels one of the key challenges currently faced by change agents in Sony, which has for years, been rooted in tradition and was left in a situation of 'stuckness'(Dvorak, 2012). As such, an examination of this paper would be beneficial as it provides an unconventional framework to understanding resistance, thus aiding the understanding of how organizational change can be effectively managed in Sony's context.

2.1 Purpose/Rationale of Study
Various academics and practitioners have highlighted the importance of understanding the multidimensional nature of change. However, such is often done in isolation based on either the employee or change agent's perspective. Thus, the paper seeks to propose an interactional approach to understanding change and resistance.
The reviewer believes that such a perspective is very novel, and would contribute immensely to organizational literature. The multi-faceted nature of change would most definitely limit the usage of a singular perspective in the examination of change processes. Since change resistance involves both parties, hence, the non-linear approach taken would, without a doubt, help construct a scaffold that depicts a clearer picture of the interactional forces impacting resistance.

2.2 Clarity of Research Question
The research question involves identifying differentials impacting work-group identities and determining the impact it has on employee resistance. It also includes the study of how resistance is managed by change agents. The reviewer suggests that the question could have been stated more explicitly, which would aid in clarifying the question to be answered rather than requiring inferences to be made. Nevertheless, the scope is narrow and specific, which is good since that aids in framing the topic to be discussed in the remainder of the paper.

2.3 Conceptual Foundations
In the literature review, the authors examine the causes of resistance, and studied this based on the social identity approach. Social identity and social categorization theory were utilized to explain the association of individuals to certain groups that influences their behavior.
Three main resistance were purported – 'principle-oriented', 'management-based', and 'person-based/identity-based'. In the former, resistance may be seen as stemming from the concern for attaining the organization's vision. The authors also identified that some resistance may have stemmed from employees resisting the management of change. And the final cause was that change posed a threat to social identities, possibly having a negative impact on employees' and/or the groups' status.
Aside from the employees' perspective, resistance was also viewed from the lenses of change agents,...

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