Solved: Can organizations stop resistance to change? If so, how? Does organizational culture

Can organizations stop resistance to change? If so, how? Does organizational culture have a role in significant change? Explain the interaction between culture and change?

Expert Answer

One of the most prevalent and disturbing issue that business in today’s world face is resistance to change by the work force. As is said change is the only permanent and today’s dynamic business environment call for changes per the changing needs and wants of the organisation. And resistance to change may hamper organisational productivity, may increase attrition, slowdowns, strikes, etc. Having said that, it is not completely impossible for firms to stop or negate this resistance. Senior executives need to take initiatives to counter this resistance. This may be done in the following manner.

1. A very popular way for dealing with resistance to change is to making the workers participate in making that change. Involving them would give them a firsthand experience of the change which would sensitise them about it. But sometimes “participation” may sometime backfire and is not always a good way for management to think about the problem. In fact, it may lead to trouble.

2. The key to the issue is to understand the exact nature of resistance. Employees actually resist social change and not technical change and hence actions must be taken to tackle the behavioural aspects

3. Resistance is usually created because of certain blind spots and attitudes which employess have as a result of their preoccupation with the technical aspects of new ideas, hence efforts needs to be taken to clear those blind spots

4. Management can take concrete steps to deal constructively with these staff attitudes. The steps may include emphasizing new standards of performance for employees and encouraging them to think in different ways, as well as making use of the fact that signs of resistance can serve as a practical warning signal in directing and timing technological changes.

5. Top executives should make efforts to be more effective at meetings of staff and operating groups where change is being discussed. They should shift their attention from the facts of schedules, technical details, work assignments, and so forth, to what the discussion of these items indicates in regard to developing resistance and receptiveness to change.

Yes organisational culture plays a critical role in significant change in an organisation. Organisational change can either facilitate or inhibit change. A company’s attempt to set in an organisational change can be dependent on the culture. Culture would include, ethical standards, diversity of employees, leadership behaviour etc.

Given how critical is culture to change in organisation, there is bound to be interaction between change and culture. While it is resistant to change itself, culture can be a great enabler of change in an organisation, irrespective of the nature of change.Many fo the change initiative don’t succeed but when companies tap into the energy and emotional commitment of the employees that are bound up in their cultures, change initiatives are far more sustainable. In any major change initiative, it is the job of management and the people affected by the transition to figure out how to harness the strong cultural attributes of their company to build momentum and create lasting change. Companies that are able to do so—to take what we call a “culture led” approach to change—substantially increase the speed, success, and sustainability of their transformation initiatives

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