Everything you need to know about change management.

Management of change as defined by Dr. Joseph L. Massie, in his book “Essentials of Management” is a conscious and concerted initiative by those who are in charge of the destiny of the business undertaking to keep a constant and intelligent watch over the behaviour of uncontrollable forces, to assess their impact and influence on the controllable forces and to evolve appropriate strategies and action programme to maintain a dynamic equilibrium between the controllable and uncontrollable forces”.

The change is a must for successful growth and development. The change must be pre-planned and has to be managed efficiently. The process of management of change is very crucial. It requires a lot of patience resources and efforts on the part of the manager.

Learn about:-


1. Meaning of Change Management 2. Various Forms or Types of Change Management 3. Work Change and Human Resistance 4. Causes for Resistance 5. Use of Group Dynamics 6. Kurt Lewin Analysis of Force Field

7. Steps 8. Environment 9. Basic Trends Affecting Change Management in Future 10. Requirement 11. Guidelines for Overcoming Resistance to Change 12. Barriers.


  1. Introduction to Change Management
  2. Various Forms or Types of Change
  3. Work Change and Human Resistance in Change
  4. Causes for Resistance to Change
  5. Group as the Basic Unit of Change or Use of Group Dynamics
  6. Kurt Lewin Analysis of Force Field
  7. Steps Involved in the Process of Change Management
  8. Management in Changing Environment
  9. Basic Trends Affecting Change Management in Future
  10. Requirement of Change Management
  11. Guidelines for Overcoming Resistance to Change
  12. Barriers to Change

Change Management – Introduction

Authors of management as a matter of advice to managers have suggested that Management of an enterprise should be planned in such a way that it should be easy to implement them. The planned changes should strike a balance between the needs of the organisation and those of the individuals.


They should focus upon making the transition smoother and less disruptive. For this management must take the worker’s representatives into confidence. If it can do so, there will be the least problem in implementing any change.

The management should properly emphasize the need and significance of change. If the management implements change by properly informing those who are affected by it and by explaining to them the logic of change, there will be less resistance.

This may not be true in all the cases because in some cases people may not accept change even if they have been logically convinced about the change. Therefore, attempts be made to educate the people about the change and this will help in acceptance, but it does not always ensure that there will be no resistance to change.

Further, as a matter of advice the change should first be implemented in a selected area or part of the enterprise to study the reactions of people of that area. The reactions of the people should be analysed properly and if there is the need of any modification the management should alter the arrangement which it will think fit or which will suit the organisation.


Next, the management should see that there is two-away communication between the management and the workers so that the former may come to know the reaction of the latter directly without any delay. This two way communication will bring understanding between the management and the workers.

Eminent authors of management has written that “Management is the change agent and therefore, it has to keep itself always prepared to recognise the need and time for implementing change”. Therefore, change has been noted as very important aspect of modern business.

When changes are introduced to keep pace with the changes in business trends and consequently of business policy, there is resistance to such changes from employees; customers, suppliers and the public. The possibility of resistance to change by various groups of the society makes it essential for the business managers to plan and implement changes systematically.

Management of change as defined by Dr. Joseph L. Massie, in his book “Essentials of Management” is a conscious and concerted initiative by those who are in charge of the destiny of the business undertaking to keep a constant and intelligent watch over the behaviour of uncontrollable forces, to assess their impact and influence on the controllable forces and to evolve appropriate strategies and action programme to maintain a dynamic equilibrium between the controllable and uncontrollable forces”.

Change ManagementVarious Forms or Types: Changes in Environment and Working Conditions, Problems Before Present Day Managers and a Few Others

In the management field Dr. Joseph L. Massie has written the following types or forms of changes they are:

(1) Changes in environment and working conditions.

(2) Changes in the problems before present day managers.

(3) Changes in the scope and specialisation of the application of management knowledge.

(4) Changes is techniques and knowledge.


(1) Changes in Environment and Working Conditions:

As we are aware that the world in changing very fast. Population is increasing day-by-day. Other changes can be watched and viewed as changes in consumers, factors of production, social conditions, political conditions and economic trends. Consumption patterns are changing widely and increase in the size of consumer markets and the segmentation of markets have created very new problems.

