Management Course: Discussion Topic 13

PROMPT:Employee resistance to organizational change initiatives is a symptom, not a problem. What are some of the real problems that may underlie employee resistance to change? How do organizations create an atmosphere whereby employee resistance is reduced and/or eliminated?


Support your answer by utilizing research that you have gathered from at least 2 sources other than your text. Finally, be sure to cite your sources in proper APA formatting.

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A detailed and thoughtful response to the topic is required (minimum of 500 words). RUBRIC IS ATTACHED BELOW.




 Additionally, emphasis is placed on your ability to conduct and synthesize scholarly research. 




  Your posts should be professional in content and follow the APA standards. Be sure to city your sources in APA formatting.










    Employees in an organizational become comfortable with their roles, knowledge base, and the people they work with.  Changing these factors can cause resistance for several reasons, depending on the employee and how the situation is handled.  In some cases, the employees are not informed of the changes, which causes distrust of management and a fear of the unknown (McShane & Glinow, 2013).  This fear comes from the uncertainty of future and not knowing if their skills will be enough to continue doing a good job. 


            Employees that have worked at one positions for a long time begin to feel competent and safe within that position (Bacharach, 2013).  Not all employees thrive on new challenges and those that do not will lose the sense of safety they have achieved at work.  In tough economic times especially, the fear of not being able to perform the duties and potentially losing a source of income can cause employees to fiercely resist the change.  To reduce this change, upper management needs to create an environment where cross-training and skill development is the norm and employees are encouraged to take a risk.  The employees should be given a long time to adjust to the new situation and extensive training should be done so that everyone feels secure in their new roles (Bacharach, 2013).


            Another reason employees resist change is because they do not trust in their manager or in upper management (Quast, 2012).  In some cases, management may have misled employees or not followed through on certain promises or expectations.  This creates an atmosphere of mistrust in departments and when change occurs, the employees will not have the necessary trust to go with the flow.  The fear of losing jobs or ending up in a position that is disliked is there because the employees cannot trust in management’s word.  To overcome this, the company needs to encourage managers to always follow through on promise and to not make impossible claims.  Telling the truth and earning employee trust through words and actions is imperative.


            Employees also have a difficult time dealing with change when too much change is piled on at the same time (Quast, 2012).  The company needs to implement change in stages instead of having everything occur at once.  Too much change overwhelms the workers and can lead to stress and confusion.  Management needs to listen to employee’s opinion on the situation, determine what steps need to be taken first, and clearly communicate the time line of change to each employee in the company.  Empathy and tact are necessary to show the employees that they are cared about (Quast, 2012). 


No matter what kind of change is occurring or how much, communication is the key to ensuring that the employees have as little reason as possible to resist it.  By not informing every one of what is happening and what the new roles will be, fear of the unknown and trust issues will run rampant.  There are four steps that every company should employee when dealing with change.  The steps are to understand what the changes will include, who they will affect, how it will impact them, and why the employees might resist change (Quast, 2012).  By following these steps, management can predict the possible resistance and come up with ideas to overcome it. 




Bacharach, S.  (2013, April 17).  4 reasons your employees resist change – and how to overcome them.  Inc.  Retrieved from ist-change-and-how-to-overcome-them.html


McShane, S. L., & Glinow, M. A. (2013). Organizational behavior: emerging knowledge, global reality (6th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin.




Quast, L.  (2012, November 26).  Overcome the 5 main reasons people resist change.  Forbes.  Retrieved from


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