Active and Passive Resistance to Organizational Change: A Case of Entrepreneurship Minor Program in a Public University

Active and Passive Resistance to Organizational Change: A Case of Entrepreneurship Minor Program in a Public University

Mehmet Eymen Eryılmaz (Uludağ University, Turkey) and Filiz Eryılmaz (Uludağ University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8487-4.ch003


Today, almost all organizations (private or public, small, medium or large in size etc.) need to change. However, organizational change efforts are not always successful for various reasons. Active and passive resistance to organizational change is one of these. In this chapter, efforts to form an entrepreneurship minor program in a public university and some reasons for active and passive resistance to it are examined. For this examination, data was mainly collected from one-to-one and semi-structured interviews which were mostly conducted with the vice deans of various faculties and from the participative observation of one of the researchers. In addition, some documents about the program were examined.
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Many internal and external factors force organizations to change. Educational organizations are no exception. Educational organizations, particularly universities, compete with each other to attract the best students and academics and to raise funds. Therefore, they have to go through change to maintain legitimacy. However, sometimes organizations may not see the results they expect from the efforts of change as those implementing the changes often encounter both active and passive resistance from various internal and external stakeholders. In this study, a change project in a public university and resistance towards it is examined. The aim of the study was to clarify the reasons for this resistance.

This study is of some importance as studies on organizational change (particularly in educational organizations) often focus on absolute free will and the findings of this study show that the senior management of an educational organization may not be able to exercise absolute free will to establish a university-wide entrepreneurship minor program because of resistance to change. Therefore, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to link together the concepts of entrepreneurship education and resistance to organizational change.

A brief review of literature will be presented on organizational change and resistance and entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education in the first part of the study. In the second part, the main focus of the study will be explained. Then, the methodology will be explained, including the context, data collection and analysis, followed by the, findings of the study. Recommendations will be made for future study, focusing on points missing in literature. Finally, the conclusion will be made including originalities and limitations of this study.

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