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Manufacturing Manager's Perceptions of Resistance to Change: An Empirical Study

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journal contribution
posted on 08.06.2017, 00:36 by Waddell, Dianne, Sohal, Amrik
This paper reports the findings of a survey that investigates management's perceptions of resistance in manufacturing organisations. Manufacturing organisations have faced a mandate for change for sometime now. Industry leaders and Government heads have repeatedly called for efficiency increases, productivity improvements and general industry reform, such that businesses can remain competitive in the international market place. However, managing a major change effort is a complex task and examples of successful change efforts have been few and far between. Resistance has been identified as a critical aspect in the process of change, an aspect that can significantly influence both positive and negative outcomes (Maurer 1996). To this end, approximately 250 companies were surveyed throughout Australia with the objective of clarifying how resistance to change is understood by managers and the effects this approach may have on their methods of change management. The results indicate that resistance is predominantly viewed adversarially by manufacturing managers as an impediment to change that must be removed; a problem that must be overcome if the organisation is to achieve successful change. It is concluded, however, that this approach may in fact be inappropriate. Rather, a more conciliatory response is suggested that looks to evaluate and possibly utilise resistance in an effort to achieve successful organisational change.


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Department of Management.

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