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After studying this Unit you should be able to understand:
what is change ?
types of change
alternative strategies of change
process of change, a few models of change
resistance to change
commonly used interventions of Managing Change.
14.1 Introduction
14.2 Drivers of Change in Business
14.3 Alternative Strategies of Change – at a Glance
14.4 Process of Change
14.5 Change Models
14.6 Phases of Planned Change
14.7 Resistance to Change
14.8 Overcoming Resistance to Change
14.9 Some Principles of Change
14.10 Reducing Resistance to Change: Few Suggestions
14.11 Commonly used Interventions for Managing Change
14.12 Summary
14.13 Self Assessment Questions
14.14 Further Readings

The dictionary meaning of change as a noun is — ‘making or becoming
different, difference from previous state, substitution of one for another,
variation’ etc. Change is also a verb meaning — ‘to undergo, show or subject
to change, to make or become different’. We are experiencing changes in all
spheres of our lives — food, drinks, clothing, relationships, ambitions, living
standard, work, tools, techniques. The changes are occurring so fast that people
say ‘in this rapidly changing world change is the only constant’.

There are numerous visible and invisible forces , which are constantly affecting
changes in organizations, a few of them may be enumerated as follows:

Technology — Tools, techniques, instruments, methods, procedures.

Work force — Knowledge, skills, ambitions, expectations, needs.

Economy — Liberalisation, globalisation, privatisation, breaking the

barriers resource imbalance.

Competition — Mergers, acquisitions, entry of new organizations, new

products, lowering prices, better services.
Organisational Social trends — Nuclear families, working couples, late marriages, one
Development and Change
child norm.

Political — Warning ideologies, new equations, transitory

relationships, coalition Govts etc., single superpower.

Financial — New types of Finances and Financial Institutions

All changes are not similar in nature. Some changes keep on happening on
their own and some are planned. There are three types of changes.
Planned change

When people are not willing or / and not prepared for facing the change,
change comes gradually as a natural process, in small adjustments or shifts in
response to emerging problems — this type of change has been called

When people reach a state of readiness to resolve conflicts by applying force

on others to comply through coercion or suppression, revolution takes place.

When efforts are made to make others experience the need of change and
determine the ideal or desired situation and striving to achieve the ideal or
desired state through planned actions — planned change takes place.

Social and Behavioural scientists have made diverse approaches to understand

explain change process.

Marilyn Ferguson has described four types of change in his “Aquarian conspiracy”
Exceptional Change
A particular change is accepted as an exception; there is no change in ongoing
aspects. The existing beliefs are not changed but specific change is introduced
separately, as an exception. In THE R&D division of a large organization flexi
time was introduced as an exception — all other divisions were continuing the
ongoing system.
Incremental Change
A gradual change, those who are affected do not experience it initially.
Computerisation in offices has been introduced as an incremental change in
most of the organizations.
Pendulum Change
Change from one extreme point of view to the opposite — pendulum change.
In a Company elaborate procedures of open tender was in practice for
engaging Consultants; suddenly they decided to go for single tender on
negotiation basis.
Paradigm change
The new information about an event, object, behaviour, image is integrated and
the ‘picture shifts’ or enlarges, emergence of a new belief — such a change is
called paradigm change. A ‘paradigm’, in simple words may be understood as
a cognitive model of how things are or a standard for how things should be.
For example, the consideration for the success of a PSU today in comparison
to those in the seventies.
Change also has been explained as a continuum — the two extremes being Process of Change

No Desired Constant
Change (Productive Change) Change

No Change Position
The ‘no change’ position indicates the ‘0’ condition of ‘inertia’ — sticking to
traditional view, valuing the past conservative thinking that ‘new’ is definitely
bad. Any change or deviation from the past is perceived as a threat — a
threat to beliefs, habits, preferences, norms and prevailing order. An example is
— evolving a performance management system, constantly sticking to the
previous method — where boss does it alone.

The major benefit from this position is ‘stability’, less efforts, comfort, less risk
but it also brings no growth, boredom, dissatisfaction, conformity and stagnation.
Constant Change
The extreme ‘right’ indicates the state of ‘constant change’ and presents a
dynamic approach having a constant focus on future. It considers the ‘new’ as
always good. Any change is seen as positive and resistance is seen as bad —
not moving with times and an opposition to the norms and values and progress.
A restlessness for knowing what is new and adapting the same without our
objective assessment of the strong and positive aspects of what is the past or
the present, not even the existing capabilities. In order to convince or
implement the changes not much regard to the affected people is given, and
effort to convince has much jargon and force and excitement. Some times, the
focus on what is important and crucial is lost. This state provides energy,
excitement and a Zeal to go ahead of the traditions.
Productive (pragmatic) Change
Between the two extremes is another approach ‘the Pragmatic approach’ of
change — which is focused on the existing state (what is happening) and
change seen as inevitable. The emphasis is on explaining the need for change
and making a conscious choice without having a fascination or inertia for the
past nor a compulsion for a rapid change.


There are many visible and invisible factors, which may compel a business
organization, how to effect changes of various types. A few general change
drivers are — increased competition, Price cuts, Technology, Laws, Customer /
user demand.
Change Targets
There could be a Variety of possible targets of change in an organization.
A few are :
Vision, mission task, and goal
Systems, procedures, technology
Organizational Values
Management styles
Human resource : knowledge, skills, attitudes, values 3
Organisational Table 1 : Factors Effecting Change
Development and Change


Manufacturing : Reduced cost as a result Cost control efforts;

Company of competition. Man-power cuts,
contract, employee,

High manpower cost Buy (Import) rather

outsourcing, manpower

Cheaper imported products Setting up manufacturing/

unit in other countries.

