Understanding and Coping with Change:
Change is a process that occurs everywhere though many people are generally reluctant to embrace the concept. One of the major reasons for difficulties in accepting or embracing change is that humans are creatures of habit and adhere to daily routines. Consequently, when change occurs, people’s activities and thought patterns are interrupted. While understanding and coping with change is an important part of daily life, embracing the concept is relatively a difficult process for many people. Actually, this process is characterized by resistance to change due to internal and external factors. Some of the major reasons why individuals are resistant to change include self-interest, lack of trust in management, lack of understanding, low tolerance for change, and varying assessments of the need for change. Regardless of whether the resistance is fueled by internal or external factors, individuals need to develop an appropriate plan for overcoming that resistance and embracing the concept.
A Situation involving Resistance to Change:
Human beings have a tendency to resist change even when the change contributes to growth and development, increased productivity, and greater efficiency (Baker, 1989, p.53). In most cases, resistance to change occurs in the workplace because changes in an organization affect the individuals within the organization. Moreover, individuals within an organization resist change because of fear of unknown based on the potential impact of the change on their job performance, relationship with co-workers, and other job related issues.
An example of a situation involving resistance to change in the workplace is a recent scenario at a community based organization that carries out empowerment programs for young people. The employees in the organization used to work in traditional offices and without clear structures regarding their respective roles in the organization. The management asked the employees to move to a modern building that used open landscaping and introduced a document with details about the role of every employee in the organization. The move to a new building and clarification of roles represented environmental and structural changes that could significantly modify procedures for accomplishing work. A couple of weeks before implementing this organizational change, the management provided detailed information to the employees about the change. During the process, the management also requested for feedback from employees on what they felt about the change.
While most of the employees responded positively regarding the change, some of them had difficulties in embracing it. They provided differing assessments of the need for change and argued that they preferred working in the traditional office and with the existing structure. In addition to providing differing assessments, they also raised concerns on whether the change could accomplish the desired objectives. ...