Individual sources of resistance to change reside in basic human characteristics such as perceptions, personalities and needs. Individuals resist change mainly due to the following reasons:
Human beings are creatures of habit and heavily rely on habits or programmed responses for decision making. When a change occurs, the habit has to be changed which will act as a source of resistance. Habits are very hard to change. People with a high need for security are likely to resist change because it threatens their feeling of safety. When a new automatic machine enters the company, employees tend to lose their jobs and resist the change. Another source of individual resistance is concern that changes will lower one’s income. Changes in job tasks or established work routines also can arouse economic fears if people are concerned that they won’t be able to perform the new tasks or routines to their previous standards.
-Stephen P. Robbins, Organizational Behavior, Prentice Hall of India, Tenth Edition. Pg. 559-560.
Changes substitute ambiguity and uncertainty for the known. For example, the introduction of quality management makes it mandatory for every employee to learn statistical procedures. This will cause resistance as most employees think they will be not able to do so. Individuals shape their world through perceptions. Once they have created this world, it resists change. So individuals are guilty of selectively processing information in order to keep their perceptions intact. They ignore information that challenges the world they have created.
-Stephen P. Robbins, Organizational Behavior, Prentice Hall of India, Tenth Edition, Pg. 577-579.
Potential sources of Stress
Stress is a dynamic condition in which an individual is confronted with an opportunity, constraint, or demand related to what he or she desires and for which the outcome is perceived to be both uncertain and important. Three potential sources of stress include: Environmental factors, Organizational factors and Individual factors. Other sources of stress includes Poor communication, Seeking power, Dissatisfaction with management style, Weak leadership, Lack of openness, Change in leadership.
The indicators of individual resistance as a result of stress are Body language, Disagreements, regardless of issue, Withholding bad news, Surprises, Strong public statements, Airing disagreements through media, Conflicts in value system, Desire for power, Increasing lack of respect, Open disagreement, Lack of candor on budget problems or other sensitive issues, Lack of clear goals, No discussion of progress, failure relative to goals, failure to evaluate the superintendent fairly, thoroughly or at all.
- Garry Dessler, Human Resource Management, Eastern Economy edition. Pg 465-479.
Approaches to manage change and Stress
Change has become a way of life for most organizations. Pressure from increasing competition, globalization, technological developments, and other forces has created an environment that rewards an organization that are capable of identifying trends and issues and responding quickly to them. Change is the only permanent thing in this world and when organizations change there are many forces of resistance against the change and culture is one of the important forces of resistance.
HRM Techniques play a major role in changing the organizational culture. The major Interventions used in bringing a change include Human Processual, Techno structural, Socio technical systems and organization transformation. The various HRM Techniques include Action research, Organizational development, Sensitivity Training, Survey Feedback, Process Consultation, Team Building, Inter group development, Appreciative enquiry.
- Randy L. Desimone, Jon M. Werner and David M. Harris, Human Resource Development, Pearson education. Pg. 21
Stephen P. Robbins, Organizational Behavior, Prentice Hall of India, Tenth Edition. Pg. 559-560, Pg. 577-579. Garry Dessler, Human Resource Management, Eastern Economy edition. Pg 465-479. Randy L. Desimone, Jon M. Werner and David M. Harris, Human Resource Development, Pearson education. Pg. 21 http://www.nsba.org/sbot/toolkit/Conflict.html