Resistance to Change: The Various Analyses Regarding Essay

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Resistance to Change:

The various analyses regarding resistance to change tend to take the perspective that change agents are usually doing the right thing whereas its recipients establish unreasonable barriers to hinder the occurrence of the change. Consequently, change agents tend to be viewed as undeserving victims of the dysfunctional and absurd reactions of change recipients. Rather than the perspective of change agents as people who develop their environments and realities, they are viewed as people who tackle objective resistance from change recipients. In most cases, resistance to change is never depicted as the outcome of balanced coherent strategies and objectives.

How Change Agents Contribute to Change Resistance:

Resistance to change doesn't occur as a sudden or direct reaction to a specific instance of change but it occurs as a product of the interactions between change agents and change recipients. While this resistance can be used by change agents as a positive factor, change agents can contribute to this resistance though their actions or behaviors and inaction. The possibility of recipients to embrace change or resist it is partly determined by the actions of the change agents.

The first way with which change agents contribute to resistance is through actions violating agreements during the change process and failing to restore the subsequent loss of trust (Ford, Ford & D'Amelio, 2008). These agreements are usually in the form of either psychological or implied contracts and can be violated either knowingly or unknowingly. The violations happen when there are changes in the distribution of resources as well as the processes and procedures. For instance, change recipients are likely to resist change when they haven't received the promised financial incentives or job promotions that come with the change process. Consequently, these individuals are likely exhibit negative behaviors such as lower work morale, productivity, and quality of work.

The second means with which change agents contribute to change resistance is when there are communication breakdowns with change recipients.
The communication breakdown occurs when the change agents fail to legalize change, fail to motivate employees to action, and when they misrepresent the possibility of success of the change. While failure to legitimize change and misrepresentation of its probability of success results in lower employee morale, the failure to motivate people to action contributes to lower productivity. For example, people are likely to resist change when they are not actively involved in the entire change process.

The third way that change agents contribute to change resistance is when these agents oppose any ideas, proposals, and alternatives provided by the change recipients. While this concept is ignored by the proponents of conventional approaches to change resistance, change agents contribute to the resistance by being defensive and coercing the recipients. For instance, people are likely to resist change when their proposals about undesirable performance impacts and unexpected budget are constantly ignored by the change agents.

Using Change Resistance as a Positive Resource:

While resistance to change has been categorized as an aspect that needs to be conquered and its instigators being considered as unreasonable by traditional approaches, it can also be used as a positive resource for an organization. However, one of the major mistakes associated with this conventional or self-serving approach is that it likely to disguise the incompetence and mismanagement of the change process by agents ("Change Agents," 2007). Whenever change agents experience resistance to change, they can use it as a positive resource through employing various means and strategies.

As proposed in the article, some of the ways to use change resistance as a positive resource is through introduction of new conversations and patterns for discourse, engaging people through paradoxical interventions, and adopting practices to strengthen change. Change resistance can be used as a positive resource since it helps in maintaining conversations, which is an essential element in the change process. Change agents can….....

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