Resistance to Change in an Organisation

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Introduction

Perhaps it can be said that modern day organisation changes are the archenemy of complacency. Strategic transformation requires careful attention to detail and ongoing support. Long-term change however requires a commitment to make it happen.

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Many organisations have failed in the attempt to make change a successful event, however, there have been others that met the challenge of making it happen. Those organisations which have succeeded have done so with a step-by-step model intended to guide the intricacies of change processes. Leaders who understand the dynamics of humanism are better positioned to gain voluntary participation from their workforce. Engaging emotional support for the new vision of an organisation is but an art that is mastered over time. Behavior modeling and self-accountability are instrumental to transmitting desired results. Goals and objectives are intangible until the leadership team can guide the workforce through the difficulties that come from changing old habits. This paper discusses a merger between two organisations that conducted business as buyer and vendor. The buyer acquires the vendor and begins the process to change its culture using the eight steps at the heart of change. This paper discusses the Hats-Galore Inc. acquisition of Gloves-n-More Inc., a company that historically was a major supplier to Hats-Galore. The change agent (CA) at Hats-Galore Inc. is responsible for changing the corporate policies of Gloves-n-More Inc. to match those of Hats-Galore Inc. The CA has determined that the policies of Gloves-n-More Inc. are very formal and rigid which matches the organisational culture often described as bureaucratic. The Hats-Galore Inc. corporate culture is more relaxed and more like a family. The CA has decided to address the corporate culture change using a Bottom-Up strategy (Cohen & Kotter, 2002). The “See, Feel, Change” concept is used to summarize the eight stages of large scale organisational change (Cohen & Kotter, 2002). It is anticipated that the Gloves-n-More Inc. employees will resist the change. A brief discussion on addressing the resistance follows. The advantages and disadvantages of using the bottom-up strategy will be discussed. The paper closes with a recapitulation of its content.

See, Feel, Change Concept

Cohen and Kotter (2002) proposed the See, Feel, Change concept as a way to demonstrate for organisations the difficulty in changing employee behavior. Cohen and Kotter (2002) affirm that given the massive challenges on implementing corporate change, there are organisations succeeding at the practice. They assert further that management teams able to inspire change create a compelling vision that inspires action. Cohen and Kotter (2002) declare that those managers help employees visualize the problem (see), and “feel” (emotional engagement) the need to voluntarily participate in the mission (change). Zaleski, Gold, Rotella and Andriani (2002) conducted a review of Cohen and Kotter’s (2002) See, Feel, Change methodology and found that Cohen and Kotter (2002) provided convincing evidence that demonstrates the simplicity of the approach,

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