Obsolete product due to Change products,

technology change materials, technology,
main equipments

Pollution Control Laws Technology import /

product substitution.
Putting units in areas
having lenient laws.

Retailing : Change in choice of Customer (market)

Company consumers (semi-cooked research lined
food, electrical/electron retailing.
kits in place of fuel based
equipments) Advertisement

Time constraint, ease Departmental stores in

in shopping. place of small scattered

Health awareness -- Low Healthy products,

cholestrol oils vs. traditional substitutes

Time constraint Home delivery, internet /

tele shopping, automation.


Change has been a matter of great interest to the Sociologists and Behavioural
Scientists. A number of theories and models have been postulated. Olmosk
has presented a comprehensive view of a number of Change strategies and
called them ‘Seven pure strategies of change’. Each of these strategies have
been briefly summarised and explained.
The Fellowship Strategy
The assumption underlying this strategy seems to be, “If we have good, warm
inter-personal relations, all other problems will be minor.” Emphasis is placed on
getting to know one another and on developing friendships. Groups that use this
model often sponsor discussions, dinners, card parties, and other social events
that bring people together.
The fellowship strategy places strong emphasis on treating everyone equally; Process of Change
this often is interpreted as treating everyone the same way. All people must
be accepted; no one is turned away. When the group is making decisions, all
members are allowed to speak, and all opinions are weighed equally. No fact,
feeling, opinion, or theory is considered inherently superior to any other.
Arguments are few, because conflict generally is suppressed and avoided.
The Political Strategy
Political Strategists tend to believe that “If all the really influential people agree
that something should be done, it will be done.” They emphasise a power
structure that usually includes not only formally recognised leaders but informal,
unofficial leaders as well. Much of the work done under the political strategy is
the result of the leaders’ informal relationships.

The political strategy emphasises the identification and influence of people who
seem most able to make and implement decisions. It usually focuses on those
who are respected and have the largest constituency in a given area. One’s
level of influence is based on one‘s perceived power and ability to work with
other influential people to reach goals that are valued by one‘s constituency.
The Economic Strategy
Economic strategists believe that “Money can buy anything or any change we
want.” They emphasise the acquisition of or — at the very least, influence
over — all forms of material goods, such as money, land, stocks, bonds, and
any other tradable commodity. This strategy is widely used in the United States
and the Western world and is used most often by large corporations and by the
very rich.

Inclusion in a group that espouses this approach usually is based on possession

or control of marketable resources. Influence within the group is based on
perceived wealth. Most decisions are heavily, if not completely, influenced by
questions of profitability as measured by an increase in tangible assets. This
approach is highly rational, based on the assumption that all people act more or
less rationally from economic motives. As a result, such groups often have
high needs for control and for rationality.
The Academic Strategy
The academic strategy assumes that “People are rational. If one presents
enough facts to people, they will change.” To this end, academic strategists
undertake an unending series of studies and produce thousands of pages of
reports each year.

Inclusion in a group that plans to use the academic strategy to solve problems
or to make changes is based primarily on one’s expertise in a given area or on
one’s desire to acquire such knowledge. Leadership and influence within the
group generally depends on the degree to which the person is perceived as an
expert. Newcomers to the field are considered to have little to contribute, while
those with advanced degrees or many years of specialized study receive a
great deal of attention.
The Engineering Strategy
Users of this strategy try to bring about behavioural change without dealing
directly with the people involved. The underlying assumption is, “If the
environment or the surroundings change enough, people will be forced to
change.” Therefore, engineering strategists may spend a great deal of time
studying physical layouts, patterns of interaction, and role descriptions in work
places and classrooms without ever speaking to the employees or students.
Groups that approach change in this way often recruit members based on their 5
Organisational technical skills. Group needs often are defined in terms of technical skills,
Development and Change
which are considered more important than interpersonal styles.
The Military Strategy
The military-style approach to change is based on the use of physical force.
The name military has been given to this approach because it conveys the
appropriate connotation to most people, not because the military is the sole user
of this approach. Police Departments, “revolutionary” student groups, and some
teachers, for example, employ the military strategy.

The basic assumption behind this approach is, “People react to genuine threats.
With enough physical force, people can be made to do anything.” Therefore,
considerable time is spent in learning to use weapons and to fight. Physical
conditioning, strength, and agility are valued.

Membership in military-strategy groups often is determined by one‘s physical

power and by one‘s willingness to submit to discipline. Both within the group
and in its dealings with the external environment, influence is exerted primarily
through the fear of authority and through the threat of punishment. Members
of military-style groups need control, status, and security. They often tend to
view most problems and relationships in terms of power, authority, threat and
The Confrontational Strategy
The confrontational approach to change is based on the assumption that if one
can mobilise enough anger in enough people and force them to look at a
problem, the required changes will follow. Although conflict is stressed, this
strategy emphasises nonviolent conflict rather than physical force.

Membership in such a group is based on one’s ability to deal with and to use
conflict in ways that benefit the group.
The Applied Behavioural Science Model
Most problems are extremely complex; a cut-and-dried approach to problem
solving is not always the most effective or thorough. This is the basic
assumption of the applied behavioural science (ABS) model.

Groups that use the ABS model tend to believe that as many people who will
be affected by the decision as possible should be included in the decision-
making process. Within the group, one’s level of influence is based on one’s
own knowledge and the degree to which one will be affected by the decision.
Ideally, the person with the most knowledge about the problem and/or the
person most affected by the decision should have the most influence.

The ABS model considers any information or theory that will shed light on the
situation and help the group to reach a decision to be valuable. Group
members’ emotional needs are regarded as existing primarily for emotional and
intellectual integration.


Change is process of moving from the current state to the desired state (vision)
of future. Making a change involves, moving the organizations people and
culture in line with the strategies, structure, processes and systems to achieve
desired state (vision).

