Test of resistance to change

Home » Business » Test of resistance to change
Business, Human Resources No Comments

* Establishment of intention

* Development

* Conclusion

* Bibliography


This essay tries to show the similarities that exist in the literature about why resistance to change and, from this, build a bridge with leadership effectiveness.


If you see the organization as an open social system interacting with its environment, then we must accept that the environment and the condition that she, in turn, affects their environment. If the medium conditioned by the organization, the organization must adapt to it, inevitably.

Beckhardt and Pritchard: “The pace and complexity of change into new forms, new ways of living, new values are of a magnitude never before seen” (1).

You may need to go a little deeper into this: the environment in which organizations are moving globalized communications given in seconds, the collapse of the stock market in a faraway country affects other local economies, standards dominant quality of a country affect another (ISO), wars increase prices and global instability, local politics establishes new rules, sometimes as ideology ruler.

In short: if we adapt we must invest money, human capital and technological capital, that in the third world a difficulty arises with never before seen.

We are not prepared for what’s coming, do not have fully developed none of those three aforementioned capital, the average Argentine businessman improvises courses of action in the short term to survive without noting that fact may improvise, sooner or later, can destroy .

Planning is necessary for the survival of the fittest. We know that the above is somewhat fatalistic, but it is our personal impression.


We must first define these keywords in our test:

Change: mutate, change, alter, anoint bring something from one place to another (2).

Resistance: opposing a body or force the action and violence of another, not to be influenced by something, who struggle to cope with attacks (2).

Resistance to change: resistance is seen as any behavior that attempts to preserve the status quo against the pressures to alter it (3).

Leader: oriented influence a given situation through communication and leading to a specific goal (3).

Effective leadership: leadership effectiveness is evaluated based on the achievement of a goal. The action of leadership is validated with the intent to influence (3).

Just read these definitions have a first approach to the complexity and difficulty of organizational change.

The definition of resistance, and resistance to change proposed here makes it clear that this change is a struggle between opposing forces, a “tug of war” where the ideal situation would seek the “win-win”, but it is difficult for the subject to which the change is imposed sees it this way or that imposes change who try to do it the ideal way.

3.1 Why the change

We live in a time of sudden and rapid changes in all levels of society, it seems that nothing is predictable. From the above it becomes clear the urgent need to have any open social system be mutating to survive and to compete.

Now, change is inevitable convince those who are part of our social system open to consider this necessary.

One of our teachers said in one of his classes: “we must all have the feeling of burning platform” referring to almost zero options for workers to oil platforms when starting a fire in them: jump into the icy water and die, or fight as to pay the fire.

According to most authors consulted this is urgent if we want to start with the process of change: that everyone in the organization have the feeling that there is no other way out than this. From here begins the whole process of change.

Now, if this is so obvious and the change is so necessary:

3.2 Why change initiatives fail

Changes fail for many reasons, but, according to a survey of the magazine Information Week (4) on the failures in the processes of change, the biggest problem is the resistance to change with a 60% signs.

But also all other causes, named in this survey, fault in the processes of change are related to human aspects.

While we could list the reasons why people prefer to resist change, as our way of seeing things, grouping them all in one: fear.

Fear paralyzes the mind closes to new opportunities, turns people in automatons virtually beings, does anyone commit.

We speak of fear in any level of the pyramid, in any section.

This type of fear is related to the loss of something: power, status, sociability, monetary benefits or other

Stephen Robbins (5), in turn, grouped into two main sources of resistance: individual and organizational. In the first combine basic human characteristics such as perceptions, personalities and needs such as habits, which do not allow to consider the range of options to decide on something different every day.

Security has already been noted by other authors, and the fear of the unknown and a final call selective perception, man’s ability to choose between what is in the environment, only what suits your convenience and rejects it that is not to their liking. Regarding the organizational category, Robbins poses structural inertia, which refers to the recommendations of experts mechanisms to test its effectiveness in a given situation.

3.3 What factors help or drive change

Fernando Herrera Zepeda quoting Peter Senge (6) says: “an organization becomes master of change, adapting, only if he can become a learning organization.

In turn, this is achieved with five skills development that are true technological components:

* Systems thinking: this is to conceive the organization as a system with each element necessarily impacting others.

* Personal mastery: ability to achieve expertise, clarifying and deepening our personal vision and focusing our energies.

