Kotter and Schlesigner’s four reasons for resistance to change
Parochial self interest
Individuals are concerned with the implications for themselves
Low tolerance of change
Sense of insecurity
Different assessment of the situation
Disagreement over the need for change
Disagreement over the advantages and disadvantages
Inappropriate change management
Change is often resisted because of failures in the way it is introduced
Explain the need for change
Consult, negotiate and offer support and training
Involve people in the process
Build trust and sense of security
Build employee relations
Six ways to overcome resistance to change
Education and communication
This can involve one-to-one discussions, presentations to groups of memos based on reports. Usually an appropriate approach when resistance is based on inadequate or inaccurate information.
Participation and involvement
This approach is useful when the initiators of change do not have all the information they need to design changes effectively, and the information, knowledge and skills that others have can be used positively for the change process rather than as a source of resistance.
Facilitation and support
This involves providing emotional and material support to help people deal with this anxiety and uncertainty (“adjustment problems”). This process would likely involve training.
Negotiation and agreement
Involves giving resistors incentives to either adapt or leave an organisation. This might involve agreeing to certain demands or adjusting plans. It could involve increasing costs by raising wages.
Manipulation and co-optation
Co-opting an individual, or the leader of a group, involves giving them a desirable role in the design or implementation of the change. Co-optation can sometimes be a relatively inexpensive way of gaining an individual or organisation’s support.
Explicit and implicit coercion
Managers can force employees into accepting change by suggesting that resisting change can lead to negative outcomes such as job loss. If this is explicit they will be told directly, whereas implicit will merely suggest the outcome.