Process of Change
Existing Change (Transition) Vision
Situation Desired

The existing situation is the status, which is prevailing at the moment, what the
organizations looks like now. The desired situation is the status which one
desires to prevail; it is also called vision. A vision helps in clarifying—

What do we want to become?

How much needs to change?
What the Organization should look like when the change is completed?

The transition state may be defined by ascertaining the activities and processes
necessary to transform the organizations from its current state to the desired
state — a road map — for specifying the activities, crucial interventions and
events during the transition period. For making an organization move from the
existing state to desired state some ‘force’ is to be applied.

Some forces applied by the individual(s) undergoing the change oppose the
force applied for moving to the desired state — this is called resistance. This
also supports Newton’s third law of motion- “Every action / force creates an
opposition (resistance)”.
Successful change—the three stage model
According to Lewin’s three step model, successful change in organizations
should follow three steps :

Unfreezing Intervening Refreezing


i) Unfreezing
Newton’s first law of motion states “Every object remains in state of rest or
uniform motion in a straight line unless and until an external force is applied to
it.” In the organizations also similar situations exist. When a product, service
or profit is at a deteriorating stage but with the rapid changes there maintaining
a ‘steady state’ is not possible as the situations are bringing many types of
forces, usually inhibiting forces which block the pace. For example, for a
stagnant product, every product will remain stagnant and non-competitive
leading to decay vertically down unless and until an external, innovative and
relevant technology is proposed to cause its growth vertically upwards.

Thus for making any change some thing has to be done in a planned way to
disturb the status quo: this is called de freezing (unfreezing). This stage aims
at disturbing the existing equilibrium and creates motivation to change using
mechanisms like — (a) lack of confirmation or disconfirmation (b) sharing one’s
concerns and perceptions openly, looking in to feelings, removal of barriers of
communications, induction of guilt and anxiety and creations of threats by
reduction of psychological safety, presentation of alternative scenarios etc.

In case of any change, the effort is going to face individual resistance and
group conformity. These change efforts for overcoming the pressures of both
individual resistance and group conformity.
Organisational Two types of forces emerge and at the status quo, both are in balance
Development and Change
a) Forces prompting the change — forces that direct the behaviour away
from the status quo — “Driving forces”
b) Forces hindering the movement away from the status quo — Restraining

Restraining forces

Driving forces


Figure 1 : Forus and Change

For affecting the change :

The Driving forces should be identified, assessed and intensified / added.
The Restraining forces should be identified, assessed and weakened /
Both strategies are followed simultaneously.

The technique described is called ‘Force field analysis’. The method includes
the following steps:
1) Identify the problem, which you want to work and describe it.
2) Define the problem clearly indicating the present situation.
3) Define the situation desired after the problem is solved.
4) Identify the forces working for the change i.e. driving force by way of
individual listing, brainstorming or any other means.
5) Identify and list forces likely to work against the desired change
(restraining forces). These forces can be related to human resource,
time, money, technology, customer requirements or any other internal,
external factors.
6) From the list of driving forces and restraining forces, prioritise the forces
and identify 3-4 most significant forces under each of the both categories.
7) Make a force field diagram showing both types of forces after
prioritization. The arrows should be proportional to their priority / strength.
8) Discuss and list possible action steps for reducing or eliminating the
effect of the restraining forces and add or increase the effect of the
driving forces.
9) Determine the most effective steps under both the categories of forces
and outside which once to implement.
10) Examine the resources available for carrying out each action steps.
11) Develop a comprehensive action plan, sequence of activities and assign
responsibilities for implementation.
12) Implement the plan. Process of Change

13) Evaluate.
ii) Moving / Intervening
The steps to be taken for making the desired change should be planned
considering all aspects — Tasks, Technology, Structure and Human Resource.
Since any organization is composed of these four inter-related and inter-
dependent components, the impact of the changes should be anticipated and
examined. Since the organizational environment is a resultant of three or four
components — and any organization exist in environment analysis of internal
and external environment is essential.

This step aims at developing new responses by providing new information.

Cognitive redefinition is a mechanism, which is achieved by identification
(information) through a single source and scanning (information through multiple
The change interventions start making the desired status in due course. These
are to be stabilised. Refreezing stabilises a change intervention by balancing the
forces which have created the desired (driving forces) and those, which are
inhibiting the changes to occur (restraining forces).

Here also, Newton’s Second Law is quite helpful in understanding — “The rate
of change of momentum is proportional to force applied and change takes place
in the direction in which the force acts”. Hence, for rapid and deep change,
forces applied should be strong, direction should be clear and force applied in
the right direction.

This stage helps stabilising and integrating the changes. This is gained by
integrating new responses into persons and into significant ongoing relationships
through reconfirmation.


1) C.D.S. Model
This is a very simple 3 stage model developed using the work of Bechhard and
Horns (1987). The three stages are:
i) Assessment of current state (scenario)
ii) Developing the desired State (scenario)
iii) Formulating the strategy / plan to move the organization (or system) from
current state to the desired state.
Assessment of Current State
At this stage, efforts are made to explore, analyse and identify the problems
and unused opportunities, understanding the causes visualizing the effects. For
this, a climate is to be created where people share their views, opinions
experiences openly and the management is willing to admit the gaps, slippages,
wastages and other problems.

Normally, a long list is generated and it is essential to prioritize and identify

‘points of leverages’ — problems, which have high priority.

Organisational Developing the Desired State (Preferred Scenario)
Development and Change
At this stage, efforts are made to determine how the organization or
organizational unit, project or the programme would look like after making the
changes. For preparing the scenario, alternative possibilities or preferred
scenario are developed by using techniques like brainstorming, fantasy or a
variety of structured exercises. Efforts are made to stimulate both right brain
type thinking and left-brain type of thinking so that both conventional and non-
conventional ideas are captured.

