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Reasons for Resisting Change

Business Management and Enterprise (Year 12) - People (U3)

Kanwal Singh

There are four main reasons why people resist change:

  • Financial costs – resistance can be based due to the perceived costs of the change. The benefits of the change may be unclear and the financial burden makes workers reluctant. A business may need new capital and more staff. Increased marketing and outsourcing may be needed and can be very costly.

  • Managerial inertia – this is when management lack the knowledge, willingness, skills or resources for change. They feel that if "it's not broken, why change it?". This reactive mentality also discourages employees. Managers may also feel that a proposed change could pose a threat to their job.

  • Cultural incompatibility in mergers/takeovers – people in different organisations may have their own ways of working. Clashes in different organisational cultures could cause employees to become demotivated in their work. There may be some geographical differences and poor communication between the organisations too.

  • Staff attitudes – staff may fear the unknown and not understand the reasons for the change. They fear for their job security, changes to their working conditions and the potential changes in management. They also may not trust the individuals making the decisions. If employees don’t believe in the management, the change in unlikely to succeed.

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