“Change is nothing new and a simple fact of life. Some people actively thrive on new challenges and constant change, while others prefer the comfort of the status quo and strongly resist any change. It is all down to the personality of the individual and there is little management can do about resistance to change” (Mullins 2010: 753).
Regarding this topic, this blog will first demonstrate what are the reasons that cause individual and organizational resists to change. Then, I will express my own opinion whether it is essential for organization to change.
What makes individual and organization resist to change?
There are several common reasons that refrain individual from change in the organization. The most common reason people resist to change because they fear of unknown outcomes, lack of competency, attach with old procedures, change in status quo, and so on (Rick, 2011). The figure below shows the psychological reactions to change.
CLASSIC PSYCHOLOGICAL REACTIONS TO CHANGE
(Source: Rick, 2011)
Individual may deny change initially when they do not understand the need of change; they will feel angry, anxiety with the changes; and finally they will accept and have confidence at the end when the purpose of the change is clear already.
In relation to organization, often it is not easy for organization to alter its organizational culture that has been formed over a long period of time – how things are normally done. Also, in most cases, change required significant amount of resources for organization to change, hence, organization resists to change. Change of organsation’s management can be viewed as a threat to the power or influence of particular group in the organization (e.g. the power of individual’s control about decisions, resources or information) (Mullins and Christy, 2016).
What force organization to change?
Generally, an organizational change is mainly because of the external forces rather than internal urge (Goodstein and Warner Burke, 1991).
Mullin (2010), claimed that change also arises within the organization itself. A lot of changes within an organization is part of a natural process of maturity of the business.
For instance, organization may want to adopt new technology or new methods of work to increase the efficiency of the company with intention to improve the organization’s business performance, or a company may also want to change because of the changes attitudes of employees. These internal forces can be managed with careful planning.
On the other hand, as mentioned before, the main pressure of change is mainly coming from external forces. For example, the changes of legal forces in the market may require the organization to adopt the new policy; the changes of customer’s attitudes may push the company to do some changes in order to retain or attract customer’s attention. Another possible external force is globalization. Mullins and Christy (2016) said that it is important for organization to strategically prepare to face the need of change in order to remain competitive and successful in the market.
Arguably, I personally agree that it is essential for organization to be able to change or be flexible with the changes of external business environment. Organization may need to alter its outdated and or lack of flexibility way of performing it business and be able to respond to new challenges.
How Change Can be Managed
Lewin proposed three-phase process of behavior modification (Goodstein and Warner Burke, 1991).
- Unfreezing – the recognition of the need for change and improvement to occur
- Movement – development of new attitudes or behaviour and the implementation of change
- Refreezing – stabilizing change at the new level and reinforcement through supporting mechanism, for example, policies, structure, or norms
Manager needs to consistently stick to the organization’s goal in order to be more aware of the need of organizational management change. There are some stages that manager can do to overcome resistance to change (Kitchen, 2012):
Source: (Kitchen, 2012)
- Leadership commitment and communication
Manager need to the communicate the need of change, and give direction to employees.
- Define the business result and destination
Manager must focus on clearly identified goal that provides a sense of continuity.
- Identify the current state
Manager needs to understand what is the company’s current state by understanding the business or cultural context and announce the change process will take place.
- Build creative tension
Manager should identify enablers and barriers.
- Design the change
- Implement the change
- Sustain the change
In term of financial industry, it is crucial for the organization to capable to change as banks interaction a lot with customers, governments, and clients; and operates in a highly competitive market. Therefore, I think banks needs continual changes in its business operation, particularly due to legislation issue and customer’s changes attitudes.
Many reasons cause organization resist to change, however, it is essential for manager to understand the need of change and implement changes in order to survive in the market. Manager needs to carefully plan to ensure that changes are practical and distribute beneficial outcomes to the organization, although changes are not easy to be implemented and required several stages to reach actual changes.
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