A few indicators or criteria are also developed to indicate the achievement of

desired state. These criteria would help in future to determine to what extent
the desired scenario has been arrived at.

Evaluate each of the scenarios by using different evaluation methods and select the
most visible one. At this stage, left-brain type of thinking will be quite useful.

Anticipate the difficulties likely to be experienced while making action steps to

reach the desired scenario. Examine if appropriate steps can be taken and
resources will be adequately available. Otherwise, examine the feasibility of
implementation of the next preference.

Re-work on the selected preferred scenario to make it more explicit and inspiring.

Getting the commitment for the change initiatives and resources, the commitment
of the key persons in the organization and outside should be assured.

Formulating the strategy action plan to move the organization from the current
state to the desired state

These states deal with how the movement from the existing to the desired
state would be accomplished. Thus, this stage would indicate how the results
would be accomplished. For this, a wide range of strategies to reach the new
stage or preferred scenario would be identified. Using the right brain type
thinking, the alternative strategies are identified, then evaluation of each of the
alternative strategies would be made and that appropriate strategy would be
selected which would help in achieving the desired outcome. These strategies
would next be translated in the form of workable plans.
2. ADPI Model
This Model is based on the work of NR Jones. It consists of the following


Designing Change

Planning the Change

Figure 2 : ADPI Model

Organizational Analysis Process of Change

This phase aims at developing an understanding about the organization, its

culture and readiness for change. Efforts are made to understand the tasks,
structure, strategies, systems, procedures and management practices, morale,
motivation and internal and external environment. Different research
techniques, interviews, brainstorming and workshops are used.
Designing Change Intervention
At this stage, vision or the desired state of the organization is prepared. Active
involvement of Top management and a wide agreement on the interventions are

The key resource persons and other team members must be identified and
some team building initiatives are taken to ensure shared vision and commitment
to change. Role of each member should be clarified.

A number of workshops, training sessions, meeting and presentations are usually

held at this stage.
Planning for the Change
The objective of this stage is to plan for effecting the desired changes for
achieving the vision. An action plan is prepared indicating the activities,
responsibilities, time frame, counting huge measures and required resources.
This is the most crucial stage. The action plan has to be implemented. The
involved persons are to be educated and convinced about the gains. Extensive
communication is required and high orders of leadership skills especially
persuading skills are required. A number of presentations, meetings, workshops
are to be held. The success depends on the internal resource persons or
facilitates who would work in tandem with the change agent / consultant. It is
difficult to get successful implementation without Project Management skills.
3) Action Research
A change process based on systematic collection and analysis of data is called
action research. In this approach, data is collected to diagnose the problem and
action steps are identified on the basis of the analysis of the data. It is a five-
step process. These steps have been enumerated as follows.
Under the guidance of a change agent / consultant, data is gathered about the
problems, perceptions, concerns and the expected changes from the employees
of the organization. Questions, interviews, secondary records and a variety of
techniques are used for collection of data.
At this stage, analysis of the data collected in the previous step is carried out
to identify the problems, patterns of behaviours etc. The change agent or
consultant draws inferences and identify the primary concerns, problem areas
and expectations.
Action research is a collaborative process and therefore emphasises deep
involvement of the employees likely to be involved. Therefore, the highlights of
the analysis in terms of concerns and problem areas are shared with the
employees specially those cross sections from where data had been collected.
Organisational With the help of representatives of employees, action plan for bringing about
Development and Change
needed change in the specific areas is carried out.
Actions planned in the action plan mentioned above are set to motion in line
with an explicitly prepared implementation plan.
At the planned intervals, an evaluation is carried out to know to what extent
implementation has taken place and desired changes have been arrived at.
Necessary steps may be taken for collection, modification or further work.
4) OD models
As discussed in Unit 13, OD efforts are comprehensive change efforts
comprising a variety of focus. The model mentioned in Unit 13 with examples
of different OD interventions may be referred.


For getting the enduring results, change cannot be left to choice; rather planned
efforts will have to be made. Consolidating various models, a general approach
of making planned change may be evolved —
– Creating awareness and disturbance.
– Feeling the need of change
– Exploring the readiness
– Diagnosis
– Designing and planning interventions
– Intervening — managing the transition
– Evaluation and
– Follow-up
Creating and Communicating Awareness
It is a well-known fact to many that frogs are amphibious creatures having
tremendous adaptability. They have survived all ages because of this — they
can survive in all climates, in all situations, all temperatures. Some experiments
carried on frogs in laboratories are highly shocking.

In a few shallow pans, frogs were kept in water at normal temperature. The
pans were kept on Bunsen burners which were heating the water in pans very
slowly. Even if the water became very hot the frogs did not jump out of the
pans — quite surprising. The water started boiling — the frogs got boiled!

Pans with room temperature water once again put on the bunsen burners.
When the water became quite hot (but not boiling) around 60 - 70 Degree C
temperatures frogs were dropped in the pans. Within flash of moment frogs
jumped out and save themselves.

Many of us are like the frogs — we develop tolerance and adaptability and
ignore the “temperature” and end up boiling. ‘Awareness’ therefore is the first
stage. A process of enhancing the awareness of self by considering the aims,
goals, vision, mission and the state of their achievement, future environmental
scenarios, extrapolations and forecast is useful for enhancing awareness.
Bench marking and competitor intelligence are two other triggers of enhancing
12 awareness.
The awareness creates anxiety to create future scenarios, — likely gains and Process of Change
problems — and therefore generates energy in those who become aware. For
example, in BHEL in 1983, the HR Manager was trying to project the role of
Personnel function in achieving the Corporate objectives (1985-90) and could
realise that if the manpower strength and turnover/sales keeps on increasing at
the previous rate, then in 1990 the company will be in red only because of
Manpower strength. He got alarmed and made a series of presentations in
different fora. After initial reaction, the top Management also became aware
and alarmed of the impeding situation. This created planned efforts of
Manpower Planning in the leadership of the HR Manager. After 2 years, the
Manpower strength started decreasing — today the strength is 43,000 against
the strength of 78,000 in 1983-84. The turnover during the period has
increased from Rs. 800 crores to 8000 crores.

