Resistance to organizational change - Organizational behavior

Resistance to Organizational Change

All organizations tend to resist change. As already noted, the creators of organizational innovations always believe in their desirability and beneficence, and the surrounding people who face the consequences of transformations that were not conceived by them are reasonably more conservative. As part of the management of changes and innovations, there is no question of completely eliminating resistance. The main thing is that effective ways of reducing it should be identified, and it would not acquire total character.

Resistance to change is an explicit or implicit disagreement with them. In its explicit form it is expressed in protests, strikes and refusals of new forms of work; in the latent form - in non-fulfillment or poor-quality performance of new requirements aimed at changing the usual ways of working.

And. V. Bestuzhev-Lada considers the main qualities - opponents of innovations:

• the futurophobia of consciousness;

• Monopoly in the horizontal links of the system, one of whose subsystems affects the innovation (we are talking about rivalry, competition of managers of the same level);

• authoritarianism in the vertical links of the system, one of whose subsystems affects the innovation (if the lower link is the generator of the new idea, the prestige of the top link, its competence and capacity are questioned);

• the growing contradiction between the author's concept and the existing in reality,

• the internal logic of the development of innovation in the dialectical relationship with the external environment.

The researchers found many reasons for anti-innovation installations . It is understandable psychological reasons, associated with conservatism and reliance on tradition. In addition, often in an organization in an organization, the orientation toward avoiding failures is stronger than the orientation toward success, which entails avoiding innovations in which risk and unforeseen difficulties are seen.

Potential social and psychological source resistance are informal groups. Their existence is associated with constant close communication and is largely determined by the territorial proximity of the members of the group. It may happen that as a result of the regular innovations of the people who made up the informal group, they will simply be scattered about in different offices. Very often after this informal group in its former form ceases to exist, which disrupts the possibility of communication and gives work discomfort. It is no coincidence that the leaders of such groups and their rank-and-file members are very wary of any potential changes.

It is also important to pay attention to political reasons. Any organizational change in one way or another violates the balance of power that has developed before it. In the preparation of a number of radical innovations in the managerial, economic, technical order, the consent of a number of bodies implicated in it is necessary: ​​planned, financial, control, etc. Therefore, the advancement of innovation, the decision to start experimenting with it, require mutual concessions. And the interests of departments are often met, and the effectiveness of innovation is reduced.

Resistance to change is so rooted in the very nature of man that his manifestations are very similar to different peoples. AI Prigozhin cites the following stable phrases and phrases that characterize resistance to change among Russian managers and workers:

• "This we already have & quot ;;

• & quot; We can not do this & quot ;;

• "This does not solve our main problems";

• "This requires revision";

• & quot; Here, not all is equal to & quot ;;

• & quot; There are other suggestions & quot ;;

• "This is premature."

These statements almost completely coincide with the list of anti-innovation statements, given in the memo-recommendation of the Japanese productivity center:

• "This is useless";

• "This is true, but not for us";

• "It seems like a good idea, but ...";

• "We've always done this";

• "I do not like to follow someone's idea";

• "If we reduce the cost, the quality will suffer";

• "We are doing well";

• & quot; We know this does not work & quot ;;

• "We all know about it & quot;

If resistance to change is peculiar to man, then management can only weaken this natural inclination. The strength of resistance to change depends not only on specific individuals, but also on the content and organization of change. According to the research, resistance increases when the goal of the changes is not explained. Insufficient awareness of employees about the changes that are being made, the ambiguity of their interpretations give rise to feelings of insecurity and anxiety. If employees do not participate in the planning of change, then it is perceived as imposed and resistance to it increases many times. Finally, resistance increases when the initiators of change are not respected and trusted.

Thus, developers of changes need to consider them both in terms of efficiency for the organization, and the point of view of the possibility of implementation. It is important to pay attention to possible barriers to organizational improvement, among which the main are:

struggle for limited resources - if in the event of a change, employees lose some of the amenities associated with diminishing rooms, increasing responsibility and other reasons, the probability of resistance increases;

tight boundaries between functional areas: between manufacturers and business units, marketers and financiers and economists, etc .;

resistance of the lower stratum of leaders and rank-and-file workers, who believe that their opinions are not being heard by anyone;

bureaucracy in the organization.

It turns out that the natural conservatism of people is superimposed conservatism bureaucratic machine. For many years of its existence, the bureaucracy has developed not only an irresistible desire for stability, it has also drawn out the contours of specific organizational changes that satisfy the higher bosses in terms of the initiative of subordinates, but in practice they do not change anything. The founders of the evolutionary economy, R. R. Nelson and S. D. Winter, very accurately observed that the routine within a stable organization varies according to the routine again, but the routine of a higher level. Therefore, any innovative activity in the bureaucratic system can be successfully rutinized.

Despite the complexity of confronting conservatism, in practice, methods of reducing resistance to change were developed, which allow to introduce it into some acceptable framework.

The method of specific documents involves explaining the innovation and writing instructions for each stage of its implementation, which allows employees to navigate in a changing situation.

The piecewise implementation method involves breaking up the innovation into simple component elements, the consistent implementation of which will achieve the desired result.

The method of perpetual experiment actually gradually adapts the innovation to the current conditions.

The reporting implementation method assumes the formation of conclusions for each stage of the innovation implementation.

The parallel implementation method assumes the simultaneous operation of the old and new systems.

Anyway, organizations must and will change. The practice of management proved that resistance to change can work. Hard administration or wide participation of personnel in changes, motivational programs or psychological training, dismissing dissenters or cultivating the value of innovation - all these and many other methods can break the resistance of even the most conservative members of the organization. At the same time, it is necessary to leave the philosophical thesis that nothing can exist without changing that existence and change are in principle one and the same, for in practice constant changes, undertaken even with the best intentions and in themselves fully justified, can completely destroy the organizational system. The best examples of this are the domestic educational and scientific systems that have experienced so many organizational transformations over the last quarter of a century that they have not only lost their effectiveness, but for the most part have ceased to fulfill the basic social functions for which they were created. Therefore, the administrative imperative is the understanding of organizational change not as a routine, but as a project that has its beginning, end, and concrete results.

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