Therefore, managers are continuously searching for up-to-date market information to help them to take sound decisions. Values, expectations and aspirations of the customers are regularly undergoing transformation.

(2) Changes in the Problems before Present Day Managers:


There has been a great change in the problems before present day managers. The cause for these changes are the emergence of large scale organisations and the separation of management from ownership. Further, there has been an awakening of the working class and consumers have become conscious about their power over the organisations.

(3) Changes in the Scope and Specialisation of the Application of Management Knowledge:

It has been observed that many problems in different types of organisations like industrial, educational, religious, hospital etc., are common and they call for the application of certain management principles. This has broadened the scope of management and has given birth to the demand for specialisation of the application of management knowledge.

(4) Changes in Techniques and Knowledge:


The management has its deep roots in the engineering problems of production. The technical aspect of the management field is advancing greatly. New techniques of production are being invented. Now a great deal of research is also being conducted in various institutions of the world on behavioural science.

It is recognised that wherever a manager must deal with other persons, some aspect of behavioural science comes into play. Therefore, the application of behavioural science to the management field is getting to priority.

Change Management Work Change and Human Resistance

What is work change? — Work change means alternations in the overall work environment. Work change is adopted by workers in any organisation only with a view to future development and work betterment. Keith Davis has given two generalisations in regard to such change –

(1) The whole organisation tends to be affected by change in any part of it, and

(2) Technological change is a human relations problem as well as a technical problem.

Human resistance is opposition made by workers in the organisation against the introduction of change in that organisation. For Example — Introduction of computer in the banking organisation, now-a-days is being vehemently criticised and workers are opposing it tooth and nail.


Resistance to change is a type of human behaviour which arises to protect human beings from the real or perceived effects of change. Man by nature has his own way of life and thought and action which are unfamiliar to him. This is partly because he fears the new and the unknown and partly because adapting to new ideas is an arduous and pains-taking process. If it is analysed from close, it can safely be said that resistance is opposition to change.

Opposition to change may be logical and justified is some cases. Sometimes, people do not resist change, but they oppose the change agent or the mode of implementing change. Resistance may take the form of passive acceptance, sloppy effort, subtle sabotage, aggressive refusal, violent behaviour, complete breakdown of work and so on depending on the situation. If it is not handled properly, it may affect the enterprise adversely in the long-run.

Managers are directly connected with any change in the organisation. They are deeply and closely concerned with the cause of people’s resistance to change. Resistance to change implies human lags in understanding change, in willingness and ability to absorb the volume and pace of change and to make the necessary psychological and other adjustments while meeting the requirements of change.

There is nothing unusual about such lags. Any change is likely to destabilise a person’s existing alignment with his environment. It can be observed that – “People develop an established set of relations with their environment. They learn how to deal with each other, how to perform their jobs and what to expect next, equilibrium exists; individuals are adjusted.

When change comes along, it requires individuals to make new adjustments as the organisation seeks a new equilibrium. When employees are unable to make adequate adjustment to changes which occur, the organisation is then in a state of imbalance or disequilibrium. Management’s general human relations objective regarding change is to restore and maintain the group equilibrium and personal adjustment which change upsets.”

As we are aware that change in any field requires individual’s own action and his own individual adjustments. Change does not produce direct adjustments in them but it operates through each individual’s attitudes to produce a response conditioned by his feelings towards the change. This was illustrated by an eminent author F. J. Roethlisberger and his associates.


In support of his illustration. Roethlisberger has given several examples and cases. In one case, he has written that “Lighting was regularly increased according to the theory that better lighting would get greater productivity. Productivity increased as was expected. Then lighting was decreased to illustrate the reverse effect.

But surprisingly productivity increased further. Lighting was again decreased. Productivity grew up still further. Finally, lighting was decreased to 0’06 of a foot-candle, which is approximately equivalent to moonlight. Not until this point was reached there was any appreciable decline in the output rate.”

It has been observed in the practical life that whenever management wants to introduce work changes, workers react either favourably or unfavourably, collectively through the platform of trade union. But if we will see from close all changes are not resisted by workers. Some are wanted by the workers.

For Example – If the workers have to stand before a machine throughout the shift, they will like the introduction of new machine which will allow them to sit while working. Thus, resistance to change is offset by their desire to have better working conditions. Sometimes, people themselves want change and new experience as they are fed up with the old practices and procedures.