A variety of strategies, such as presentation, publications in Newsletters,

workshops, Quiz, sessions and presentations in Management Development
programmes may be used for enhancing awareness.

This awareness creates an imbalance and disturbs the status quo. People
become uncomfortable and respond in different ways. Usually energy level
increases for denial and opposition of the issues.
Feeling the Need
Once the awareness spreads and increases, the involved people start feeling the
need of the change of elimination of the unhealthy situations. They start
thinking about ways and means to avoid this undesired situation.

People start thinking about the consequences if no change is made.

When the actual / projected results are not in line with expectations, needs are
intensely felt.

Any person at any level can feel the need, but sharing will help enhance the
Exploring Readiness for Change
In spite of the strongly felt need, it is essential to explore the readiness of the
organization to change. A process facilitator may call a meeting / workshop of
senior people and on the basis of observations on the interaction, he can get an
idea of the readiness to change. When too much fascination for the status quo
is sensed, fear and apprehensions are strongly expressed, case of failure are
cited more than success stories, resource scarcity is repeatedly presented —
resistance to change efforts is likely to be high. OD should not be initiated in
a hurry.

Some consultants conduct a few workshops for assessing the readiness.

Instruments / questionnaires are also used by some consultant. An approach
developed by J William Pfeiffer and John E Jones may be suggested. This
approach is based on 15 indicators, which they have developed in the form of a
check list (instrument). The indicators are being enumerated below under three
broad classes.

General Considerations
Size of the organization
Growth rate
Crisis (situation)
Macro economics 13
Organisational OD history
Development and Change

Time commitment
Access to people
Labour Contract limitations
Structural flexibility
People Variables

Interpersonal skills
Management development
Flexibility at the top
Internal change agents

This instrument / check list can be served to a number of people in the

organization, including the top management and the findings should be
discussed. This will not only give an idea about the readiness, but also raise
the awareness towards some of the crucial pre-requisites. For details ‘OD
readiness’ by J.W. Pfeifer and John E Jones’ in ‘The 1978 Annual Handbook
for Group Facilitators may be referred.

A few questions may be considered for examining various aspects —

Commitment / support of the Top Management for desired changes.
Sense of urgency advisable in the top management.
The perceived Power of Top management.
Clarity of vision in Top management.
Shared vision — to what extent the vision is shared by stakeholders.
Congruence of targeted change efforts with ongoing change efforts in the
Decision making style and quickness.
Hierarchy in organization — flat and flexible more conducive to change.
Super ordination — Willingness of Line Managers to sacrifice their personal
interest for the good of organization.
Customer focus of the organization.
Monitoring of competitors by the management.
Risk taking — the extent to which managers / employees are rewarded for
taking risk.
Innovativeness — the extent to which innovativeness is encouraged.
Communication channel — both directions.
History / experience of past change efforts.
Trust level between employees and management
Availability of Resource persons (change facilitators — internal / external)
Cooperation / Collaborative attitude.

Sharing the benefits of change enhances readiness of change.

Diagnosis Process of Change

This has been discussed in Unit 13.

Planning Interventions
This is also discussed in Unit 13.

One should be able to agree on defining

What are the specific goals of change?
Who are the involved people (stake holders)?
What are the restraining and driving forces?
What contingency measures to be considered for emergency situations?
What interventions will be made?
How the success will be measured? etc.
Intervening — Managing the Transition
Preparing the Team
For carrying out the interventions, a team of internal resource persons is
prepared. Ideally, this is a multi-disciplinary team which would make the
interventions and help in its successful implementation. The internal resource
persons should be skilled in Human Process facilitation and should have
undergone intensive training programmes.
Conducting the Activities
Whatever interventions have been planned, are to be implemented. In many
areas, employees would pose resistance which is to be overcome. If the
approach appears to be inadequate or inappropriate amendments are to be
made. The experiences are to be documented highlighting both process and
content aspects. Regular interaction with the committee / task force members
and Consultants is very essential.
Mid Course Evaluation
After interventions have been made, periodic evaluation is required for
ascertaining whether the interventions are bringing desired results. If yes, then
further follow up is required. If not, it must first be examined whether
interventions have been made as per the plan. If interventions have been made
as per the plan but are not giving the desired results, the causes must be
examined and if needed, alternative interventions should be designed and

Before making the interventions, the management / facilitators should be clear

a) What is the change going to be made?
b) What are the reasons for benefits of the organization?
c) How will change affect the individuals – who experience it?
d) What supports and tools are needed to manage transition?

While making interventions the involved persons force different types of


The processes at the transition stage are quite important. Whenever managers
suspect that the change is likely to come — their initial reaction is that of
“shock”. Their performance starts receding and they give different negative
comments. This shock starts spreading. In a multi unit public sector undertaking,
Organisational when the Top Management decided to introduce a KRA based Performance
Development and Change
Management System, there was an initial reaction of shock. It affected their
sense of well-being and perform adversely.

Soon after, a strong tendency to deny that there is anything wrong in the
prevailing system emerged and managers tried to show an enhanced
competence (ability) to protect the existing status. They started showing that
the present system was quite good. Very soon, there was a realisation that the
average is imminent and they have to bear the pangs of change. This
realisation was spread and managed positively for enhancing the readiness of
change by introducing planned efforts by introducing mechanisms for awareness
generation, training, involvement of users, interest and support of senior and top
level managers. All these created strong emotions — at one side fear of
unknown — on the other side benefits of the new system, pressure on roles,
future possibilities, benefits, losses, implications etc. The pressure for unlearning
the existing ways and learning the new ways created different types of fears
and anxieties.

