Organizational Change and Resistance


Organizational change refers to the circumstances under which a company or a business organization alters the system of its organization through the transformation of its culture, technology, the way it operates the businesses, the outlined infrastructure, or the internal process. Many organizations suffer resistance to change; the major causes of resistance are a lack of effective communication within the organization and a lack of trust in the system that is being newly implemented. Moreover, the fear of failure and emotional response also intrigue resistance to change. In case of resistance, the organization will formulate effective measures that include engaging the employees, proper communication, overcome the opposition positively through the motivation of acceptance and implementation of changes at various levels for easier management and development of the related performance.

Diagnosed Resistance to Change

Resistance to change in an organization is a critical problem that hampers the development of an organization. Diagnosis of the resistance to change is a compelling problem that helps establish the loopholes in implementing change. Therefore, the diagnosis of resistance to change is vehemently manifested in various ways within the employees, including frequent absenteeism (Mumby et al. 1157-1183), the lateness seen in the employees, and failure to report to work after implementing a change. Moreover, avoiding new assignments that ensure the employees are accustomed to the recent change is a significant sign of resistance (Mumby et al. 1157-1183). The employees resist attending to the duties and prefer sticking to the previous assignments they used to attend to before the change was implemented.

A clear sign of resistance to change is reduced productivity. A reduction in productivity compared to the previous outcomes before a change is implemented is resistance. Furthermore, reduced productivity in terms of missing deadlines and slowing the production process while they blame the implementation of the change is a clear sign of resistance to change (Mumby et al. 1157-1183). Low morale at work, frequent complaints, decision paralysis, and poor communication are major signs of resistance to change.

Three Potential Causes of the Resistance

During the implementation of a change in the organization, some reasons perpetuate the resistance to change. The potential causes of the resistance include mistrust and lack of confidence in the person making the change and the change to be implemented (Goksoy 85-89). The primary cause of resistance is a lack of confidence in the person making the change, as people are more profound to resist the change due to the decision-maker and not the change itself.

Fear of failure is a major cause of resistance to change. The employees fear the changes will not match their ability to adjust and adapt, hence reducing their productivity levels (Goksoy 85-89). The fear of failure throws the employees into a self-defensive action, and they tend to guard their success and prevent failure from the change being implemented. Therefore, the employees will not voluntarily yield to the changes being implemented. Poor communication is costly and facilitates resistance to the changes being formulated in the organization (Goksoy 85-89). Failure to create active communication, a plan for practical communication actions such as small group discussions and meetings, and effective exchange of ideas leads to resistance to change. The opposition is majorly due to misunderstandings between the decision giver and the employees.

Three Potential Sources of Resistance

One of the major sources of resistance in an organization is insecurity. Employees become insecure about the changes because of the oblivion of the implications of the changes. Insecurity of the employees makes them feel the environment is harsh and resort to resisting the change. Another potential source of resistance is inconveniencies caused by a change in the organization. With the change, there are new technologies, working environments, and procedures. Employees need to adjust to the changes using their physical and mental energy, leading to inconveniences. Therefore, the employees feel disturbed by the inconveniences leading to resistance to the changes. Furthermore, economic losses are a source of resistance that occur due to changes brought about by new technologies and procedures. Therefore, the firm may adopt the new technologies and procedures, rendering most of the employees surplus leading to economic loss.

Minimizing Possible Resistance

Resistance in every firm is devastating to the economic health of an organization. Therefore, the urgency to mitigate the resistance to change is present permanently. The most refreshing approach to combat the resistance is to involve the employees in the decision-making process as they are the reliable body to implement the plan. Furthermore, the involvement of the employees in the decision-making process enhances the ease of formulation of timely decisions and approaches towards an objective. Moreover, proper communication enhances the clarity of the change; hence the employees acknowledge the transition readily. Good communication ensures the idea behind the change is relayed accurately to the entire department in the organization; therefore, the change plan will be understood.

Relationship Between Resistance to Change and Communication

Communication is crucial in the implementation of change because it ensures a continuous flow of information. Furthermore, communication enhances the sharing of ideas between the employees and the organization’s leaders. Therefore, the eradication of resistance is due to the understanding between the employees and decision-makers. The relationship between resistance and communication is centered on the influence of various communication strategies on resistance to change. The contention in the relationship takes a dimensional argument that suggests excellent and efficient communication in a firm or business organization leads to a proper understanding of the change hence reducing resistance (Karaxha 290-299). In contrast, poor communication contributes to resistance due to misunderstanding.

Three Communication Strategies

Communication strategy is essential in ensuring effective communication is relayed and they include expressive techniques, specific strategy, and well-reasoned communication strategy. Effective communication provides the implementation of various methods, including expressive techniques where the person relaying the information ensures the identification of the purpose of the decision in change being addressed. Furthermore, a specific strategy ensures the person making the decision communicates the point accurately and provides explicitly. The basis for making the change is well understood and comprehended by the employees. A well-reasoned communication strategy effectively ensures the idea behind the change is conveniently explained to the employees, and the employees’ opinions are also addressed and effectively implemented.

Recommendation of a Communication Strategy

A well-reasoned communication strategy is the most appropriate strategy that should be implemented in organizations. The communication strategy is vital in the engagement of both the employees and the decision-makers in reaching a final agreement for effective change to be made, thereby reducing resistance. A well-reasoned communication strategy effectively ensures the need for change is conveniently explained to the employees, and the employees’ suggestions are also addressed and effectively implemented.

Communication Plan

The communication plan for the change initiative uses the most efficient communication strategy, a well-reasoned communication strategy. The plan will first incorporate the most vital communication practice that involves the discussion of the decision at the departmental level. The plan ensures the employees at each department engage in the amendment of the decision. The next step of the plan is the execution of an interdepartmental exchange of ideas regarding the decision made on change. Lastly, the plan ensures the overall discussion and adjustments of the decision made, and this includes the discussion of the issues raised by the employees through a well-reasoned communication strategy.


Resistance is majorly caused by poor communication, mistrust, and lack of confidence and fear of failure. A communication strategy is essential in ensuring effective communication is relayed. Therefore, the communication strategies and engaging the employees in the decision-making process serve as a remedy for resistance to change in the organization. The most refreshing approach to combat the resistance is involving the employees in the decision-making process as they are the reliable body to implement the plan.

Works Cited

Mumby, Dennis K., et al. “Resistance Redux.” Organization Studies 38.9 (2017): 1157-1183.

Goksoy, Asli. “The Role of Psychological Empowerment and Organizational Citizenship Behaviors on Employee Resistance to Change.” European Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies 3.2 (2017): 85-93.

Karaxha, Halit. “Methods for Dealing with Resistance to Change.” Baltic Journal of Real Estate Economics and Construction Management 7.1 (2019): 290-299.

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