Managing Resistance to Change during a Merger

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For most, resistance to change inevitable, for some it is their personality and others it is fear of the unknown. Organizational structure may change through downsizing, outsourcing, acquisitions, or mergers. In this paper, I will be examining resistance to change during a merger and how to manage this type of stressful and many times unclear change in an organization. There are three key strategies for managing resistance to change; communication, participation, and empathy and support. Throughout this paper I will discuss the three strategies above as well as some other contributing factors to change in an organization.
People often resist change based on fear of the unknown, fear of loss, fear of failure, disruption of interpersonal relations, personality, politics, and cultural assumptions and values. However, there are numerous other reasons people resist change. Many of these center on the notion of reactance, that is, a negative reaction that occurs when individuals feel that their personal freedom is threatened. Some of the major reasons for resisting change are fear of the unknown, fear of loss, fear of failure, personality, politics, and cultural assumptions, and values. The reasons for resistance are as diverse as the workforce itself and vary with different individuals and organizations. The challenge for managers is introducing change in a positive manner and managing employee resistance. Traditionally, resistance is seen as a barrier or negative which can increase resistance. However, many strong leaders today are looking at resistance as a learning tool and form of feedback. If feedback is used correctly it can be used to manage the change process productively and positively.
Communication about the impending me...

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...ace culture values worker health and psychological needs, there is enhanced potential for high performance and improved well-being. Employees who feel valued will work harder, motivate others, and help increase support throughout the merger. Those in the organization tasked to lead employees through a merger should be transformational leaders and understand what causes change, why individuals resist change, how to decrease dysfunctional conflict, emotionally support their employees, provide transparent and consistent information in a timely manner, and build trust and support. This is no easy task but can be accomplished with effective planning and development of strategies to deal with these issues early in the change and increase synergy among the employees.

Works Cited

Nelson, D. L. and Quick J. C.(2013) Organizational Behavior. Mason, OH: Cengage-Learning
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