What Forces Act as Sources of Resistance to Change?

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Date Submitted: 12/09/2012 10:35 PM

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Individual sources of resistance to change reside in basic human characteristics such as perceptions, personalities, and needs. The following elaborates the forces:

1. Security - People with a high need for security are likely to resist change because it threatens their feeling of safety. When a company introduces automation in the production process, staff will have a great resistance because they fear they will lose the jobs.

2. Economic forces - Another source of individual resistance is concern that changes will lower one's income. Changes in job tasks or established work routines also can arouse economic fears if people are concerned that they won't be able to perform the new tasks or routines to their previous standards, especially when pay is closely tied to productivity.

3. Fear of uncertainty - Changes substitute ambiguity and uncertainty for the known. If, for example, the introduction of word processors means that departmental secretaries will have to learn to operate these new pieces of equipment, some of the secretaries may fear that they will be unable to do so. They may, therefore, develop a negative attitude toward working with word processors or behave unproductively if required to use them.

4. Stability – Usually in government agencies and public-funded bodies, staff are employed in permanent terms with stable income. Options of incentive are limited to motivate them to do more than what they were doing in the past. They will not get penalty for not doing additional job outside their job description. Therefore they have no intention to change or adapt to a new culture.