Resource title

Tension and Resistance to Change Organizational Climate: Managerial Implications for a Fast Paced World

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Climate is the atmosphere of the organization, a “relatively enduring quality of the internalenvironment of an organization, which is experienced by its members and influences theirbehavior.” The organizational climate can be measured in terms of trust, morale, conflict, equityin rewards, leader credibility, resistance to change and scapegoating. Using a factor analysis, wefound that the organizational climate can be described in two dimensions: “tension” and theresistance to change for a group of 245 Danish companies. High tension involves strainedrelationships, stress and a balance of the combined factors. High resistance to change is apreference for tomorrow to be like today. Change management has a long history and restsfundamentally upon Lewin’s three phases: unfreeze, change and re-freeze. More recently, changemanagement is seen as sensemaking and the creation of an organizational reality in which changeis more usual and continuous.Using the competing values framework, four organizational climates emerge:S internal process, which is high on tension and resistance to change,S rational goal, which is high on tension and low on resistance to change,S developmental, which is low on tension and low on resistance to change,andS group, which is low on tension and high on resistance to change.The managerial implications are complex For a fast paced world, the resistance to changemust be low. Lewinian episodic change is difficult, slow and costly. Continuous change can bemanaged, where change becomes the norm of the organization. However, tension does not haveto be low. Individuals may prefer a low tension organization, but it may not be necessary for a fastpaced world. Further, since the two dimensions are independent, managers cannot reduce tensionas a means to reduce the resistance to change.

Resource author

Richard M Burton, Jørgen Lauridsen, Børge Obel

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eng

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application/pdf

Resource resource URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10398/8129

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