The ensuring uncertainty created frustration in many leading to sliding down

sense of well-being and performance level. The intensified training sessions,
realization of possible losses and benefits, envisioning of future gradually led
executives toward acceptance of the system. The sense of confidence, well
being and performances started climbing upward. The desire and effort of
experimentation started getting reinforced. They accepted the challenges and
started efforts for adopting the new system. There were slippages and
mistakes — which got rectified. Communication enhanced and people started
sharing their experiences — feelings, hopes, successes, failures. The leadership
helped people to get a better understanding.

The evaluation of the emerging situation, feedback amendments and enhanced

communication, helped integration of the efforts and the system got
Evaluation / Follow up
The results of the change initiatives should be measured periodically — the gap
between the planned and desired. For this, a befitting feedback mechanism is
to be set up — to gather information by survey, focus groups, interviews etc.
Usually, it has been found that even if encouraging results are obtained in the
beginning, with the passage of time, it starts deteriorating. Managers intervene
by way of providing support, appreciation and training etc. Special meetings,
celebrations, support groups and certain types of reinforcements are needed for
sustaining and enhancing the results.


According to Newton‘s third Law of Motion “to every action there is an equal
and opposite reaction.” Resistance to change, is therefore, bound to be there.
Real change will be effective only when -

Driving forces > Restraining forces

Resistance is ability to avoid what one does not want from the environment.
Resistance to change is a behaviour designed to discredit, delay or prevent the
implementation of a change.

Resistance is of two types — Individual resistance and Organizational

16 resistance. Resistance is not always harmful.
An individual poses resistance to all those efforts, which are against his/her Process of Change
‘Self Concept’— a response to protect one habits, beliefs, values. Resistance
prevents from getting hurt, guards one’s effectiveness, heightens one’s
awareness to oneself and keeps one from becoming distracted. It provides
stability and predictability of one‘s behaviour. If there is no resistance, there will
be a ‘chaotic randomness’ in organizations. Resistance stimulates discussions
and re-examination.

In organizations resistance helps in differentiating talents, providing new

information, producing energy and making the work environment safe (HB
Karp). Resistance, thus, gives both benefits as well as problems.
Individual Resistance
Resistance in different situations has varying intensity. The idea itself generates
the first level of intensity — it is the initial or the first response when a person
comes to know about the proposed change. This is primarily because of the
natural liking for the ‘status-quo’. This is also due to lack of awareness about
the desired change — its importance, impact, costs and benefits, their own
concept and view of the changes. Some times even if the change is derived,
there is a dislike for the timing, the change agent, the cost factor or the extra
efforts required.

There are some issues, which are not observed or experienced initially. These
are the deeper issues. The issues may not be found to cause resistance initially,
but it is experienced and becomes visible while discussing or working on the
issues. These appear in different ways:
Need for respect, reward, recognition
Fear of loss (monetary or status)
Lack of resilience.

The level 3 issues are deeply imbedded — entrenched. This is caused by

conflicting values, visions, life goals, historical animosity etc. This may be as a
result of the combination of some factors described at previous two levels.

Resistance to change does not always becomes explicit or observable. Mostly

these are hidden and come out indirectly, therefore, it is not easy to observe
and anticipate.

Some causes of individual resistance:

- Increased work load — loss of comfort
- Loss of security (the unknown)
- Loss of belongingness (with new people)
- Failure (loss of esteem)
- Loss of interest (boredom)
- Change in habits (loosing ease and spontaneity)
- Loss of income (economic facts)
- Loss of change in perceptions — inner disturbance and lack of communication.

The resistance of change is of different types:

Logical, Attitudinal and Sociological.
Organisational Logical resistance is based on rational gaps or disagreements with facts,
Development and Change
reasoning and conceptual differences. Attitudinal resistance is due to emotional
or psychological reasons like fears, lack of trust etc. Sociological resistance is
due to group / social aspects like politics, vested interests, sharing of benefits of
a particular group, presentation of group‘s identity, value report etc.

To summarise, individuals resistance to change is due to one or more of the

following reasons as enumerated by R. Likert and others:
Selective Perception
Employees perceive same events / things differently — as such the change
objective and outcomes are not perceived exactly in the same way. Also
persons are more interested in seeing how they would be affected personally,
rather than seeing the big picture.
Fear of Unknown
People prefer familiar actions and events; change brings in new patterns, which
disturb the habits.
Lack of Information
Lack of knowledge or information about what is expected or why the change
is important or how change will effect and whom results in resistance.
Hostility towards Change Initiator
The image / relationships with the change initiatives causes some resistance.
Organizational Resistance
Organizations, by nature, are conservative and resist change. A few sources of
organizational resistance have been enumerated below :

Threats to Power

Group norms

Resistance to

Resource Threat to Limited

allocation expertise focus

Figure 3 : Organisational Resistance

Due to the Task, Structure, Strategy, Technology, Systems, Procedures and
familiar people, organizations get frozen or are in a steady state. The idea of
bringing in charge creates the feeling of disturbance in the equilibriam. Hence
Limited Focus
All organizational systems are inter-related, therefore change in one causes
stress and strain on others. Therefore, if a change is carried out in one system/
sub-system, there is a natural tendency in the other components to resist the
ensuing changes — as these do not want to get disturbed.