Change Management Causes for Resistance to Change: Economic Factors, Psychological Factors and Social Factors

Eminent authors of management have studied that resistance to change is caused by the attitudes of workers which are influenced by the following factors.

They are:


(1) Economic factors.

(2) Psychological factors.

(3) Social factors.

(1) Economic Factors:

Economic factors relate to the basic needs of the workers and they mostly relate to – (i) necessaries of life, (ii) job security, and (iii) safely.

These factors are:


(a) Technological Unemployment – Workers mostly approached technological unemployment. They generally feel that new technology will reduce the proportion of labour input and therefore people resist such a change as it will affect the security of their jobs.

(b) They will be Idle for much of their Time – Workers feel that they will be idle for much of their time due to increased efficiency of new technology.

(c) Fear of Demotion – Workers fear that they will be demoted if they do not possess the new skills required for the new job.

(d) It may Reduce Bonus or Pay Incentive – Workers resist the change of setting higher job standards which may reduce opportunity for bonus or incentive pay.

(2) Psychological Factors:

In this the workers may feel that factors relating their psychological needs will be affected adversely by the proposed changes, these factors are:

(a) Present method is inadequate and unsuitable – Workers may not like criticism implied in a change that the present method is inadequate and unsuitable.

(b) Reduction of worker’s pride – Workers may fear that there will be less opportunities for developing their personal skills because new work changes will do away with the need for much manual work. This will lead to reduction of their personal pride.

(c) Monotony is the new jobs – Workers may feel boredom and monotony in the new jobs as a result of specialisation introduced by the new technology.

(d) Hard labour will be needed to learn the work: Workers may fear that harder work will be required to learn and adopt to new ideas.

(e) Workers do not want to learn new ideas – Workers may oppose a change because they do not want to take trouble in re-learning the new things.

(f) They may not be able to understand new ideas – Workers may not have the knowledge of entire change or in other words, they may be incapable of understanding the implications of new ideas or methods.

(3) Social Factors:

Social needs like friendship, belongingness etc., for the fulfillment of which they develop informal relations in the organisation. They become members of certain informal groups and act as members of the group to resist change.

The social reasons for resistance to change are as follows:

(a) New social adjustments involve stresses and strains – Discarding or removing the old social ties are not acceptable to the workers. And the new organisational set-up requires new social adjustments which are not liked by the people because of several difficulties involved in it.

(b) New social set-up will be less satisfying – Workers always apprehend and they fear that the new social set-up arising out of the change will be less satisfying than the present set-up.

(c) Workers oppose the change – Workers oppose the people who sponsor and implement the change if they are strangers to them.

(d) Workers resist the change – Workers also resist the changes which are brought abruptly and without consulting them.

(e) Changes will be beneficial for the employer – Workers may feel that changes introduced will benefit the organisation or the employer rather than themselves or the general public.

Thus, it is clear that resistance to change tends to focus on human relations problems, although it may appear to be related to the technological aspect of change. Workers resist the changes which will affect their social relationships, upset their status and threaten their security. A change may give them a feeling of insecurity since it challenges their way of doing things and may bring less labour-oriented processes. They also resist the change if they do not know it well.

Change Management Group as the Basic Unit of Change or Use of Group Dynamics

It is very important that management should consider the group and not the individual as the basic unit of change. Now the question arises what is group? “A group is a cluster of persons related is some way by common interests over a period of time”. Group interactions are one of the social situations which facilitate adaptation to change. This thought has been well supported by Mr. Hawthorne studies.

He was of this opinion that each individual did not feel free to set-up for himself a production quota; it was and enforced by the group workers who deviated significantly in either direction from the group norms were penalised by their co-workers. It was found that a person who resists pressure to check his behaviour as an individual will often change it quite readily if the group of which he is a member changes its behaviour.

In this connection Kurt Lewin in his book “Group decision and social change” has stated that “As long as group standards are unchanged, the individual will resist changes more strongly, the further he is to depart from group standards. If the group standard itself is changed, the resistance which is due to the relation between individual and group standard is eliminated”.

