Organizational Change Research Paper

Length: 3 pages Sources: 5 Subject: Business - Management Type: Research Paper Paper: #55828269 Related Topics: Resistance To Change, Thomas Hardy, Status Quo, Bureaucracy
Excerpt from Research Paper :

Change is the movement away from its present state toward a desired future state. Organizations are constantly changing, but organizational change typically refers to the large-scale changes that are sometimes needed to reset the organization. Inevitably, change processes will meet with resistance. This paper will examine how resistance can be a driver in the change process, rather than an obstacle. There is a substantial body of literature that discusses how organizations can overcome resistance to change. One tactic is to accept that some resistance is rational, and reflects legitimate concerns -- no manager should assume that his or her initial change tactic is bulletproof. The organization can benefit from managerial discretion in working with resistance to improve the change process.

Literature Review

Fleming and Spicer (2007) underline power and resistance as two movements, feeding off of each other. They focus on the struggles that occur as part of the change process. Managers seeking change will run into entrenched interests and resistance based on challenges to identity. This resistance will manifest in a number of ways: compulsion and refusal, manipulation and voice,


Key to the success of an organizational change effort will be the ways that managers deal with power struggle within the organization. This work combines well with theories of power that argue there are several different forms of power within the organization. Managers who are driving the change process will find that resistance from powerful sources within the body of stakeholders will force them to utilize different forms of power in order to ensure that the change goes through. Overt resistance, therefore, provides an opportunity to refine the ideas in the change, and to increase the power of those who are seeking to drive the change.

Kotter has studied organizational change for many years, and made significant contributions to the subject. In earlier work, Kotter (1979) argued that individuals can be trained to handle change. An organization, therefore, that is subject to constant change will deal with change better than an organization comprised of individuals with less change experience -- those individuals are more likely to become entrenched interests. Resistance, Kotter (1995) argues, can make an organization stronger if it is able to meet the challenges thrown up by the resistors. Management needs to be able to identify the different types of resistance and handle them accordingly.

Buchanan and Badham (2008) also make the point that resistance can…

Sources Used in Documents:


Buchanan, D. & Badham, R. (2008) Power, Politics, and Organizational Change: Winning the Turf Game. London: Sage. (pbk)

Fleming, P. & Spicer, A. (2007) Contesting the Corporation: Struggle, Power and Resistance in Organizations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kotter, J. & Schlesinger, L. (1979) 'Choosing strategies for change', Harvard Business Review 57(2): 106-114.

Kotter, J. (1995) 'Leading change: Why transformation efforts fail', Harvard Business Review 73(2): 59-67.

Cite this Document:

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