Group Norms Process of Change

By way of the past interactions working, a group norm settles in. Change
questions these norms and seeks establishment of other norms — hence
Threat to Expertise
People have acquired a degree of expertise and specialisations which make
them comfortable and self esteem is high — due to change in organizations —
there is a danger of getting some of the expertise obsolete and acquisitions of
new expertise /specializations. This needs a lot of personal / group effort — as
such resistance.
Threat to Power
Change may bring in new structure, new technology, new systems, procedures,
new delegation of powers, new relationships that may cause a threat to some
of the sources of power, hence resistance
Resource Pressure
All the above-mentioned changes may create pressure on various types of
resources including manpower resources. This perception causes resistance.

Many Scholars and Professionals have conducted research for understanding

causes of resisitance in organizations. Some of the important causes of
resistance to changes have been enumerated as following :
The proposed change has not been described through documents, written
down description not available.
Lack of clarity on the purpose of the change.
Lack of involvement of the people affected by the change.
Change efforts initiated on the basis of a personal appeal.
Group norms and organizational culture have not been considered.
Lack of information to employees about the change
Sharp increase in workload during implementation.
Non-additional and resolution of the worries and concerns and fears of the
affected persons.
Non-clarification / resolution of the issues and anxieties relating to job
security, transfers redeployment etc.


As mentioned earlier, resistance is a positive force and provides opportunities
for having a thorough understanding of contextual factors as well as issue
directing and emerging out of the interventions.

Some managers use strategies to break the resistance using coercion or

emotional appeals — which prove to be dysfunctional. Some managers try to
avoid or bypass the resistance by ignoring the opposition views, opinions and
feeble signals. They don‘t confront the issues or do some thing to deflect the
resistance by some gimmicks and tactics — ultimately fail to deliver results and
create a number of dysfunctional processes in the organization. Other
dysfunctional strategies used by managers for overcoming resistance are — the
efforts of minimising the resistance by calling on traditions, attributing the cause
of change to group or Top Management and hiding the emerging issues
highlighting some thing of the past or future.
Organisational Overcoming resistance to change calls for a positive approach towards
Development and Change
resistance. One may try to agree to the assumption — Resistance is a positive
force and needs to be honored rather than suppressed, avoided or minimised.’
Another assumption is ‘encourage the free expression of resistance and capture
the key ideas’. The positive approach suggests that the Resistance should be
encouraged to be brought to surface, it should be honored rather than showing
reaction or defensiveness. The issues (resistance) should be explored and
emotional and tangible issues should be separated. Then the issues and
understandings should be reviewed and real issues identified and clarified. The
cause and effect diagram will be useful.


Change has been one of the most interesting and intensive issues before social
and behavioural scientists. On the basis of their research and experience a
number of principles / rules have been formulated. Some of these collected
through various sources are:
Organization is a system comprising many inter-related / inter - dependent
components. Change in one component affects others.
Accepting ownership in the change process best facilitates change.
Any change upsets the equilibrium of the organizational system — hence it
will be resisted. Change interventions should be made in a planned way,
otherwise the system would return back to its past patterns
People really don’t resist change; they resist the pain or threat, which they
anticipate for themselves or others out of it.
An enlightened self-interest of stakeholders helps in changing.
There is a high significance of ‘timing’ in change — time should be ripe
while making changes.
An accurate and comprehensive design diagnosis is essential for designing
appropriate interventions.
Through Power, one gets what one wants to get, by posing resistance one
tries to avoid what he does not want to get or do.
Change agents are required for affecting changes. They must know how to
analyze and manage the restraining and driving forces.
High adaptability helps change agents and change plans.
High self-awareness is required in change agents, which helps the planning
for change.
Honoring it, rather than suppressing, avoiding or minimising it best manages
The people affected by change should actively participate in making the
A person can work best with other‘s resistance by first understanding and
accepting his own resistance.
The acceptance of organizational change will increase if the people
affected are invited to contribute to the change process, communicated
honestly about all facets of change, given concrete feedback about the
change and recognized appropriately for their specific contributions.

Process of Change
To reduce resistance to change in the key steps, few suggestions are discussed

i) Initiation of Change

Resistance will be low if the persons involved perceive the change project
as their own, rather than imposed on them by others.
Resistance will be low if the whole hearted support from Top Management
is available.
ii) Type of Change

Resistance will be low if the involved persons are convinced that the
difficulties experienced in their job would come down after implementation.
Resistance will reduce if the change is likely to bring interesting and
satisfying experience, to the concerned individuals.
Resistance will be less if the change is congruent and supports the values
and ideals of the concerned individual.
The perception that the power autonomy, and security will not be adversely
iii) Process of Change

If the persons likely to be affected have taken part in diagnosis, and have
agreement on the basic change problems and felt its importance —
resistance will be less.
Resistance will become low if the change makers (or sponsors) (i) see the
opponent‘s view points empathize with them and (ii) take steps to remove
their perceived fears.
Resistance will be reduced if feedback is taken from the affected persons
and they are apprised of the steps to be taken.
If there is enough change flexibility and project is kept open to revision and
amendment on the basis of evaluation and feedback.


It is very difficult to enumerate and explain all interventions for managing
change effectively. However, a few important techniques commonly used are
enumerated below :
Authentic and complete communication on the objective, coverage, timing, costs,
individual and organizational implications and change methods and the
consequences of not going for change and post change benefits is most
essential for managing change.

At the Corporate office of a large organization, as prelude to making change, it

was diagnosed that the executives numbering 15 were not communicating with
each other. The communication climate was hostile and top management was
perceived as autocratic. Enhancing Communication climate emerged as one of
the major concerns. As one intervention, the executives were asked to sit
Organisational together for 15 minutes in the conference hall around the round table. Initially
Development and Change
executives resented it but gradually they started sharing some of the operational
problems they were facing and others started responding by giving their
comments and solutions. They started opening up and sharing their feelings,
concerns, agreements and disagreements etc. Within a few weeks, this meeting
became the most liked forum of communication and sharing. Often they had to
extend the timing. This forum became the initiating and facilitating platform for
the major changes the function made for next few years.