Further, experiments conducted by Kurt Lewin “on changing habits showed the power of the group to produce changes in behaviour of group members and thus overcoming resistance to change. An experiment studying how to get mothers to give their children orange juice and codliver oil can be studied as a matter of interest.”

Change Management Kurt Lewin Analysis of Force Field

Kurt Lewin introduced Force Field Analysis for implementing change. Force Field Analysis identified –

(1) What forces are likely to push the change (i.e., driving forces) and

(2) What forces are likely to restrain (i.e., restraining forces).

The number and the strength of the driving and restraining forces must be identified. According to force field theory, any situation in which change is to be attempted is a quasi-static equilibrium of driving forces and restraining forces. This can be changed by strengthening the driving forces or by weakening the restraining forces. All these forces reside in the group.

Lewin propounded that it is usually easier to change individuals formed into a group than to change any one of them separately. As long as group standards are unchanged, the individual will resist changes more strongly, the further he is to depart from group standards. If the group standards are changed, the resistance which is due to the relation between individual and group is eliminated.

The implication of Force Field Analysis for the manager is that before embarking on a change strategy, he must properly identify and evaluate the forces favouring change, (driving forces) and those opposing change (restraining forces). This will enable him to remove the hindrances that block change efforts. He will not waste his time and energy on those forces over which he has no control.

Planned Change – One every important question is asked as to why people want change? The very simple answer is that change may be either necessitated by the pressure of external forces or brought by deliberate and conscious efforts of the management. The change by the management is called planned change.

According to Warren Bennis, the method of planned change “encompasses the application of systematic and appropriate knowledge to human affairs for the purpose of creating intelligent action and choices. Planned change aims to relate to the basic disciplines of the behavioural sciences as engineering does to the physical sciences of as medicine relates to the biological sciences”. The management may decide to go in for planned change to cope with complex problems of modern society and the growth of behavioural sciences.

Change Management Steps: To Identify Need for Change, To Develop New Objectives, To Determine Type of Change, Preparing Plan for the Change and a Few Others

The change is a must for successful growth and development. The change must be pre-planned and has to be managed efficiently. The process of management of change is very crucial. It requires a lot of patience resources and efforts on the part of the manager.

The steps that are involved in the process of management of change are as under:

Step # 1. To Identify Need for Change:

It is the first step in the process of management of change. The manager must identify the need for change in terms of those internal as well as external factors which demand the change. He has also to ascertain whether the change is strategic, process oriented, people oriented or a minor one.

Step # 2. To Develop New Objectives:

The change is an outcome of internal as well as external environment. Many times such environment and there by desired change demands some alterations in the organisational objectives and goals. The management is required to take steps in that direction.

Step # 3. To Determine Type of Change:

After determining, the need and objectives of the change the next step is to decide the type of change to be introduced. The change may take place in relation to the objectives, organisation structure, process or people etc. Thus, the third step is to determine the type of change required.

Step # 4. Preparing Plan for the Change:

The most important step is preparing a plan for the change such as, when, how, where and by whom the change is to be introduced. For making the change successful it must be introduced at a right time. Such plan facilitates proper and smooth implementation of the change with least resistance on the part of the affected members of the organisation.

Step # 5. To Implement the Change:

After preparing the plan, it is necessary to communicate it to the concerning employees of the organisation, and convince the member about its need, objectives, nature and possible benefits of change. An effective and proper communication definitely helps in reducing resistance and receiving all support for implementation of the change.

Step # 6. Review and Feedback:

After implementation of the change it is necessary to make review and feedback evaluation. Regular review and feedback may provide necessary information to the manager for its desired implementation. For ensuring smooth implementation of change in the right direction it is necessary to make review and evaluation of the process of management of change.

Thus, it is only through planned change and its efficient management, that the organisation can cope up with changing environment and may discover more profitable use of its resources.

Change Management – Management in Changing Environment: Environmental Changes,Economic Changes,Globalisation of Business,Technological Changes and a Few Others 

Every successful manager always anticipates and adjusts himself to changing environment rather than being passive and unprepared to face them. As the change takes place or likely to take place, the manager comes in action and develops new ways and means to cope up with the change as efficiently as possible. Every kind of change in environment does make the job of a manager more challenging, may it be random, casual complex and un-structural.

