Term Paper on Change

This essay has a total of 1981 words and 7 pages.


“Somebody once said: ‘The only one who likes change is a wet baby’” (Mariotti, 1996, p.
30). We as human beings are always resistant to change if we are comfortable with
surroundings and ourselves. We do not like to be challenged with change because of fear of
the unknown. “Resistance is a natural reaction to change” (Maurer, 1996, p. 75). In order
to fully change an individual’s style of thinking and working, we must understand the
theory and techniques in order to break down the barrier of resistance. REASONS FOR
RESISTANCE There are several reasons for resistance to change from employees These reasons
include fear of the unknown, threatening job security, bad timing, lack of resources, no
personal gain, and fear of incompetence. Individuals that are resistant to change fear the
unknown when they do not know how it will affect their lives and the changes it will
bring. The perceived threat to job security is a factor that will cause resistance. People
who think that the change may cause them to lose their job will oppose it. Bad timing also
plays a major role in the sense that temporary circumstances may suggest that change
should be postponed. At many times corporations may be unsuccessful with change because of
lack of resources. This includes skills, abilities, finances, knowledge and staff needed
to implement the change. Employees may also be resistant because they have no perception
of personal gain with the change. People who think that change will not benefit them
personally and fairly are certain to resist it. And last but not least, one of most
important resisters to change is fear of incompetence. Some people may fear they will not
be able to handle the new job requirements (Grimaud, 1994). CAUSE OF RESISTANCE The real
cause of reengineering failure is not the resistance to change itself but inability of
management to deal with it. Achieving change means responding to key factors – including
emotions like fear and anger – which drive human beings behavior in jobs. Change is
painful. When people are pushed to change, they push back. All changes, no matter how
beneficial they may seem, cost someone something. Resistance to change is natural and
inevitable. Two thirds of reengineering efforts fail due to people’s reluctance to go
along and buy management’s own ineptitude and fear. In order for change to take lace
management must empower people and listen to their ideas. They must constantly communicate
the company’s goals and how they expect to achieve them. Management must also lead by
example and be consistent. People will usually believe what they see and not what they
hear. It is simpler to grasp and even champion these notions than it is to actually act on
them. Unless decision-makers are willing to acknowledge the full range of reaction to
change, reengineering is an interesting theory and nothing more (Fisher, 1995). BARRIERS
TO CHANGE Although overcoming resistance is no easy task, recognizing the most common
barriers to change can move things along. These barriers include: The element of surprise.
People’s first reaction to change is often resistance. Instead of surprising employees
with a change initiative, management should involve them in the planning process. This
will transform surprises into foregone conclusions (Armentrout, 1996). Fear of
obsolescence. People may resist change that will make their skills and competencies
obsolete. Implementing programs to retain workers for new jobs and helping them develop
new skills will help management overcome this obstacle. This assurance will make employees
more likely to support change (Armentrout, 1996). “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is
often the battle cry of those who resist change. The fact of the matter is that many
employees will not support a change until they clearly see the need for it. To combat
this, start selling the benefits of a proposed change before you ask employees to
implement it. When employees see the need for change themselves, they will come aboard
(Armentrout, 1996). A sense of insecurity. When asked to carryout a change effort,
employees may be reluctant to try new ideas and opt instead for old methods. Acknowledging
the fears that change can invoke and creating and creating an environment that fosters and
rewards innovation can help break this barrier (Armentrout, 1996). Conflicts in
personality. A clash of personalities can derail an intended change effort. Change will
often require employees to form new relationships with other workers. With these new
alliances comes the potential for conflicts. One of two things can be done to avoid these
conflicts. An informal meeting may be called where employees can air their difference or
staffers can be counseled that professionals rise above personality differences to get the
job done (Armentrout, 1996). STAGES OF CHANGE IMPLEMENTATION “Today’s managers must
visualize the future and engineers the changes to get there.” There are certain steps that
can be taken by managers in order to make change easier on employees and gain their
commitment. These principles for managing resistance to change from employees are as
follows: 1. PROVIDING RETIONALE Reasoning for change should be shared with employees. Take
the time to explain they the change will benefit the company and how it will help to
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