* Working with mental models: manage, back to ourselves, searching within ourselves to discover our internalized images of the world to be aware of them.

* Build a shared vision: through full awareness that deep and lasting changes that the leaders want, come from the ability to share with fans a clear picture of the future they want to create.

* Teamwork: it starts with dialogue. ”

It is clear to us at this point, that change comes only with clear and accurate communication. Communication with ourselves (self) and the other members of the organization. Communication from the organization to itself, challenging their prior knowledge and communication to teach and support the members to make the change.

To “overcome” resistance to change proposes a number of strategies, mostly involve issues such as participation, adding value to people, clear messages (unambiguous), allow discussion, a good communication plan, support, facilitation, negotiation and coercion difficult cases.

Regarding change agents some authors suggest that these are the leaders, and the latest proposed that the change agent must be the whole organization, that already in a more systemic thing.

With respect to “overcome” the resistance to change, leaders must motivate to achieve the necessary cooperation, demagogic speeches can have a strong impact on people who are not yet committed to change and give justification letter to those who oppose, underestimate resistance is another serious mistake.

Jay Conger and Gretchen Spreitaer (7) observed that “managers often underestimate how difficult it is to get staff …… their comfort zones change, by definition, requires the creation of a new system, which , in turn, requires a long lead “.

This surely implies concerns how to make people active, what to say to convince them that they can not be sitting there like nothing before the need for change This, according to these authors, it is necessary a good leader with great skills as a communicator. But in our opinion, if people are very satisfied with the way things are going, even this great leader can move.

The question is: How do we do in these cases It is clear that there are no recipes for this, each organization is a world apart and should be treated that way.


In the literature we verify that organizational change is imposed on the organization, there is no choice but to change here yet reproachful looks almost like the idea of resistance to change. And here comes the first question: if the change is imposed, it would be normal and logical that people resist, And the second: the word is that resistance is not correct to define this phenomenon.

Sometimes we find the lower planes changes where the organization can only lose and is perceived as logical resistance.

Quoting again Spreitaer Jay Conger and Gretchen (7), who note that “managers often underestimate how difficult it is to get staff …… their comfort zones change, by definition, requires the creation of a new system, which in turn requires a long lead “.

You can say, after reading, that if there is no change leader You need this strong leader in relations to alleviate insecurity and fear

We think people like big kids that need to be always guided by the protective parent We need to align people behind this nurturing mother.

It looks like a good plan absolutely necessary communication and feedback on all the points raised, human resources with sufficient preparation and a strong moral and ethical attitude to implement.

Any change requires facilitators to provide cohesion, rather than creating “clans” that hinder department.

Resistance is not bad in itself, is a sign of concern and fear, we should clarify this. To implement the change must diagnose, operate the plan and monitor compliance.

The basis for achieving cooperation lies in good communication practices before him, without this resistance is well established and there is no way to break it.

It is necessary to train and educate to ensure that people are ready for new challenges and uncertain due to lack of information and preparation.

A clear vision and a whole support system that helps significantly.

Change is not firing massively, as they have done some corporations, change is to improve what already exists and reshape it more competitive. The change is gradual, but compulsive, but never is short term.

The change is to see the gap between what we are and what we want to be as an organization together. Is treating employees as partners and not as slaves automata.

Resistance to change is not defeated: it works, diluted with committed and sincere dialogue.

Demagoguery and ambiguity have no place here, here takes place the self, challenge ourselves and our mental models.

Changes should not be left to chance, create an attitude and openness to change.

We believe that if you have this vision and the work year after year, no change will be as difficult as it arises.


(1): Beckhardt Richard and Wendy Pritchard, What companies must do to achieve a transformation, Grupo Editorial Norma, Mexico 1993 p. 1

(2): Alfa Salvat Encyclopedic Dictionary, Volumes I and II.

(3): Taken from the lecture notes of matter Seminar deepening of leadership and staff.

(4): Taken from the website direct link: website (in English) cited therein: (Journal of Information Technology).

(5): Stephen Robbins, Organizational Behavior, Prentice Hall Publisher, Mexico 1996, p. 775

(6): Fernando Herrera Zepeda quoting Peter Senge in his book Psychology, Publisher Pearson Mexico, p. 27.

(7): Jay Conger and Gretchen Spreitaer, The handbook for leaders of change, Publisher Polity Press, p. 4.

Submitted by: