Kotter And Schlesingers Four Factors Resistances To Change Approachs
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Kotter \u0026 Schlesinger - Four Causes of Resistance to Change
Communication of ideas helps people see the need for and the logic of a change. The education process can involve one-on-one discussions, presentations to groups, or memos and reports. But some managers overlook the fact that a program of this sort requires a good relationship between initiators and resistors or that the latter may not believe what they hear. It also requires time and effort, particularly if a lot of people are involved. If the initiators involve the potential resistors in some aspect of the design and implementation of the change, they can often forestall resistance.
With a participative change effort, the initiators listen to the people the change involves and use their advice. To illustrate:. We have found that many managers have quite strong feelings about participation—sometimes positive and sometimes negative. That is, some managers feel that there should always be participation during change efforts, while others feel this is virtually always a mistake. Both attitudes can create problems for a manager, because neither is very realistic. When change initiators believe they do not have all the information they need to design and implement a change, or when they need the wholehearted commitment of others to do so, involving others makes very good sense.
Considerable research has demonstrated that, in general, participation leads to commitment, not merely compliance. Nevertheless, the participation process does have its drawbacks. Not only can it lead to a poor solution if the process is not carefully managed, but also it can be enormously time consuming. When the change must be made immediately, it can take simply too long to involve others.
Another way that managers can deal with potential resistance to change is by being supportive. This process might include providing training in new skills, or giving employees time off after a demanding period, or simply listening and providing emotional support. Facilitation and support are most helpful when fear and anxiety lie at the heart of resistance. Seasoned, tough managers often overlook or ignore this kind of resistance, as well as the efficacy of facilitative ways of dealing with it.
The basic drawback of this approach is that it can be time consuming and expensive and still fail. Another way to deal with resistance is to offer incentives to active or potential resistors. Here is an example of negotiated agreements:. Negotiation is particularly appropriate when it is clear that someone is going to lose out as a result of a change and yet his or her power to resist is significant. Negotiated agreements can be a relatively easy way to avoid major resistance, though, like some other processes, they may become expensive. And once a manager makes it clear that he will negotiate to avoid major resistance, he opens himself up to the possibility of blackmail.
In some situations, managers also resort to covert attempts to influence others. Manipulation, in this context, normally involves the very selective use of information and the conscious structuring of events. One common form of manipulation is co-optation. Co-opting an individual usually involves giving him or her a desirable role in the design or implementation of the change.
Co-opting a group involves giving one of its leaders, or someone it respects, a key role in the design or implementation of a change. This is not a form of participation, however, because the initiators do not want the advice of the co-opted, merely his or her endorsement. Nevertheless, it has its drawbacks. If people feel they are being tricked into not resisting, are not being treated equally, or are being lied to, they may respond very negatively. More than one manager has found that, by his effort to give some subordinate a sense of participation through co-optation, he created more resistance than if he had done nothing.
In addition, co-optation can create a different kind of problem if those co-opted use their ability to influence the design and implementation of changes in ways that are not in the best interests of the organization. Other forms of manipulation have drawbacks also, sometimes to an even greater degree. At the extreme, it can even ruin his career. Nevertheless, people do manipulate others successfully—particularly when all other tactics are not feasible or have failed. Finally, managers often deal with resistance coercively.
Here they essentially force people to accept a change by explicitly or implicitly threatening them with the loss of jobs, promotion possibilities, and so forth or by actually firing or transferring them. As with manipulation, using coercion is a risky process because inevitably people strongly resent forced change. Successful organizational change efforts are always characterized by the skillful application of a number of these approaches, often in very different combinations. However, successful efforts share two characteristics: managers employ the approaches with a sensitivity to their strengths and limitations see Exhibit I and appraise the situation realistically.
The most common mistake managers make is to use only one approach or a limited set of them regardless of the situation. A surprisingly large number of managers have this problem. This would include the hard-boiled boss who often coerces people, the people-oriented manager who constantly tries to involve and support his people, the cynical boss who always manipulates and co-opts others, the intellectual manager who relies heavily on education and communication, and the lawyerlike manager who usually tries to negotiate. A second common mistake that managers make is to approach change in a disjointed and incremental way that is not a part of a clearly considered strategy.
In approaching an organizational change situation, managers explicitly or implicitly make strategic choices regarding the speed of the effort, the amount of preplanning, the involvement of others, and the relative emphasis they will give to different approaches. Successful change efforts seem to be those where these choices both are internally consistent and fit some key situational variables. The strategic options available to managers can be usefully thought of as existing on a continuum see Exhibit II. This type of strategy mows over any resistance and, at the extreme, would result in a fait accompli. At the other end of the continuum, the strategy would call for a much slower change process, a less clear plan, and involvement on the part of many people other than the change initiators.
This type of strategy is designed to reduce resistance to a minimum. The further to the left one operates on the continuum in Exhibit II, the more one tends to be coercive and the less one tends to use the other approaches—especially participation; the converse also holds. Organizational change efforts that are based on inconsistent strategies tend to run into predictable problems.
For example, efforts that are not clearly planned in advance and yet are implemented quickly tend to become bogged down owing to unanticipated problems. Efforts that involve a large number of people, but are implemented quickly, usually become either stalled or less participative. Exactly where a change effort should be strategically positioned on the continuum in Exhibit II depends on four factors:.
The amount and kind of resistance that is anticipated. All other factors being equal, the greater the anticipated resistance, the more difficult it will be simply to overwhelm it, and the more a manager will need to move toward the right on the continuum to find ways to reduce some of it. The less power the initiator has with respect to others, the more the initiating manager must move to the right on the continuum. This makes the article very important. According to Cameron and Green 39 , many firms have realised that they cannot ignore change within their environment.
Their study reveals that many organisations in the current society are keen on the emerging trends, and are always determined to find a way of dealing with them in order to remain competitive in their operations. However, many have failed in their change strategies because of the approaches they employ. This article tries to identify the areas of weaknesses that affect various firms as they try to embrace change.
An organisation must understand that change is not brought about by having new structures put in place for the implementation of new approaches. Change can only be successfully implemented if employees are involved from the initial stages, and educated on the need to employ change. This will ensure that all the stakeholders understand the relevance of change, and get committed to it as a way of eliminating resistance. The article by Kotter and Schlesinger 7 takes a practical approach in their methodology approach.
In order to understand some of the best strategies that organisations can use to manage change, the scholars used secondary sources of data. It was important to study some of the practical cases of firms that failed in their change management strategies and those that were successful. For this reason, they reviewed some of the existing literatures in this field in order to come up with clear explanations why some of the firms failed, while others were successful. The firms also conducted a review of the performance of some of the firms that are known to be successful in managing the emerging trends in order to determine some of the strategies they use to achieve this success. In this study, it was necessary to make some assumptions.
The first assumption that the researchers made was that organisations are regularly faced with various factors, which make change a necessity. The second assumption was that the management of an organisation always initiates change. The study had some limitations, which should be noted. The first limitation is that it did not use empirical data to confirm their hypothesis. Their work was largely based on theories and a few observations that the researchers had made. However, their research has a massive potential for a future research. The article has identified approaches that may be used in managing change that is worth investigating. Although some of the findings were based on the studies conducted by credible scholars, it will be necessary to investigate their relevance in the current setting.
Future researchers can use this article as a basis of conducting further research on the approaches that are necessary in managing change. Organisations have come to realise that they have to find ways of dealing with resistance to change in order to achieve success in their operations. However, it is important to note that resistance to change will always exist in an organisational setting. Some people will be uncomfortable once they are informed that their organisation is just about to introduce a new system. Dealing with the resistance to change still remains one of the biggest challenges that firms are struggling with in the current society.
The article highlights the approaches that can be used by the management to address this problem. The scholars say that the first thing that the management should do is to diagnose the resistance. The management can only address the issue of resistance if it understands its causes, trends, and the possible impacts on the path towards a new system. In most of the cases, the resistance to change is caused by imagined fear that may be caused by misconceptions or propaganda by some of the employees. By identifying the understanding the genesis of the resistance, the management can develop strategies that can be used in addressing it.
For instance, if the resistance is caused by fear that is misconstrued, then the management can organise for educative seminars where all the relevant stakeholders are invited to discuss issues about the new system. If the fear is caused by genuine concerns such as a possible loss of job because of an introduction of automated system, then the management will need to find a lasting solution that will address the issue of concern conclusively. Sometimes the resistance may be caused by the ignorance of the stakeholders towards a new system. If this is the case, then the stakeholders will need an educative forum where they can be enlightened about the new trend that the organisation is planning to introduce. After diagnosing the resistance, it will be easy to deal with it in a conclusive manner.
As mentioned above, several approaches exist that can be used to deal with the resistance. The first approach is to make the employees own the change initiative. In many occasions, managers would formulate policies and issue instructions to the employees on how they should be implemented. This top-down approach of initiating change is bound to yield resistance from the employees, especially if the management fails to articulate the need for change.
As a result, employees will be more loyal and they will focus on teamwork for which reason they will cooperate more closely from the different organization units xtrategies that the desired change can be implemented. Employees that experience adjustment problems during the change process will benefit from supportive management. Good communication can be supported by training or other forms of education. It helps them deal with fears during a transition period for instance when they experience fear transfers, job loss or other forms of reorganization.
John Kotter and Leonard Schlesinger identify four reasons:. John Kotter and Leonard Schlesinger developed six change approaches to minimize resistance and they set out six approaches to deal with change resistance. Through open strxtegies they are kept under control. Running Better Experiments Leonard A. Finance Globalization Health Care. When people are threatened with change in organizations, similar maxims about certain people and departments are trotted out to prevent an alteration in the status quo.
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Schlesinger and Joseph B. By increasing the involvement of employees or by giving them specific assignmentsthe resistance to the intended organizational change will be reduced. What is your experience with organisational change? Print Find at Harvard Purchase. Before any approach methods are used, it is important to understand why people resist change. It is an effective technique to co-opt with people who are resisting the change and who, through their leadership role, have a large influence on the rest of the employees. During the change process two groups arise; employees who agree with the changes and are open to this and the group that does not agree with the change and who will not display flexible, cooperative behaviour.
Technology and Operations Management. Add a link to this page on your website: By providing support or facilitating training and counselling, these fears can be largely cahnge. What are your success factors on organisational change, change and resistance management?In this research, researchers are to get fully involved with frank abagnale carl hanratty live and activities of subjects and hence to be part of the group. It is important Why Mental Health Issues Shouldnt be Disregarded note that despite these positive attributes, Kotter And Schlesingers Four Factors Resistances To Change Approachs scholars failed to Why Mental Health Issues Shouldnt be Disregarded a section of the paper that defines soft and hard engineering of the Chinese Exclusion Act Essay Thesis used in Influential Person In My Life report. It often involves dramatic consequences such as loss of jobs, dismissals, employee transfers or not promoting employees.