The onset of industrialisation and urbanisation brought a great change in mankind. With the advent of technology came globalisation. Countries and Corporations had to keep pace with the changes if they were not to be left in the backwaters of time in the race for development.
Organizational Culture and Change
Organizational culture can be defined as the shared assumptions, beliefs, and normal behaviors of a group. An organization’s culture develops to help it cope with its environment. Many of the problems of leaders are their inability to analyze organizational cultures. when they try to implement changes.
The Change Process
Culture change is difficult and takes time as “culture” is rooted in the collective history of an organization, and because much of it is below the surface of awareness. The process of culture change must include the following steps:
Uncover core values and beliefs including also those embedded in organizational metaphors, myths, and stories, and in the behaviors of members.
Acknowledge, respect, and discuss differences between core values and beliefs.
Resistance to Change
According to Kotter and Schlesinger , there are four reasons for resisting change:
Parochial self-interest: People are concerned with the implication of the change for themselves ad how it may effect their own interests first.
Misunderstanding: This comes from communication problems and inadequate information
Low tolerance to change
Different assessments of the situation: Some employees may disagree on the reasons for the change and on the advantages and disadvantages of the change process.
Resistance to change is also due to:
Poor communication about the change and benefits.
Inertia to leave comfort and rock the boat.
Fear of the failure and the unknown.
Lack of trust.
Few will admit but they fear they lack the skills for the new job and they may not be able to cope.
They suspect hidden agendas to use them to make unilateral gains.
Dealing with the Resistance
The following change approaches can be used to deal with this resistance to change:-
Education and Communication: Educate people about the change effort beforehand. Up-front communication and education helps employees see the logic in the change effort. This reduces unfounded and incorrect rumors.
Participation and Involvement: When employees are involved in the change effort they are more likely to buy into change rather than resist it.
Facilitation and Support: Managerial support helps employees deal with fear and anxiety during a transition period. This approach is concerned with provision of special training, counseling, time off work.
Negotiation and Agreement: Managers can combat resistance by offering incentives to employees not to resist change. Change resistors can be offered incentives to leave the company through early buyouts or retirements in order to avoid having to experience the change effort.
Manipulation and Co-option: Where other tactics will not work or are too expensive. This often involves selecting leaders of the resisters to participate in the change effort.
Steps to Overcoming Resistance to Change
Make a diagnostic study of the strategic changes needed by studying the external and internal environment in relation to company objectives involving as many people of the organization as possible.
Get the top management enthusiastic and raring to go.
Make a campaign for broad based participative consent and communication listing facts and figures and making a convincing case for the changes .This should incorporate how employees will gain and how data will be transparent to all. Allay fears of job losses. Make a tangible promise in percentage to evaluate and share gains.
The method of overcoming resistance is one of understanding the fears and anxieties of the employees of companies , making them aware of the competition , empowering them and giving them skills , supports and above all confidence that the fruits of the risks and efforts that they take will in some measure come their way.