The changes in business environment or not within the control of manager but he has to monitor and analyse them and has to take suitable action to overcome them and facilitate its survival, growth and development. The real test of knowledge, skill and other capabilities of the managers lies in how efficiently they work in the changing situation and how they adopt the new situations because of the rapid changes in economic, socio-cultural, legal, political, educational, technological environment throughout the world.

The management knowledge is affected in various ways. The management theory has been greatly affected by these changes, development of new principle. Generalisation has rendered, traditional management techniques less effective. As well as due to uncertainties, complexities associated with external environment, the application of management knowledge in practice has also become more difficult.

To overcome challenging situation one has to have creativity, innovativeness, adaptability and other required capabilities. Due to the drastic changes in the theory as well as practice of management, a successful manger is required to acquire new skill and talent which is more useful in meeting new situation. The manager has to integrate theory and practice of management in such a way as to develop meaningful and useful way of managing.

The following are the Important Changes:

1. Environmental Changes:

Socio-Cultural Changes:

The change in social values, objectives, population dynamics, immigration to cities, emerging middle income group, higher rate of literacy, changes in the life style, interface of industry with higher educational institution (by sharing a cost of education and making it more meaningful to be utilised in business) etc. example of socio-cultural changes.

2. Economic Changes:

Changes like economic liberalisation, growing competition, disinvestment in public sector, entry of multinational organisations, changing credit policy, more operational autonomy to banking institutions, the government’s relationship with industries, new regulations governing trade and industry etc. are the examples of economic changes.

3. Globalisation of Business:

Global economy has become a need of every country. Working for foreign owned companies, meeting world a standards and pressure for free trade etc. are giving new exposure to the managers.

4. Technological Change:

Technology basically is an output of innovation process. It is regarded as a key to economic and social progress. It has also facilitated the gradual development of industrial age into “information age” The role of technology and information incoming future will assume an important place in managing the organisation efficiently.

5. Ecological and Environment Changes:

In modern era every country is in competition of economic development and is bound to face the problem of ecological imbalances. Rapid industrialisation would lead to higher degree of pollution along with increased industrial output. The manager of today and tomorrow will have to develop suitable strategy for making environment friendly and to use of resources, for producing eco-friendly products. The ecology has assumed an important place in the social marketing.

To restore ecological balance, the manager has to co-operate with Govt. to use natural resources in cautious manner and to prevent all types of pollution. Ecological and environmental factors can influence location decision of manager in a significant way.

6. Political and Legal Change:

The managers who are considered as custodian of socially, economically and politically powerful organisation, are greatly influenced by the changing political situations. The manager should be politically conscious and active in his approach as to preserve identity, the organisation and to seek its growth and prosperity.

Change Management Basic Trends Affecting Change Management in Future: Growth of International Business,Information Explosion,Customer Satisfaction and a Few Others

The analysis of change management indicates the following trends to follow in coming days:

1. Growth of International Business:

There is a tremendous growth in the international business, which gives new opportunities to many organisations for expansion and diversification of their activities. In view of this changing situation the manager has to become global player.

2. Information Explosion:

Due to the rapid development of communication and information technology the world has become global. Because of both these technologies it has become very easy and simple to disseminate information all over the world, promptly and accurately. Now the manager knows very well how to understand, measure and manage the knowledge.

3. Research and Development Work:

The manager has to set up research and development department. It is only through this department that the scientific and technological department can be translated into products and services which are useful and available at cheapest rates to the customers.

4. Reawaking of Ethical and Moral Values:

Due to the growing realisation among the managers regarding the fact that observation and practicing of high ethical and moral values will help them in long run for raising the level of profitability of the organisation. It is necessary to provide ethical training to managers and specific code of conduct is enforced on them.

5. Customer Satisfaction:

In a competitive business world only those organisation can face the competition and may survive, which are firmly committed to their customer’s satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is the theme of 21st century.

6. Productivity Improvement:

Now a days the managers are expected to produce more with less inputs. The higher productivity has becomes a central challenge in the organisations of all sizes. Due to the higher productivity, the cost of production will reduce eventually the prices will go down salaries and wages will increase, more profits will be earned. Growth and development will take place and employment opportunities will be increased.

