Change Understanding and Coping

Junior (College 3rd year) ・Communication Strategies ・APA ・5 Sources

Resistance to Change in the Workplace

People's tendency to oppose changes that could alter the status quo in the workplace is known as resistance to change. Since it has negative effects, it serves as the primary barrier to an organization's growth and expansion. When management brings new problems improperly, the majority of employees frequently refuse to accept them since they have an impact on their operations and they may not see the necessity for changes. The likelihood of resistance can be decreased, nevertheless, with appropriate admission and embrace of new concepts. As a result, the study examines a few situations and variables that could affect the development of change resistance in an organization. In a case of a certain state of agency institution whose head of division worked for fifteen to attain his current role. During his participation in the organization, Ken witnessed the appointment and replacement of several employees since joining the sector. However, he chose to stay since he is well acquainted with their services, and he enjoys maintaining working relationships with the same colleagues in the organization (Khan & Rehman, 2008). Moreover, Ken continued to gather his experiences in the public agency firm that facilitated his appointment as the head of the division. Therefore, he enjoys executing his duties in a similar role since it encompasses routine activities with common procedures. In a few years, the sector went through some transformations, but the head of division was not ready to cope up with them. Instead, he is looking forward to his retirement to evade the challenges. The changes come with new responsibilities and the modification of rules and the procedures that Ken is not willing to accommodate.

Factors Influencing Resistance to Change

Resistance to change in the workplace relies on some factors that influence the employs to be rigid to welcoming new concepts. Self-interest is the key attribute that acts as the limitation to modifications at the workplace. The individual's high self-esteem affects the capability of adapting to the new transformations in the sector (Angonese & Lavarda, 2013). Therefore, Ken had the intentions of enhancing the status quo by influencing his motivations and advancing personal interests which facilitate the resistance to change rather than improving the objectives of the organization. The head of division proposed several ideas on their staff meetings with diversity in the cultural and demographics nature that aim at safeguarding his benefits. However, the other employees lack the knowledge of how to implement the decisions appropriately to accommodate all. Therefore, Ken has the goal of maintaining the outdated technology and resources in his operations since he lacks the ability of acquaintance with the current skills from the younger staff. He also perceives the transformations as a form of attacks directed to him.

Lack of Trust among Management

Management is the crucial element in an organization, and lack of trust among them may influence resistance to change. When the members feel that they cannot believe in one another, then it will hinder the vital role of making decisions. The head of the department has no confidence with the new and younger employees which jeopardizes unity and cohesion among them. It intensifies division among the members which may hinder adoption of transformations in the organization. The workers cannot freely interact with their boss to express their desires and open up for exchanges due to lack of trust (Baack, 2017). Therefore, an introduction of a new modification into the department will subject stakeholders to less involvement of the employees and discussion which intensifies the resistance to change.

Lack of Understanding

An understanding of a concept has a positive impact towards the success of an organization. An introduction of a transformation requires remittance of prior knowledge of the proposed idea to the expected audience to maximize its adoption. Lack of understanding eliminates the acquaintance for reflection and participation of the practices into a routine pattern of habits. The shape of the organizations relays on their operating environment that consists of myths and social expectations (Baack, 2017). Therefore, there is the need for remittance of cognitive plans for providing knowledge through training of the new concepts to minimize the resistance to change among the employees. In the case, the head of division did not understand the value of the transformations in the department from the new and young staff which influence his hindrance to the adoption of their ideas.

Internal Factors Affecting Resistance to Change

Organizational changes may arise due to variations in either the internal or external environments of the company. Moreover, the transformations reflect the ability to keep up with adjustments and competitions. In the case study, the resistance to change emerged due to the internal factors such as self-interest of the division's leader, variations in the processes, structure, and people. The replacement of the employees aims at improving the performance of the organization through attitudes, loyalty, and skills, and enhancing the relationships between the managers and the staff. The introduction of young and innovative workers in the public agency firm tends to boost the operations of the organization (Boohene & Williams, 2012). The head of the division has experience in the field with an outdated knowledge since the current processes relay on the advanced technology to execute their roles. However, he is against the changes due to internal factors of personal interests and the lack of understanding to safeguard his job in the organization.

