From Resistance to Readiness: Leveraging Neuroscience Perspectives for Successful Change Management in the Manufacturing Sector

From Resistance to Readiness: Leveraging Neuroscience Perspectives for Successful Change Management in the Manufacturing Sector

Ashlita Florence Lopez, Sebin Joy, Arti Arun Kumar
Copyright: © 2023 |Pages: 25
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-6567-7.ch011
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Change initiatives often encounter resistance from employees, impeding successful implementation. Leveraging insights from neuroscience can provide valuable guidance in navigating this resistance and promoting readiness for change. Social experiences in a work environment affect the brain positively or negatively. By understanding the brain's response to change, change managers can create a supportive environment and communicate accordingly. This study examines the impact of social experiences on readiness to change among employees in the manufacturing sector from a neuroscience perspective. SCARF is a neuroscience-based model that evaluates five dimensions of social experiences such as status, certainty, autonomy, relatedness, and fairness. This quantitative study is based on data collected from different manufacturing organisations. The results of this study provide insights into how change managers can address these social domains to promote successful change initiatives and improve employee readiness to change.
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Change management is a critical process for any organisation looking to implement change. In this process, people, teams, and organisations are moved from their current states to the desired future ones using a systematic strategy. Controlling the evolution of production systems, processes, and technology is crucial in the manufacturing industry. The manufacturing sector has changed significantly in recent years as a result of globalisation, technical improvements, and changes in consumer behaviour. Manufacturers are under increasing pressure to respond to these developments in order to maintain their competitive position and meet shifting consumer expectations. They must constantly improve their practices, structures, and products if they want to remain competitive. One of the important elements of change management in the industrial sector is managing the impact of change on employees.

Workers are an essential part of the production process because labour-intensive industrial procedures are typically involved. Therefore, it is imperative to make sure that employees receive the necessary training and assistance to enable them to adapt to new practices, systems, and technology. For employees, change can be difficult and disruptive. Employees may experience fear, uncertainty, and discomfort, and these feelings may have an impact on how motivated and productive they are. Change may be challenging when humans are involved, especially when it requires stepping outside of one's usual comfort zone and into an unfamiliar environment. With changes come new positions, responsibilities, difficulties, and opposing viewpoints. As a result, the entire process must be skilfully handled. People typically become confused and fight the process when the future is unclear to them (Dhingra & Punia, 2016).

In order to ensure a smooth transition, it is crucial to manage the emotional effect of change on employees. This entails giving staff members the knowledge, resources, and support they need to comprehend the change and its effects. To promote employee engagement and buy-in, it is critical to include them in the change process and solicit their thoughts and comments.

The SCARF model is a neuroscience-based framework that describes how people react to social circumstances that cause five domains of threat or reward: Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness, and Fairness. These categories are important for change management because they frequently result in threats or rewards for employees who work in the manufacturing sector, which can affect how they emotionally react to the change. During an incident, the SCARF language may be helpful for recognising dangers as well as handling emotions. There is evidence to support the idea that labelling and revaluating emotions can aid in managing them. (Campbell et al., 2022). This research paper seeks to explore the synergistic relationship between change management and the SCARF model, delving into how incorporating SCARF principles can enhance the implementation of successful organizational change. By examining the impact of each SCARF element on employees' readiness to change, this study aims to provide valuable insights into tailoring change strategies that address psychological needs, foster engagement, and facilitate a smoother transition, ultimately contributing to the achievement of sustainable and positive change outcomes.

Research Questions

  • 1)

    Is the SCARF model significant in the manufacturing industry for change management?

  • 2)

    Do social experiences such as status, certainty, autonomy, relatedness, and fairness have any impact on the readiness to change?

The subject of this paper makes an effort to investigate how the SCARF model and change management among workers in the manufacturing sector interact. Each of these characteristics, coupled with demographic criteria like age, duration of experience, and role in the firm, will have an impact on how willing and proactive individuals are to participate in the process of execution. Additionally, the study seeks to pinpoint best practices and approaches that can enhance the results of change implementation and to provide suggestions for professionals on how to successfully navigate the difficulties of managing change using the SCARF model.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Relatedness: The feeling of connection, and belongingness in social interactions.

Social Experience: It is the collective interactions, activities, and relationships that individuals engage in within a social context.

Autonomy: It reflects the degree of control over one’s own actions and decisions.

Status: It is the relative importance of an individual in a social context.

Fairness: Equitable treatment and distribution of resources, rewards, and opportunities.

Certainty: Clarity, predictability, and sense of control over the environment.

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