There is no standard plan for communication, but pre intervention diagnosis

should attempt to understand the communication climate, styles and barriers.
Creation of a supportive communication climate is highly useful in making
change interventions.
Education and Training
All involved persons may not have the desired environmental, organizational,
functional, technical, financial, strategic, behavioural knowledge and skills.
Education and training is very essential at all stages.

In the pursuit of designing and commissioning a comprehensive Performance

Management system in a large PSU, almost two years were spent in educating
and training the senior management personnel and users to make them
understand the concept, realize the need, express their satisfaction and
dissatisfaction from the existing system, define their expectations from the
proposed system. Even the design of the proposed system was prepared in
training and developments programmes using Behavioural Science based
interventions. After the programme was approved for implementation, a series
of training programmes were conducted for the users. Background support was
provided through internet and publication of literature. Over 200 Performance
Management Systems trained separately or ensuring smooth implementation
could multiply the efforts. Even an interactive website was installed for
resolving the doubts on line. All this helped in covering a large section of
widely prevalent executives in a short time and fear of change could be almost
Participation and Involvement
The persons likely to be affected need to be involved right since the initial
stage. Their active involvement in all stages of the processes not only will
provide valuable ideas at every stage; rather it will inculcate a sense of

In installing an incentive scheme in a medium size Engineering company, the

line managers and worker representatives were involved right since beginning
i.e. from the stage of feeling the need, identifying the benefits and problems,
collecting and analysis of data and designing the system and developing the
earning table.
Facilitation and Support
The change initiatives are to be facilitated by skilled Facilitators (change
agents). This helps in surfacing the issues, proposal — resolution of conflict,
team building and development of a conducive change climate.

Facilitation is a process in which a person, acceptable to all members of the

group, substantially neutral and having no decision making authority intervenes
to help a group improve the way it defines and solves problems and makes
decisions in order to enhance the effectiveness of the group.

To intervene, according to Chris Argrysis, means to enter in to an ongoing Process of Change
system for the purpose of helping those in the system.

The main task of a Facilitator is to help the group increase its effectiveness by
improving its processes.

A process refers to how a group works together and includes how members
talk to each other, how they identify and solve problems, how they make
decisions and how they handle conflicts etc.

Normally in a group, without a Facilitator, members focus on contents and

ignore the processes. Content refers to what a group is working on, what is the
subject matter, task, methods, procedures, cost, time, controls etc.

Facilitation is of two broad types- basic facilitation and developmental facilitation.

In basic facilitation, it is expected that the Facilitator would guide the group
using the principles of effective group processes -observing both contents and

In developmental facilitation, group members expect the Facilitator to monitor

and guide the group‘s processes and teach them how to accomplish this goal.
In dealing the resistance, negotiation is quite useful as the change agent has to
exchange something of value for reducing the resistance. This also is useful
when resistance comes from a powerful person. Three basic types of
Negotiating Styles have been described — Tough battler, the Supportive
Facilitator and Cognitive Reasoner. A negotiator should understand these 3
styles and should be well versed in using all the three styles as each style is
effective in a particular situation. There are a few other models also
describing different styles of negotiation. Although Collaboration is the most
desirable strategy, other strategies - avoidance, accommodation, Competition
forcing and compromise also have their limitations and benefits.
Assigning a key individual member a desirable role is quite effective in
managing change. The co-opted person becomes a Key Resource Person in
charge of project and by way of his power base, is able to influence others.
His involvement and contribution helps the change process.

Two other interventions mentioned below are not positive interventions,

however, in critical situation, these interventions are also useful.
It is a covert influencing tactics which uses twisting and distortion of facts to
make them appear more attractive and potent. This also includes hiding or
withholding undesirable information, and creating rumours. Cooptation also
sometimes is used as manipulative tactics.
Coercion —Implicit and Explicit
This involves application of direct threats or force on those who are resisting or
are likely to resist. In situation of crisis it is often successful, otherwise not so

Development and Change 14.12 SUMMARY
In this rapidly changing world change is the only constant. In this unit we have
tried to define change, understand the concept of change and types of change.
Drivers for change and alternative strategies of change has also been
discussed. Different models of change are described followed by the concept
of resistance to change and how to overcome resistance to change.


1) Consider your present job and indicate which benefits emerging out of an
effective change management is most important to you ?
a) Career advancement
b) Improved prospects
c) Job Security
d) Increased job satisfaction
e) Respect and recognition
2) a) Which of the changes at your work place you experienced in the
recent past —
— new boss — new system / procedures
— new work group — new products / services
— new position (responsibility) — new customer
— new equipment — new location
— new suppliers
b) Which change was most difficult for you ?
c) What were your thoughts and feelings before the change? Did you
have any fears ? What were those ?
d) How did you cope with the change ?
e) What would have helped you to cope with the changes better?
3) Complete the following sentence by writing as many adjectives / phrases as
you can think of
Change is ---------------------------------------
e.g. painful, agonising --------------------------
4) Complete the following sentence by writing as many adjectives / phrases as
you can think of
Change is -------------------------------
e.g. refreshing, energetic, profitable ---------------
5) Think of a change which would be beneficial to your company /
organization and respond to the following four questions --------
a) What is the change you have thought of ?
b) What are the reasons / benefits of the change ?
c) How would the change affect the involved persons ?
d) What support and tools should be provided to the involved persons for
managing the transition ?
6) A large scale company is to introduce a new Performance Management
System. Presently, the company practices an annual confidential report type
of appraisal system, which is done by the superiors annually.
Process of Change

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