Change Management – Pre-Requisites: Urgency, Crisis Change, Reactive Change, Anticipatory Change, Resources, Leadership and a Few Others 

There are several pre-requisites for change management.

They include the following:

1. Urgency:

An essential requirement for change is recognition of the inevitable need for change. A firm may resort to strategic change in anticipation of environmental changes or as a reaction to the emerging changes or on account of a crisis it is in.

2. Crisis Change:

In many instances, a significant change in the strategy is caused by a crisis. Often, new strategies and drastic measures are required to overcome the crisis. Crisis may compel people to shed the inertia. When a situation is too bad that something drastic or substantial needs to be done, a strong urgency for action is felt. Even if the change entails risks, the inevitability of change is appreciated.

It may be noted that a transformational change in India’s economic policy resulted from an economic crisis in 1991. Hitherto only incremental changes were attempted. It is true of several other countries too.

Many firms fail to adopt anticipatory change or even reactive change. However, when a crisis situation is reached, strategic changes may be effected for survival. Many firms resort to measures of turnaround management only when the unit has become sick.

As Fry and Killing point out, “in crisis situations, the initiating circumstances have reached an acute state. The symptoms of trouble are clear-cut – an opportunity may be disappearing, sales may be in collapse, a cash crunch may be imminent, banks may be on the brink of calling their loans and so forth. Fast decisive action is required.”

3. Reactive Change:

In reactive situations, there are clear symptoms of need for change. It has been made of a number of deteriorating performance indicators, which are danger signals. The deteriorating performance indicators suggest need for effective measures to reverse the trends lest they should lead to a crisis situation.

The initiating forces of reactive change may also be positive (as opposed to the problematic forces mentioned above), like the emergence of a new opportunity.

The liberalisation (in the 1980s) in the two-wheeler industry and the increase in competition have posed some serious problems for the Bajaj Auto. The company took some reactive measures to combat the emerging situation. One market trend was the fall in the share of scooter and rise in the share of motor cycle in the two-wheeler market.

Although the sale of Bajaj Scooter was still rising, the company responded to the developments by introducing its own brand of motor cycle, promoting the superiority of scooter, emphasising the superiority of Bajaj Scooter over competing brands and product improvements and new launches.

4. Anticipatory Change:

“The hallmark of anticipatory change is that the requirements are uncertain. Opportunities and problems are forecast but there are no clear and compelling conditions. It is difficult to guide both the timing and the impact of the forces that are at work.”

The Godrej and ICICI entered into MoUs with foreign firms to enter the insurance business well before the insurance sector in India was opened up.

5. Resources:

One of the important requirements for change is resources. Many firms are not able to carry out turnaround measures or other strategic changes for want of funds. Sometimes, there may also be problems of non-financial resources.

6. Favourable Environment:

A favourable business environment like conducive government policy, etc., is also a very important requirement for strategic change.

7. Leadership:

An able and committed leadership is an essential requirement to initiate and carry forward the change.

8. Internal Factors:

Besides the right leadership, there are several other internal factors relevant to change, like the quality and support of people at different levels, organisational culture, support of shareholders, etc.

Change Management Guidelines for Overcoming Resistance to Change

“There is nothing more difficult of success, or more dangerous to handle than to initiate a new order of things,” said Machiavelli.

The following guidelines should be followed to implement change:

(1) Lay Down Objectives and Study Implications:

Before any change is taken into consideration, it is essential that the objectives of the change be laid down and study its implications. The time and quantum of change should be determined and the mode of introduction of change should be planned.

(2) Reactions on the Proposed Change:

Next important point to be taken into consideration is that the manager must anticipate the likely reaction of the sub­ordinates to the proposed change. The management should discuss the change with the sub-ordinates because people who have an opportunity to participate in planning for change will have some feeling of commanding their own destiny and not of being pushed around like so many pawns on a chess board.

Participation will give the people involved a feeling of importance. They are likely to be more committed to the change if they are convinced about the rationale of change.

(3) Information Regarding Organisational Changes be Given:

Management should make every effort to let people know about organisational changes, internal announcements may best be made through the medium of conferences and meetings, the employee’s newspaper and bulletins. Managers at various levels should also pass on necessary information to their sub-ordinates. Feedback should be encouraged to know the reactions of the sub-ordinates.

