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Managing Organizational Change, Resistance, and Conflict

Managing Organizational Change, Resistance, and Conflict

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Managing Organizational Change, Resistance, and Conflict

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  1. Managing Organizational Change, Resistance, and Conflict

  2. IT Systems may be a technical success but an organizational failure.

  3. Common False Beliefs • “People want this change.” • “Monday morning we’ll turn on the new system and they’ll use it.” • “A good training program will answer all of their questions and then they’ll love it.” • “Our people have been through a lot of change—what’s one more change going to matter?” • “We see the need for helping our people adjust, but we had to cut something…” • “They have two choices: they can change or they can leave.”

  4. Possible Results of false beliefs • The change may not occur. • People will comply for a time and then do things to get around the change. • Users will accept only a portion of the change. • The full benefits of the project are never realized or are realized only after a great deal of time and resources have been expended.

  5. Change Management • “The transforming of the organization so it is aligned with the execution of a chosen corporate business strategy. It is the management of the human element in a large-scale change project.” • Gartner Group

  6. The Nature of Change • The Impact of Change - Whether we view change as positive (anticipation) or negative (dread), there is a certain amount of stress that accompanies each change. • Assimilation - is the process of adapting to change and determines our ability to handle current and future change (Davidson 2002)

  7. Assimilating Change

  8. The Nature of Change • Change as a Process • Force Field Analysis or change theory (Lewin 1951) • Driving Forces – Facilitating change • Resisting Forces – Barriers to change • Three concepts • Unfreezing (the present state) • Changing (the transition state) • Refreezing (the desired state)

  9. The Nature of Change • Transition  the neutral zone • Problems arise when managers do not understand, expect, or acknowledge the neutral zone. • Rushing often results in confusing on the part of those in the neutral zone. • People do not like being caught in the neutral zone.

  10. Lewis’ Change Process Model

  11. The Nature of Change • Emotional Responses to Change • Kübler-Ross’ Grieving Model may be applicable for understanding reaction to significant change • Denial • Anger • Bargaining • Depression • Acceptance

  12. The Change Management Plan

  13. The Change Management PlanAssess Willingness, Readiness, and Ability to Change • Sponsor • Initiating vs. sustaining sponsor • Change Agents • The project manager and team • Targets of Change • The users • Must understand • The real impacts of the change • The breadth of change • What’s over and what’s not • Whether the rules for successhave changed

  14. The Change Management PlanAssess Willingness, Readiness, and Ability to Change • Leavitt’s Model of Organizational Change – Interdependence of components

  15. The Change Management PlanDevelop or Adopt a Strategy for Change • Rational–Empirical Approach • Provide each individual with Picture, Purpose, Part to Play • Normative-Reeducation Approach • Focus on the core values, beliefs, and established relationships that make up the culture of the group. • Power-Coercive Approach • Compliance through the exercise of power • Environmental-Adaptive Approach • Although people may avoid disruption and loss, they can still adapt to change

  16. The Change Management PlanImplement the Change Management Plan and Track Progress • Track Progress using project tools (Gantt, Pert, etc.) to gauge how well organization is adapting to the change. • Communication • Watch out for the rumor mill! • Media is important • Must flow in both directions

  17. The Change Management PlanEvaluate Experience and Develop Lessons Learned • Experiences should be documented and made available to other team members and other projects so that experiences can be shared and best practices • Overall success of the change management plan should be evaluated • Adds new form and functionality to the project organization’s IT project methodology.

  18. Dealing With Resistance and Conflict • Resistance • should be anticipated from the outset of the project (rumors and gossip) • Once the change is compromised, management and the project team will lose credibility, and the organization may become resistant to all future changes

  19. Dealing With Resistance and Conflict • Resistance • May arise for valid reasons • May occur even when those resisting know the change will be beneficial • Is a natural part of any change process • Change agents dealing with resistance should: • listen not argue • clearly communicate boundaries of change • understand that empathizing is not necessarily agreeing

  20. Dealing With Resistance and Conflict • Conflict “Although conflict is one of the things most of us dislike intensely, it is inevitable. Most often when we try to avoid conflict, it will nevertheless seek us out. Some people wrongly hope that conflict will go away if it is ignored. In fact, conflict ignored is more likely to get worse, which can significantly reduce project performance. The best way to reduce conflict is to confront it.” (Verma, 1998)

  21. Dealing With Resistance and Conflict • Different Views of conflict • Traditional – conflict is negative and should be avoided • Contemporary – conflict is inevitable and natural and can be positive or negative • Interactionist View – conflict is an important and necessary ingredient for performance.

  22. Dealing With Resistance and Conflict • Categories of Conflict • Conflicts associated with the goals, objectives, or specifications of the project. • Conflicts associated with the administration, management structures, or underlying philosophies of the project. • Conflicts associated with the interpersonal relationships among people based on work ethics, styles, egos, or personalities.

  23. Dealing With Resistance and Conflict • Approaches for managing conflict • Avoidance • Retreat, withdraw, or ignore conflict • Accommodation • Appease the parties in conflict • Forcing • Dominant authority resolves conflict • Compromise • Bargaining • Collaboration • Confronting and attempting to solve the problem by incorporating different ideas, viewpoints, and perspectives.

  24. Dealing With Resistance and Conflict Each conflict situation is unique and the choice of an approach to resolve conflict depends on: • Type of conflict and its relative importance to the project. • Time pressure to resolve the conflict. • Position of power or authority of the parties involved. • Whether the emphasis is on maintaining the goals or objectives of the project or maintaining relationships.

  25. Dealing With Resistance and Conflict • Polarity Management – • required when two sides (i.e. advocates of change and those resisting change) end up in a polarity where each side can only see the upsides or advantages of their pole and the downsides or disadvantages of the other. • suggests both sides should: • Clarify what you value and what you do not want to lose. • Let the other side know that you are aware of the downsides of the pole you favor. • Assure the other side that you want to maintain the upsides of their pole.

  26. Dealing With Resistance and Conflict • Polarity Mapping – identifying the upsides and downsides each side is advocating • Crusaders • want to change the status quo and are supporters of change. • contribute by identifying the downsides of the current pole • provide the energy to move away from the current pole. • Tradition Bearers • are at the opposite end of the pole and wish to preserve the best of the past and present. • identify the upsides of the current pole and the downsides of the opposite pole. • help identify things that should be preserved

  27. Polarity Mapping

  28. Polarity Mapping • Helps people “get away” from seeing their current initiative as being the only “solution to the problem” • Not a case of choosing one idea over another • Recognizes that both polarities must be managed simultaneously