The Roles of Organizational Change Management and Resistance to Change in the Modern Business World

The Roles of Organizational Change Management and Resistance to Change in the Modern Business World

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1913-3.ch049
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This chapter introduces the roles of organizational change management (OCM) and resistance to change (RTC) in the modern business world, thus explaining the theoretical and practical concepts of OCM and RTC; strategies for driving organizational change; the application of sources of organizational resistance and inertia; the obstacles of organizational change; and the management of RTC in modern organizations. OCM and RTC are the essential factors to be considered in any change process, since a proper management of resistance is the key for change success or failure. The importance of OCM and RTC lies in its ability to influence an organization's readiness for change and to identify the level of resistance it expects to meet, and the approach to change it needs to adopt. Understanding the roles of OCM and RTC will enhance organizational performance and achieve strategic goals in the modern business world.
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In a rapidly changing world, the unique competitive advantage of organizations appears to be its ability to adopt and adapt to change (Lawler & Worley, 2006). Most of the literature on change management was developed in Western countries (Pihlak & Alas, 2012). The greatest constant of modern times is the change (Sterman, 2000). Change and the way to lead it have become a critical issue in the organizational leaders’ minds (Ramezan, Sanjaghi, & Baly, 2013). Managing change requires leadership (Johnson, 2004). The process of change implementation is a critical task for all firms that pursue to develop and maintain a competitive position in modern organizations (Burke, 2002; Zajac, Kraatz, & Bresser, 2000).

Change is a requirement for continued success (Anderson & Ackerman Anderson, 2010). Resistance is defined as a phenomenon that introduces unanticipated delays, costs and instability into the process of strategic change (Ansoff, 1988); the enemy of change (Schein, 1988) in order to maintain the status quo in the face of organizational pressure to change the status quo (Zaltman & Duncan, 1977); any employee actions perceived as attempting to stop, delay, or alter change (Bemmels & Reshef, 1991); and an expression of reservation, which normally arises as a response or reaction to change. Buono and Kerber (2010) stated that from a conceptual vantage point, there are three interrelated approaches to implementing organizational change (i.e., directed change, planned change, and guided change).

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