Sources of organizational Resistance21st March 2021
Organizations may also resist change because they have invested in fixed assets and other resources. These costs cannot be recovered unless the assets and resources are put to productive use. When change is incorporated, many of these resources become useless. This may be true for assets as well as for persons also. For example, earlier it has been seen that change may result in obsolescence of skills.
Many organizations resist change because of resource constraints. It is to be noted that all organizations have limited resources because resources are limited by their basic nature.
However, some organizations may feel resource constraints more than others. In such a case, the organizations may not like to incorporate change because it involves some additional cost at least in the beginning.
Some forms of organization structure are more resistant to change, for example, bureaucratic structure. A bureaucratic structure where lines of communication are clearly spelled out, jobs are precisely defined, works against change. Since all these are prescribed rigidly, there is very little scope of making changes. Moreover, the flow of information from top to bottom level is stressed.
Therefore, there is every possibility that an information initiating or necessitating change may be screened out at the higher level itself because change does not suit the present organization structure. Unless the person at the top is highly dynamic, change will always be resisted.
Threat to Power and Influence
A change is likely to be incorporated successfully if it has the blessing and support of top management. When people, at the top level, consider change as a potential threat to their position and influence, they resist it.
A change is likely to produce a new power equilibrium with more emphasis on knowledge and new skills. This new equilibrium may reduce the amount of power and influence of people at the top which may not be liked by them. Therefore, they may resist any such change.
- Resistance Due to the Structural Rigidities or Limitations: Structural resistance is a characteristic feature of bureaucracies, which focus more on stability, control, set methodologies or routine.
- Ignoring all the interconnected factors which require change or lack of clarity in understanding the ground realities.
- Inertia from the Groups: Groups may resist change because just like individuals, groups equally follow set behavioural patterns, norms or culture and as a result of change the groups might have to change their existing ways of conduct or behaviour.
- Possible threats to Power, Resources or Expertise can also result in resistance towards an organization level change. Any kind of devolution of power or transfer of resources from some agency or group to some other agency or a group will definitely lead to a feeling of fear or inertia towards a change initiative.