Kotter's Theory on Overcoming Resistance to Change

In the world, the crucial element that is inevitable in business from one generation to another is change. It accompanies improvements in technology, new initiatives, and outdoing the competitors that influence implementing transformations within organizations. Kotter's theory emerges from the change in management that provides guidelines on how to embrace alteration. It assists in elaborating the need for change, how to tackle it, the parties to involve, predicting its outcome, and when to begin solving it. Therefore, Kotter's theory provides the strategy of making a possible plan of introducing a new idea and overcome the resistance to change in an organization. It embarks on devising the urgency of the matter since the transformation should have a positive impact on the entire company (Kotter, 1996). It assists utilizing and maintaining the initial encouragement of allowing the implementation of the process. Urgency development stage requires creating a convincing and honest conversation with the involved parties on the need of the idea for the competition and its impact on the market.

Formation of a Powerful Alliance

Formation of a powerful alliance is the second process according to Kotter that influences the people on the necessity of the change. It requires appropriate and visionary leaders to gather support from the members of the institution without considering the hierarchy of the company. The stage allows for the identification of sincere stakeholders with commitments from the members. Therefore, the convincing power of the organizers emerges from several factors such as the expertise, job title, political influence, and their status. The formation of the coalition enforces the development of the urgency which stimulates the need for change in the business (Kotter, 1996). However, the alliance can examine the weakness of the team by engaging parties from different levels and departments within the organization.

Development of a Vision for the Change

Development of a vision for the change is the third step for enhancing the chances of coping up with the new ideas in an institution. It requires linking the expected solutions and ideas with the concepts of fresh plans to allow the people acknowledge and build the general eyesight. An appropriate vision may enable the team relay the information to the members on the need for their participation (Baack, 2017). Therefore, clarity in this stage allows the members to easily grasp and understand their roles in the process that translates to the success of the plan. Thus, the people will cope with the change in the organization without raising objections.

Communication of Vision

Communication of vision after its development influences the progress of the plan. The mode of conveying the message of new ideologies to the stakeholders should be more elaborate compared to the usual form of exchange with lesser frequency and power. It involves regular talks by utilizing every chance to review the vision which openly addresses the anxieties and the concerns of the people. It always enforces keeping the plan fresh in the minds of the members for remembrance and facilitates a quick response during its implementation (Kotter, 1996). Therefore, the stage of communication in overcoming resistance in an organization displays the walk the talk habit that demonstrates the commitment of the leader of the coalition.

Elimination of Obstacles

Elimination of obstacles is the fifth step of the process of change for the vision. At this stage, the members are willing and can allow the staff to implement the plan to acquire the benefits that the coalition was promoting all along (Kotter, 1996). However, in case there may be some individuals that resist the change or procedures which hinders the design, then the amalgamation can propagate for placing structures for modifications. The coalition has the responsibility of continuously checking for barriers and removing to motivate the people to participate in the execution of the plan. A sixth step is to develop short-term achievements that can encourage by demonstrating a glimpse of the organization's success. The next stage is to build the transformation to allow the actual change to run deeper for the long-term achievements. Anchoring the variations in a corporate culture is the eight-step that finally makes and sticks to the transformation as an objective of the company (Kotter, 1996). Therefore, the traditions determine the activities for the implementation of the plan successfully.


In conclusion, organizations face the challenges of coping up with new modifications that affect the entire company. It requires hard work and proper foundation to successfully manage and implement the required change. Therefore, according to Kotter's theory, if a firm appropriately follows the eight steps in the process of change, then it is bound to face minimal resistance from stakeholders.


Angonese, R. & Lavarda, C.E. (2013). Analysis of the Factors Affecting Resistance to Changes in Management. Fortaleza: Anpcont Congress  

Baack, D. (2017). Organizational behavior (2nd Ed.). [Electronic version]. Retrieved from 

Boohene, R. & Williams, A.A. (2012). Resistance to Organizational Change: A Case Study of  Oti Yeboah Complex. Quebec: CSCanada

Khan, K. & Rehman, M. (2008). Employees Resistance towards Organizational Change.  Ronneby: Blekinge Institute of Technology Publishers.

Kotter, J.P. (1996). Leading Change. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

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