Executive SummaryThe understanding of organizational change in EEST after its take over by Ouest has noted the fact that many employees respond with dogged resistance to altering the status quo on account of factors which was not follow in their organizational hierarchy before.
IT analysts and managers have balked at large scale projects in job redesign and job enrichment; even low level employees, the presumed beneficiaries of such projects, have fought such changes. Divisional managers have fought pitched battles against realignment of corporate structure. Even the proposal by a course coordinator to adopt a different text book is capable of touching off a frenzy of defensive tactics to resist change.Overt resistance may take the form of employees deliberately failing to do the things necessary for successful change or simply being unenthusiastic about the change in Ouest culture.
Covert resistance can be more detrimental to change than open resistance because it is harder to identify and eliminate.Issue Analysis with Strategic SolutionTo conceptualize resistance to change as a rational response to the threat of losing security, status, autonomy, and investment in the status quo leads naturally to the consideration of organizational change as a political process. Individuals, interest groups, and coalitions favoring change presumably stand to gain either because of their identification with measures that render the organization more effective, or because they derive personal gain through greater status, perquisites, prestige, autonomy and the like. Since some people stand to lose, or at least believe that to be he case, they will defend the status quo.
For personality related factors one can include the following:Homoeostasis or the tendency of the organization to maintain equilibrium. Because of this tendency all change related phenomena are resisted.Habit: Since change entails a conflict with established habits, it tends to be resisted.Selective perception and retention: Human beings have a tendency to perceive and retain those aspects of their environment which are cognitively consonant.
An individual does not like to read or hear views which contradict his own opinions. Many a good idea is rejected as a theory which would not work in the practical situation.Dependence: Since childhood an individual learns to he dependent on adults, or on others for comfort and security. This tendency does not allow him to take the initiative and accept innovation and change.
Super ego: This represents individual moral codes of ethics that decide the ‘dos’ and dont’s of society. It provides an internalized code of control which may induce a high sense of conformity.Self-distrust: Due to the various super ego pressures a sense of self-distrust may sometimes be developed. The puritanical views may ultimately create a sense of self-distrust and to be ‘good’ is to accept the status quo ante.
Insecurity and regression: It is almost a universal human tendency to seek refuge in the past when the going gets rough. The frustration-regression sequence hampers the acceptance of change when the change is needed most.In case of the causes of resistance to change in social system, the following factors have been identified:Conformity to norms: The norms in a social system are similar to habits in the individual. They indicate the expected ways of behaving.
These include time schedules, modes of dress, forms of address to colleagues and indications of company loyalty etc.Systemic and cultural coherence: Generally a social system is made up of several component elements. When the system needs to be changed, relationships between elements have to be altered. Since changes in a diode or triode may unleash a series of changes elsewhere in two systems, the resistance may come about from the other elements.
Vested interests: In the social system, it is not uncommon to observe the resistance emanating from individuals who’s economic or prestige interests are at stake.The sacrosanct: Certain beliefs and ideals are held sacred by the members of an organization or a social system. Changes relating to these ideals are resisted the most. Cultural taboos represent a special class of events which are prescribed for members and serve the same function as “super ego”.
Rejection of “Outsiders”: It is customary to suspect and show hostility to outsiders or “the others”. In scientific researches also it has been observed that certain projects are not acceptable if the are perceived as sponsored by outside agencies and not evolved from within.One means of accommodating resisters is to invite their participation in the planning, design and pressure of carrying out programmes. Numerous experiments and experiences demonstrate that when members are allowed participation in planning the installation for production methods, they show less resistance to learning and adopting the methods.
Participative forums give affected parties a sense of ego-identification with the proposed changes leading a commitment to see the change effectively implemented. It also provides sufficient exposure to information about the nature and consequences of the change so that the anxiety out of uncertainty is reduced.Strategies of Implementing Change Managers in EEST and Quest ,who have been responsible for Implementation have developed personal perspective consisting of assumption and strong feelings about how change should he introduced. These philosophies fall into to camps, either “tops-down” or “bottoms-up”.
The Tops-down StrategyPeople resist changes and require direction and structure for their well being as well as to work efficiently and effectively. The basic psychological contract between employees and management, it is assumed, is one in which the employee provides work, effort and commitment and expects in return pay, benefits, and a clear definition of what is expected to he done. It follows that it is the management’s responsibility to design the changes it deems appropriate and to implement the thoroughly hut quickly by directives from the top.The Bottoms-up StrategyThe advocates of this approach profess what to them is a more enlightened view of human nature.
They argue that people welcome change and the opportunity to contribute to their own productivity, especially if the change gives them more variety in their work and more autonomy. These managers assume people have a psychological contract which includes an expectation that they be involved in designing change as well as in implementing it. Commitment to change, they say, follows from involvement in the total change process and is essential to successful implementation.Which is more correct? Is the question of correctness the right question to ask? What is your philosophy of change?If your answer to the question was, in effect, “the correct strategy of change depends on the circumstances”, you are in agreement with the currently very popular contingency school.
Contingency ApproachAccording to the contingency school, the choice of an appropriate strategy and the implementation diagnosis consists of assessing eight independent variables or factors in the organizations. Once the variables have been located, and if the answers to the diagnostic for the independent variables tall towards the left of the continuum, the implementation strategy would also be leftwards. On the other hand, if the variables tend towards the right side of continuum then the implementation strategy would also be rightwards. Thus, for example, if there is much little time available, the crisis or need for change is clear to all, it is a small organization and so on, the appropriate change strategy is tops-down, directive, and fast.
Variables for diagnosis and strategy setting of implementation of organizational change.Diagnostic(Independent) variables1. Time available =Short /Long2. Clarity of crisis or need for change=Clear to all/Clear to few3.
Size of organization =Small/Large4. Effects of existing controls and incentives =Encourage initiative /Encourage focus5. Organizational concentration of relevant knowledge=Concentrated at top/Concentrated at bottom6. Expectations of people regarding involvement in implementation= None/Extensive7.
Potential resistance=Small/Great8. Total power base of change agent=Great/SmallSo, EEST’s problem of managing change, assess the situation mentally and depending upon the diagnosis of the situation Ouest can proceed for the task of implementing change with reasonably greater probability of success. ReferencesMc Shane Von, 1999, Organizational Behavior, Glinow 4th edBass, B.M.
1960. Leadership. Psychology and Organizational Behavior. Harper and Brothers: New York.
Fiedler, F.E. 1967. A Theory of Leadership Effectiveness, McGraw Hill: New York.
Kelly., J. 1974. Organizational Behavior.
Rev. Ed Irwin: Homewood.Likert, R. 1961.
New Patterns of Management. McGraw-Hill: New York.