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People resist change This belief is deeply ingrained in organizational life It is inscribed in corporate documents management textbooks policy assumptions executive training materials consulting reports and in societal media outside of organizations Hacking 1999 This belief demonstrate that it is a poor metaphor for change management show that resistance to change is not commonly defined in the literature and offer the results of an exploratory empirical study which suggests that people may actually be more willing to embrace rather than resist change A person in one organization said resistance to change is like a mantra we feed ourselves In every team meeting we get together and spend the first twenty minutes saying change is hard People resist change This is an unexamined belief about human nature Our assumptions about stability and the promises of equilibrium were all also promises and that is not how life is Wheatley in Maurer 1996 51 Anyone who has worked in or studied organizations can testify to the poor track record of organizational change efforts A meta-analysis of large-scale change efforts suggests that positive outcomes occur less than 40 percent of the time Porras et al 1983 Kotter 1995 observed a decade of change efforts and characterized a few as very successful a few as utter failures and the rest mostly toward the lower end of the scale Pascale Millemann and Gioia 1997 report a Harvard Business School study which tracked the impact of change efforts among the Fortune 100 Of the change programs initiated between 1980 and 1995 average expenditures exceeded one billion dollars per corporation only 30 produced an improvement in bottom-line results that exceeded the companys cost of capital and only 50 led to an improvement in market share price In another study senior executives in Fortune 500 companies reported that less than one-half of the changes in their organizations were successful Maurer 1996 Moreover they suggest that resistance to change was the main reason for
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