(4) New Skills be Taught:

In order to implement the change correctly and successfully the sub-ordinates should be taught new skills; they should be given the information they need to understand. Where they fit into the picture and how they will be expected to operate under the new set-up. The educational process can be supplemented by training classes, meetings and conferences.

(5) Group Interactions to be Taken into Consideration and Not Individual:

As the basic unit of the change the management should consider the group and not the individual. Group interactions are the vitals. Social situations which facilitates the adaptation to change. Group discussions should be encouraged.

The management should explain the rationale of change and try to convince that the interests of the group members would not be adversely affected. Therefore, group benefit and group welfare must be given top priority rather than any individual or any particular benefit or advantage.

Change ManagementBarriers to Change: Non-Recognition, Behavioural Resistance, Resource Constraints and Environmental Barriers

There are many barriers to change:

Barrier # 1. Non-Recognition/Non-Acknowledgement of the Problem:

One common barrier is the lag in recognising the problem or need for change. The major reason for this is the failure to understand the environmental changes. Many organisations do not have any system for proper analysis of the environmental dynamics and for strategic management based on that. One tragic consequence of this is that an organisation may feel that its performance is good and remain complacent even when its position in the market is being seriously eroded.

For example, firms whose sales are increasing say by 10 per cent, may feel happy about its performance, but the fact is that it is losing market share if the market is growing at a higher rate. Again, such a complacent firm may also fail to understand the market segment developments. A firm may feel complacent if its products are selling well even when the market segment it occupies has been graded down and down – often due to the dual phenomena of the shift of the consumer classes of its product and development of higher grade and premium segments by competitors, including new firms.

Nirma, Wheel, Ariel Super soaker, Rin, Ariel Microsystem, Surf, Surf Ultra, Surf Excel, etc. are all, and some of them well, sold in the market but what are their images, prices and segments? A Management or Technical Institute may feel that its products have enough takers and, therefore, has no problem as far as the placement is concerned. However, an analysis with vertical and horizontal comparisons, of the institutional and product images, pay packs and market segments may make shuddering revelations in case of several institutions.

Barrier # 2. Behavioural Resistance:

One of the important barriers to change is the behavioural resistance. Some reference to it has already been made above. Fry and Killing classify behavioural resistance into two categories, viz., inertial resistance and conscious resistance. “Inertial resistance to change arises from the existing perceptions, beliefs and habits of work in the organisation. Inertial obstacles are critical factors whenever the strategic requirements call for changes of culture, management style and management preferences. The impact of inertial forces is to delay or distort awareness, understanding and response to strategic requirements.”

“Conscious resistance on the part of individuals or groups consists of deliberate actions or inaction that is intended to delay or deny change. Conscious resistance may be covert or overt. It may range from foot dragging to outright organised challenge, and it may spring from a variety of motives.”

One source of conscious resistance is the belief that change is not good. Or it may be that the need for change is not realised.

Conscious resistance also arises from the unwillingness to accept/acknowledge the existence/emergence of a problem or need for change even when the existence/emergence of the problem or need for change is really recognised. This unwillingness may be due to the lack of self-confidence to solve the problem. Unwillingness to acknowledge the problem often leads to attempts to cover up problems instead of taking measures to solve them.

One of the major reasons for conscious resistance is that circumstances of strategic change are typically marked by uncertainty – about causes, priorities, appropriate action and even about the existence of a problem. This is particularly true when the concerns are of a long-term nature.

Resistance may spring up from many vested interests also. For example, a restructuring may cause some retrenchment or transfers or redeployment. Delayering may affect the hierarchical positions of some. In some cases, change will also mean new responsibilities, tasks, challenges or more effort.

Barrier # 3. Resource Constraints:

In many instances, an important barrier to change is resource constraints. For example, change strategy may involve large investment, which the organisation finds very difficult to mobilise. Sometimes, there may even be human resource constraint. For example, an organisation in a bad shape may experience the flight of able personnel and it may be difficult to make up the deficiency by new appointments, as people may be hesitant to join such organisation.

Barrier # 4. Environmental Barriers:

Environmental factors may also come in the way of change. Sometimes, a company also has to face opposition from the public on account of the technology adopted, ecological issues, product mix, labour policy, etc.